Breathing Conundrum

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    Hey y’all,

    New member here, but I’ve been doing USRPT for roughly 4 years now. I’m an 18-year-old female, and I specialize mainly in the 50s of FR, FL, and BK (the 100s are a lil’ far for me). Just to give you an idea of where I’m at, my SCY times are 23.2, 24.7, and 25.7 respectively, though they’re all from 2019 due to you-know-what.
    I was out of the water for 4 months last spring/summer ’cause of the lockdowns, but I’ve been back into consistent training since September, tryin’ to get back to where I was. It’s been a bit rough, mainly ’cause my coach hasn’t been allowed on deck for training since March, so I’ve been relying on my Tempo Trainer. Unfortunately, TTs don’t have eyeballs and can’t tell me when I’m screwing something up, so my technique is in tatters (at least based on recent race videos of myself).

    Anyway, that’s enough complaining for now. I do actually have a problem I want to ask y’all about (well, a lot of problems really, but just one for today). I have a weird issue with my breathing, mostly in FR, but a lil’ in FL too. It was a thing before Covid, but I didn’t pay much attention to it because I hardly ever swam more than 50s in practice.

    In anything longer than 75y I feel like I can’t get enough oxygen, no matter what speed I’m going. Heck, on the back-half of a 100FR EZ–breathing every other stroke with only 4 dolphin kicks/wall–I’m (audibly) wheezing like an old smoker while trying to take in air! It’s the same thing whether I’m swimming, kicking, or pulling. I simply don’t understand it; I have no problem holding my breath (I race the 50s no-air and do a good amount of underwater and hypoxic work, all without issue) and no medical conditions. What’s also weird is that I’m perfectly fine when I use a snorkel (even though mine’s stupidly skinny). I tested it out a few months ago and went 1,000y no problem, so it’s not physical exhaustion that’s getting me. The only real difference between snorkel and no-snorkel for me is how much longer and deeper each breath is with it vs. without. It almost feels better to breathe every 3 or 4 normally so I have longer to exhale.

    I really need to figure this out, each breath already takes WAY too long and holds up my stroke, yet I’m not getting enough air, which is killing my 100 and 200 potential. Got any ideas or suggestions for me?

    Sorry for the long read, and thanks in advance,

    ? Swim Dry: to swim so fast you never touch the water.

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