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GTN Presents: How to Breathe on Both Sides While Swimming

BY Susan Legacki

Being able to breathe on both sides while swimming can help you become more versatile in open water, sight better and improve your lung capacity. Here's how to do it.

As part of the partnership between the Global Triathlon Network (GTN) and TrainingPeaks, we’ll be bringing you twice-monthly episodes of the new “Triathlon Training Explained” show, where hosts and former pro triathletes Mark Threlfall and Heather Fell answer your triathlon training questions with the help of TrainingPeaks software, coaches and industry experts from around the world.

If you’ve been swimming for any length of time, you might have noticed that you tend to favor one side or the other for your breathing. While having a dominant breathing side is perfectly normal, the ability to breathe bilaterally can be a helpful skill during rough open water swims, and to maintain a fluid and consistent stroke over a long distance.

In this episode of Triathlon Training Explained, they discuss the mechanics of proper breathing while swimming, different breathing patterns, the reasons for learning how to bilateral breathe, and some techniques for acquiring this somewhat elusive skill:

Triathletes in the know like GTN’s Mark Threlfall and Heather Fell use TrainingPeaks to help plan, track and analyze their training. Dial-in your triathlon training with a free 14-day Premium Trial today!  

About Susan Legacki

Susan Grant Legacki is the Content Director at TrainingPeaks. The founding editor of LAVA Magazine and a former editor at Triathlete Magazine and Inside Triathlon, Susan is an IRONMAN finisher, Boston Marathon qualifier, USAT Level 1 Triathlon Coach and certified Pilates instructor. When she’s not editing or writing copy about endurance sports, you can usually find her training for them around Boulder, Colo.