I have taken up swimming on average 40 lengths 4 days a week due to problems with my knees and back, but I also suffer from Asthma and need ideas on breathing issues in swimming as I am unable to put my head under the water as this starts an asthma attack.
Please help as I have searched the net with no success.
Is your asthma related to panic attacks? I have had similar issues swimming in open water - the fear of sea monsters (or whatever it is that freaks me out) would set my asthma off.
What I've done is to close eyes when putting my face in the water so I can shut out some of the stimuli that sets off panic. As I got used to my face being in the water it would get better.
Another option, if you do work on your kick using a kickboard put your face under the water to breath out and again get used to the feeling of having your face in the water but with the security of holding onto the kick board.
Don't worry about bilateral breathing or breathing every 3, 4, 5, etc strokes, breath when you need to and just get comfortable with the process.
If you have the time, I would look into a few lessons or look into the book "Total Immersion". The technique starts off with you on your back and slowly transitioning to face in the water - which if that face-in-the-water is the panic issue - this will help loads!
You need to see your Doctor and get your asthma under control. There are several ways to trigger asthma attacks and swimming is one. So it needs to be treated so the attacks do not occur. This has to happen before you will improve.
Once the asthma is in control, then try total immersion, this will help alot amd there will not be any attacks
I suffer big time from asthma and I'm a triathlete. Swimming is my strongest, but it hasn't always been.
I am an older man who is just starting to swim, At least correctly. I have asthma also, "Bigtime". My breathing is under control enough that I don't have attacks. I ran two 1/2 marathons during the yr. I want to start doing Tri's next yr.
However, I get winded after 1 length and need to rest befor I continue. This rest might be as long as a couple minutes. How did you overcome being winded?
Larry, keep at it. It was like that for me too. Try swimming with a pool bouy and going very easy. It took me 3 years and now I can keep up and even out pace the triclub swimmers.
Tracey, your asthma is not under control if you have attacks.
To give you both a idea of what I do. I see a lung Doc every 3 months and my lungs are testing. My lung volumes test are on avg 2.6L of air for every full intake/exhale. Avg person is 4.4L so I have 50+%lung capacity. I take 3 medications, Symbicort, Pulmicort and Syngaler. So, you need to ensure your asthma is fully treated under Lung Specialist Doc care.
Never Give Up!
Thanks for the reply. It's good to hear of someone who has gone through this and has been sucessful in beating it. Could you explain the work you did with the bouy.
Hello-I also have mild asthma and I have found that swimming with a snorkle (finis-not to promote a brand) has helped alot....I am not sure that total immersion types would promote their use-but it has been an adaptation that has helped me....also see your doctor as others have recommended....sometimes I take a small dose of my inhaler about an hour or so before swimming....but again see your doctor first and happy swimming!!