This week has been a good overall training week, in that I managed to get in the pool and practise all the areas I wanted, with inuries permitting, and I also got into the gym a few times to work on strength development. I already feel so much stronger from all the Pilates classes, free weights and body weight exercises! The benefits I've seen in the pool are great so far, I'm noticing that I don't feel as strained or tense and so the injuries aren't playing up as much which is great. I've been trialing out under the recommendation of the POWERbreathe Guru using my Powerbreathe in my training, so have been taking it down to the pool and doing breath holding and or hard lengths of the pool and having to catch my breath back through only the Powerbreathe.
The set I was doing was as follows:
Warm up the lungs by breathing through Powerbreathe on resistance 2
1 x 50m swim, maximum of 3 breaths over the 50m, approx 8 breaths through Powerbreathe at the end
2 x 50m swim, maximum of 2 breaths over the 50m, approx 8 breaths through Powerbreathe at the end
2 x 50m swim, maximum of 1 breath over the 50m, approx 8 breaths through Powerbreathe at the end
4 x 50m swim, no breathing over the 50m, approx 8 breaths through Powerbreathe at the end
*All breathing through the Powerbreathe on the 50m swims was done using resistance 2
By the last 50m I was exhausted, as I had put my breathing muscles and cardiovascular system through a tough workout, I felt really pleased with how it went and how hard I managed to push myself. I wouldn't recommend this to everyone though as you need to have had training in hypoxic breath holding training as there are some risks involved with forcing yourself not to breathe for long periods of time. I have been doing this for a few years now and so have built up the ability to hold my breath and to tolerate being in an hypoxic state. In light doses practising hypoxic work is a great way to work the cardiovascular system without putting a great deal of strain on one's muscles and so that's why I'm doing a fair bit of it at the moment until I build up enough strength to push myself in swimming like I used to.