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Eugene R. Allen 05-17-2005 09:01 AM

There has been some talk of late about workouts in the pool and they have all centered around surface swimming activities. Breathing is for sissies...let's get hypoxic.

Your objective is to see how long it takes you to kick, with fins, underwater for 20 lengths of a 25 yard pool. You must stay underwater from wall to wall for the length to count and you can stop to breathe at each end for as long as you want to but of course the clock is ticking and you will lose a lot of time with all that breathing nonsense. I suggest you have a counter or some items on the deck to pile up to count your laps, as you are likely to lose your place.

If you have not done this before you should have someone ready to rescue you from your shallow water black out. If you start to get tunnel vision and little sparkles show up in front of you, surface immediately as you are about to go unconscious. Do not undertake this lightly and take safety precautions.

Though certainly a test of your ability to fin quickly and efficiently, as well as a check on your ability to utilize O2 captured in your lungs, it is also a test of will. The desire to breathe is a rather pressing and demanding drive and it will be very difficult to overcome the fear that you are about to expire right there in the pool. Get over it. You have the whole rest of the day to breathe.

I did it in 11:58 this morning. Matt...some of you other swimmers out there, push me for a better time.

Bob Long 05-18-2005 04:24 AM

Don't do this alone.

Don Woodson 05-18-2005 07:36 AM

Now I wish I had access to an olympic pool. For my first C card (12years old), I had to swim under water with fins and mask a full lap (164ft X 2) without coming up. I was actually able to swim that lap plus almost another length. Blew away the adults in the class. Huge lungs and skinny as a rail. Not much muscle to support. I could only do it once though. Doing it twenty times with minimal rest would be a biotch.
I did learn to see those stars and to come up quickly.
Now I only see the stars when I get bashed in the face. :proud:.
One thing though. I also found that using my arms for forward strokes only wasted my air and caused me to lose momentum. Keeping my arms at my sides and using wide fin strokes was the way to go.
Eugene, did you ever experiment with moving your chest muscles around in an attempt to swirl the air around in your lungs in hopes of finding a few more O2 molecules? I did. Couldn't say whether it helped or not though.

Veronica Carpenter 05-18-2005 01:52 PM

Ooh,ooh,fun! I'm in! Gotta see if our gym rents out fins...

Eugene R. Allen 05-18-2005 02:51 PM

Don - So that's what I'm doing, looking for more air. I thought I was having seizures. I do this funny mouth and chest pumping thing which does move the air around, but I doubt it does much more than occupy my oxygen starved brain.

Bob is correct...don't do this alone, certainly not when you first start. The sparklies are a very important signal of an oncoming nap. If you're grappling your opponent will let go and allow you to revive. If you are in the pool your survival will depend on an alert life guard or swim buddy. I only see stars toward the end of my last few laps when I am closing in on a PR.

Don't use your arms. The forward movement even with the most carefully hydrodynamic breast stroke recovery will create way more drag than the thrust you'll get from the stroke. So, stiff body, legs extended and fin from the hips. Arms tight to the sides and pressed against your thighs fingers extended. An alternative is to extend your arms out in front of you to lengthen your boat...I find this more difficult but I have tight shoulders.

Way to step up Veronica. Tough gig. You may find that in addition to the lung searing effect that you will have some burning thighs too.

Happy fining


Carrie Klumpar 05-18-2005 02:53 PM

Hey Eugene,

You got a pool tucked in that garage too?! :wink:

Veronica Carpenter 05-18-2005 03:01 PM

Oh, I'm sure the lungs and quads will be burning! Laps of breath holding used to be easy back in the day. Will see how this goes...

Dan Silver 05-18-2005 08:33 PM

I did a hypoxic WOD when I was in Florida. It sucked.


Eric Moffit 05-18-2005 09:01 PM

hmm...sounds interesting. i might have to give it a shot in the next couple of days. im used to doing underwater no-breathers w/o fins...we'll see how it goes doing 20 of them with fins for time...the dreaded 'for time' changes everything.

Eugene R. Allen 05-19-2005 07:26 AM

Veronica - No pool. I had considered getting an Endless Pool, one of those small pools where you swim against an on-coming current, but they cost around $17,000 (before installation) and did not include the cost of the structure I would have to build around it. I go to the Y instead. I don't think it would be very fun to swim in place like that anyway and you are stuck with a single speed until you stop for a moment and change the flow on the water jet. Gimme a real pool any day.

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