Do you feel you’ve got a decent stroke and are practicing the main breathing skills but still unusually out of breath after short distances?
This appears to be a more significant problem and solution for some swimmers than I realized previously. So I am adding some more guidance for you on breathing deep from the belly while swimming, what is technically known as diaphragmatic breathing.
You can read more about this in Instructions For Diaphragmatic Breathing.
For someone who is brand new at swimming doing various drills, and drills with a few strokes may be more than enough challenge on the body and attention.
But for some who’ve already been swimming, or perhaps in the middle of the tri or swim season, and have been making big adjustments you don’t feel you can afford to ‘slow down and just do drills’. Actually, we really don’t want you to ‘just do drills’ – you are encouraged to pull one of your focal points into your lap swimming and work on both a quantity of swimming (the yards or meters) and a quality (your focal point) at the same time.
For this you can swim laps, or do perhaps some portion of your normal training, just using focal points. Even at advanced stages of skill and competence you would want to do all your normal training with at least one focal point in mind anyway. We never take mindless, careless strokes – but we insist on this attention to quality no matter the distance or intensity of our training.
You may get some guidance for how to use focal points while swimming laps in Focal Point Swimming.