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(water splashing) – Mornin’ Traniacs! It’s just a casual
little 2,000 meter swim. Something that came up last
week during the Traniac Mini-Camp for the two
first-year triathletes came into town and we worked
on their swim-bike-run, was specifically in the swim, where I was reminded how
first-year new triathletes have such a hard time
breathing in the water. So today, I’m gonna give
you three steps to fix that. We’re gonna get outta
here, ‘cuz it’s kinda loud. But I’ll show you the drills to do. (upbeat dance music) Alright, so, Traniacs, there
is a three-step process that any swimmer can use, any triathlete, any noob can use to develop
confidence in the water. Get rid of that feeling where you’re like (gasping for air) “I’m sinking, I’m sinking!” Three steps, and six drills. Two drills with each step, three steps. Even my Canadian math makes that work out. Step number one, you wanna
develop an allergic reaction to not blowing out air when
your face is in the water. You wanna train your body,
such that, every time your face goes in the water, the
second it goes in the water, you’re blowing out bubbles until the very second that you stop. You end up holding your breath whatsoever, you’re gonna build up carbon dioxide. If you don’t blow out bubbles hard enough, you’re gonna end up
building up carbon dioxide. You’re not actually short of breath, you’ve got too much carbon dioxide. So, to fix that, what we
do, is we do two drills. The first is very simple, you
go on the edge of the pool, and you put your hands
on the edge of the pool. Stand in a shallow end where
everything’s controlled, and you can be confident. Put your face in the water
and immediately start blowing bubbles as hard as you can. Do this a whole bunch of times. Do this five times, 10 times,
at the start of a workout, so that you reinforce that habit. Once you’re able to do that
comfortably, you wanna do that and build that into
not feeling panicked when you start going under the water. So what we do is the same sort of thing, but we go in the deep end and we do what are called sink-downs. That’s the second drill. That’s treading a little
bit of water, and then all-of-a-sudden we just
take a breath, and start blowing it out, and because
we are losing the buoyancy in our lungs, we’re gonna
sink down a fair bit, and you just keep blowing
out as long as you’re in the water, and you develop comfort with having your body completely
submerged in the water. Between those two things,
you are going to gradually develop basically the reflex that as soon as your face is in the water, (blowing bubbles out through lips) you blow out. The second thing we
wanna learn how to do is to disobey gravity in the pool. While 92 percent of our
body weight is displaced when we go into water, there is still that 8 percent that wants to sink
a little bit in the pool. As we sink a little
bit, we start panicking, we start breathing a little bit heavier, we start kicking a little bit harder, all using up more oxygen, building up more carbon dioxide, making it harder for us to swim. So what we wanna do is we want to learn how to float to cross the pool, and these two drills
will help you do that. Number one, go back to the
edge of the pool, and you just wanna kick your back
leg up just slightly. Just learn how to kick
those feet off the bottom of the pool, keep blowing out, and learn how to press your
chest deep into the water, and pull your butt up close to the surface without kicking very hard. What you do then next is you practice the Superman float across the pool. That’s where you turn
your back to the wall, you kick off, and you just
stretch out like a pencil, and slide across the water,
and what you do is you stay nice and calm, and get rid
of that reflex to like, “I’ve gotta get out!” Because once you start tensing up, once you start hyperventilating, you build up carbon dioxide, that tension makes you sink even more, and it makes it harder
for you to float to cross the bottom of the pool effortlessly. Combine number one, where
you’re not building up carbon dioxide, with number two, where you’re floating across
the surface of the pool really easily, and all-of-a-sudden,
you can just lie there. You’re set! You ain’t goin’ anywhere! You aren’t sinking down, you aren’t building up carbon dioxide, you aren’t feeling short of breath. Then we just have to get
the third thing in our mind, and that is to slow the hell down. Waaaaaaaaaay down. And particularly, this means
slowing down your kick. Your legs are the biggest
muscles in your body, and what a lot of people do is they kick really, really hard, really hard, ‘cuz they wanna get across the
pool as quickly as they can so they can get that full
breath, so it can be over. But what’s gonna happen is
they’re gonna kick across the pool, they’re gonna
build up a whole bunch of carbon dioxide by using up
all the oxygen that they can, and they’re also going
to be very, very tense, and what’s happening
is as they kick harder, they’re using up more oxygen, and they’re building up
tension and sinking even more, and that is against what we want to do, just moving across the pool
in a controlled manner. If you look at any Olympic
swimmer who’s doing just casual, say, 1:10 per
hundred yard efforts, they look so smooth, and it
barely looks like they’re working very hard because for them they are not working very hard, and that’s what we want to
do is not work very hard. So the two drills that you
need to do for that is again, go back to the pool edge, and
instead of kicking your feet up off the bottom and
just leaving them there, and using your butt and your
core to hold your feet at the pool surface, you wanna
just kick slightly. Kick your feet off the bottom of the pool, and then just gradually, with
a tiny little flutter-kick, as light as you can possibly make it, bring your feet up to
the surface of the water. Then the final thing that
we do is to incorporate all of this, we take that
light little flutter-kick, we go into a pool lane,
we put on some fins, and as lightly as we
possibly can, extend one arm, blow bubbles, kick lightly with our feet, and just grab a little bit of oxygen. So blow bubbles, get rid
of all that carbon dioxide, kick very lightly, float
across the pool easily, grab a breath. And if you’ve done all
of this, by this point, you will not be out of breath, you’ll be floating easily across the pool, you will be kicking very lightly, not using up energy and
oxygen in your legs, and all-of-a-sudden, swimming becomes very comfortable, very easy. So those drills are a small
spattering, basically the start of a swim-drill series
that we put together at
that by now, I think 6,000 people have gone
through, and we get an e-mail every-other day from people
messaging us saying that it has completely changed their swimming. They’re moving easier, they
aren’t working nearly as hard, but, they’re enjoying swimming
more, and going faster. So if you’re actually serious
about taking up triathlon, and you wanna go through that entire swim-drill-series program, it’s free. You just go put in your
email address and get it. Go to If you aren’t into that and
you aren’t yet subscribed, hit the subscribe button below,
and if you are subscribed, take a breath of fresh
air… pool water air. All right! Later, Trainiacs!


  1. Hm, how would too much CO2 differ from being out of shape (actually "needing" more oxygen)? Does it actually feel different?

  2. Hey TT. How do I train with that feeling of having my chest compressed with a wetsuit? That really messed up my races last summer.

  3. Taren, I'm curious how you manage your breathing while doing flip turns, as you have to hold your face in water much longer than when you're doing the freestyle stroke. I find that I get a panicky feeling from expelling the air from my lungs too early when I do them as you have to blow out air while flipping to avoid getting water in your nose. I know you've done a video on flip turns and mention they may take months to a year to get used to, but I feel that mostly is because of the breath control aspect. Maybe an updated flip turn instructinoal video with more focus on the breathing is in order soon? I'm sure there are several other viewers that have or are dealing with the same issue…

  4. this is a great video with knowledge that I applied but man I had to increase the speed of it so I dont die a bit.

  5. I can so relate to this! You have described exactly what a "trying to be triathlete" feels! I am new and I panic. Thank you. I will try your plan

  6. Very useful tips.. but what do I use(kick boards and so on )to keep me in position while breathing in(raising the head)

  7. I realised today (after weeks of practising) why I'm breathless and started doing the sink & breath drill before seeing this video. So thanks as I know I'm on the right track. My coach told me to slow mys stroke but I got breathless and discouraged when I tried that. Maybe now I'll make some progress.

  8. Just finished the video. The third is sooooo me! My instructor keeps telling me to slow down but I always got panicked and wanted to go to the end of the pool to breath, so I kicked soooo fast and hard and turned out i lost my balance because of the out of breath, and it ruined my entire swimming experience.
    Nice tricks and tips!!! Subscribed!

  9. I am 45 and i just learned how to swim 2 days ago!!!!i foeget to swim because i am coordinating legs and arms. So nice to move across the water

  10. I have been trying to swim for almost a year now and still couldn’t swim more than 300 without being exhausted and having to stop or switch to backstroke. 5 minutes of these drills and I swam my first 750 freestyle without stopping! It may have been slow but I was able to do it for the first time ever! Thank you!!!!!

  11. This video changed my life! I’ve been so tense under water. The fin technique helped me so much just learning how to have my face in the water. Everything he says about carbon dioxide is spot on. Not breathing out fast enough or taking too much air have been my problems

  12. yeah! going to the pool was so terrible during the last two months cause I always felt like I was choking after 50m. can't wait to try out the drills and fall in love with swimming again. thank you!

  13. I’m a professional swim teacher and all my student MUST have ear plugs, swim hat, 3 different goggles, upper body swim suit, flippers, nose clip, anti fog spray, special pre swim shower gel, special chlorine remover shower gel pool side safety sandals, under water watch, under water camera, quick dry towels, high buoyancy noodle and float and arm bands & snorkel. All this must be bought from me other wise students will be thrown off my course and and fined. I tell all the parents they must only use my approved equipment to learn fast. I currently charge £1499.00. Full Kit and induction and £25 per lesson, Sorry all classes are fully booked at the moment.

  14. Didn't find this so helpful as accepted. You could have given more emphasis on rotation of body to breathe.

  15. You described every single problem I’m having while swimming! I apparently have a bit of a problem with relaxing in the pool, I sink easily, and still struggle with breathing, all of it makes my triathlon dreams seem a bit impossible… hopefully I’ll be able to learn how to manage my breath somehow

  16. Thanks for the advice – you just popped up on my youtube. I have been swimming for 40+ years with little training and my least favorite stroke is the "freestyle" because I get out of breath too fast. I DO blow bubbles as soon as my face hits the water all the way till it's out but maybe I don't exhale hard enough, I just let it go out naturally. I will try to blow out harder without hyperventilating. I do however kick hard since I thought it would make me go faster and burn more calories. So I'll try to kick more lightly….. what was the third thing – keep my butt at the surface? I think it's there. Anyway going to see if breathing out harder and kicking less does the trick. I haven't yet figured out what I'm doing wrong. I also think my arms don't do much besides guide my stroke but maybe you have a diff vid for that. Nice explanations!

  17. Does anybody know if you should blow out through your nose or your mouth? I only seem to be able to blow out through the mouth.

  18. Thanks for your videos.. It is very helpful
    But I am facing difficulties in bubbling underwater… It is hard for me to bubble as I have to exhale against the water pressure even in shallow water.. Also, part of the air goes into my stomach often which makes me feel discomfort…
    Any help is appreciated

  19. You don't exhale right away. You keep air in lungs, and before next breath you exhale quickly and inhale very quickly, so that mouth is kept above surface for as little time as possible. If you start exhaling right after inhale, less oxygen is extracted from the air in lungs into blood. With short distances, 50m or 100m it's more aggressive, and less efficient, but triathlon swimming distance you have to be very efficient.

  20. I forgot that you have to blow out as soon as your face is in the water. Thanks for the reminder.
    I’ve been using my snorkel these past two years. LOL. A little lazy, but it helps me to increase my laps.

  21. I am a 49 year old who struggles with fear of the water. I have decided it is time to learn to swim. This is so helpful!! Thank you!!!!!

  22. I swim in a pool 4.5 feet deep and I'm always worried about drowning. By the time I reach the end after 25 meters, I have to stop and rest. I'm very fit and lean, so maybe I have technique problems, do ya think?

  23. I’m afraid of getting the water in my nose and drowning at swimming class I’m nervous all the time even when I’m at home I think about it all the time this helped me thank you lol

  24. Stupid question. How do you exhale? All through nose? All though mouth? Both at same time? 2 stage approach, nose 1st then last few seconds with mouth?

  25. You've described some of my breathing issues perfectly! Thanks I'm going to stop doing lengths for a bit and go back to breathing basics?

  26. you said every other good things but didn't mentioned once how to breath . I though this would be video on how to breath while learning new styles

  27. This video changed my mentality and I suddenly completed a lot more laps today than I did before without getting much exhausted

  28. This was very informative. My exact problem. I'm going to put this into practice. I have a hard time coming up breathing and that makes everything else difficult. Thank you

  29. So, are you saying it’s best to blow out as hard as I can when swimming freestyle, or should I gradually blow out? I’m thinking that may be my problem, plus my panicking.

  30. So, I'm not training for a triathalon. I came here because I need to learn to breathe (again) while swimming. I grew up in and around the water and on boats and then about 30 years ago my life changed and I haven't been in water since. We bought a waveless lap pool about 2 years ago mostly because it fits where we live and we thought it would be nice to have something to splash around in and cool off during the summer, but my little brain keeps telling me to grab the harness and USE this opportunity and become a swimmer again. I can't wait to practice these tips, I feel like this is what I need. The first time I submerged in the pool I quickly realized I was 30 years older and not as confident as I used to be under water. It was… scary. I feel almost embarrassed considering my background. Thanks for these videos, I can't wait to be a swimmer again and maybe ditch this office bod.

  31. Hi, I am new to swim, Now i saw many videos from you. I am interested to learn. Now one question, While exhale under water, do i exhale thru nose, or mouth. Some other videos saying use mouth and some nose.Which is correct one.?
    Please teach me

  32. You don't need to breathe out air as soon as your face goes in the water again. Holding in the air helps you float more and you are able to breathe whenever you want. If you immediatly breathe out you will have to breathe in every 2 strokes.

  33. One tip, slow down just before the pool end so u have confidence to return. This helped me a lot at starting stage and increase my meters.

  34. Great video just subbed. Doin my first triathlon , I can bike and run for fun but carnt swim . Will use these drills tonight.?

  35. From this video, the best tip to rememember is: You are NEVER SHORT OF BREATH. You've just built up too much carbon dioxide. Just blow bubbles and you'll be good.

  36. Great video but I struggle with not inhaling adequate oxygen so my exhale duration is very brief. Makes it impossible to wait for every third stroke to breath.

  37. Great Taren! I'm just learning to swim correctly and those things you talk about in the video are I'm doing. I'm gonna try just right now! hahaha

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