We all do it, don’t we. Coaches seem born with the belief that swimmers do not need to breathe. Swimmers seem born with the contrary belief – that air is best held on to for as long as possible being released only as late as is compatible with its immediate and full replacement with another quick gulp.
As usual, the swimmer is wrong. As usual also, that does not mean that coach has it just right.
As often, the nice people at SwimSmooth have a thought-through answer. See: http://www.swimsmooth.com/exhalation.html
I like what they write. I shall be trying out their recommended drills when an opportunity next arises. The big issue (for me) is that they do not say whether what is to be achieved is merely learning and internalising a different style of breathing, or whether it is about developing lung capacity – changing the muscle size etc. If it is the latter, it may prove more dificult.
A question – do freedivers use this?