My left shoulder (fancy title, eh?)

I’ve been feeling a little discomfort in my left shoulder lately. I wouldn’t call it pain but I have been trying to use it less and favoring it. Because of the fear of getting injured before the summer even starts I’ve been going so far as trying not to drive with my left arm and only drinking beverages with my right arm. My massage girl said that my left shoulder/back area was much tighter than my right side. So I started thinking that it may be associated with swimming and more precisely breathing on my right side and my left shoulder is getting pinched/cramped/tweaked. This morning I decided to change up my planned swimming routine and implement “learning how to breathe to the left side”!

So my first lap, I’m sure, looked liked I was drowning as I keep sinking to the bottom and instead of taking in air I was taking in water. Not what I was shooting for. I decided to try swimming with a kick-board and only using my left arm. Better but didn’t feel like real swimming. Next I tried swimming “catch up” and only breathing to my left side. It felt like I was learning how to swim all over again. Ughhh! I realized how I kept sinking when I took a breath so I grabbed a pull buoy. That helped tremendously! Now with my body in the horizontal plane that is required for swimming it left me to focus on how to take in a successful breath (and no water). For the rest of the session I continued swimming with the pull buoy and started breathing bilaterally every 3 stokes. Yes, this is what I need to be doing. Of course, take away the pull buoy and it’s much more of a challenge but at least I’m moving in the right direction.

At the end of my swim I wasn’t having any discomfort in my left shoulder. It didn’t feel blown out. So my new plan of action is to focus on breathing bilaterally for the next two weeks and see if it sticks. I know when swimming crazy speed drills in Masters Class I will still just go to the right but if I can breathe bilaterally during distance swims then it just may help with my longevity in this sport!


~ by willtriforbeer on March 23, 2012.

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