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Gary Hall Sr. Test: 9% less drag riding on your bubbles
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I just found this video and realized I am doing exactly what you are not supposed to do relative to what Gary Hall Sr. and crew researched on breathing patterns and drag, I am holding my breath till the last second vs riding on my own bubbles:




They found that there was 9% less drag force on the body (not speed) lightly releasing air bubbles through the stroke to the next breath.


The video is worth watching. First they talk about naval architecture and cruise ships riding bubbles, and then in nature, penguins using it. So then they tested it to find out and came up with the 9% number with a propulsion drag meter system that pulled one of their swimmers across the pool in a steamline at 2.3m per second (so probably twice the speed of most of us, so we're not going to save 9% drag...we may only save 2% less drag force at our speeds, but still).

I think the hard part about releasing air under water, is this human instinct to hang on to air in your lungs until you definitively know you have access to air again. It feels against our instinct to release too much air too early. When I do fly with breathing every second stroke the breath holding gets even worse!




Last edited by: devashish_paul: Sep 5, 20 18:55
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Re: Gary Hall Sr. Test: 9% less drag riding on your bubbles [devashish_paul] [ In reply to ]
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This forum really needs a "like" button.
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Re: Gary Hall Sr. Test: 9% less drag riding on your bubbles [GreenPlease] [ In reply to ]
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GreenPlease wrote:
This forum really needs a "like" button.
<<<THIS
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Re: Gary Hall Sr. Test: 9% less drag riding on your bubbles [devashish_paul] [ In reply to ]
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devashish_paul wrote:
I just found this video and realized I am doing exactly what you are not supposed to do relative to what Gary Hall Sr. and crew researched on breathing patterns and drag, I am holding my breath till the last second vs riding on my own bubbles:




They found that there was 9% less drag force on the body (not speed) lightly releasing air bubbles through the stroke to the next breath.


The video is worth watching. First they talk about naval architecture and cruise ships riding bubbles, and then in nature, penguins using it. So then they tested it to find out and came up with the 9% number with a propulsion drag meter system that pulled one of their swimmers across the pool in a steamline at 2.3m per second (so probably twice the speed of most of us, so we're not going to save 9% drag...we may only save 2% less drag force at our speeds, but still).

I think the hard part about releasing air under water, is this human instinct to hang on to air in your lungs until you definitively know you have access to air again. It feels against our instinct to release too much air too early. When I do fly with breathing every second stroke the breath holding gets even worse!


I wonder what the effect of extra buoyancy in holding the air in would be..?
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Re: Gary Hall Sr. Test: 9% less drag riding on your bubbles [NAB777] [ In reply to ]
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Really interesting video - the key might be that this test relates to peak speed swimmers breathing out of thier nose.

For science the test the swimmer held plumbline with the pulley cable. Swimming at triathlon speed this might also lower drag by reducing chest bouyancy early and lifting the feet and streamlining the abdomen?

Watching those seals I had to wonder if swimmers always held thier breath when jumping off the start blocks
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Re: Gary Hall Sr. Test: 9% less drag riding on your bubbles [devashish_paul] [ In reply to ]
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Don't know about any drag improvements but I was under the impression that a steady release of air through the nose was better physiologically - more natural breathing pattern, less exertion and more time to take in air when you turn your head. I definitely swim faster when I get my head back in the water and facing down as quick as I can.

"Aquabike is a swim then sleep session on aerobars ...."
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Re: Gary Hall Sr. Test: 9% less drag riding on your bubbles [NAB777] [ In reply to ]
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I would think for fly and breast you want less buoyancy driving down so exhale but you want more for coming up before breathing when you have little air left. For back and free does the extra buoyancy in chest drop hips and legs or keep them higher. I always held breath thinking buoyancy would be good....plus survival instinct
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Re: Gary Hall Sr. Test: 9% less drag riding on your bubbles [NAB777] [ In reply to ]
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NAB777 wrote:
devashish_paul wrote:
I just found this video and realized I am doing exactly what you are not supposed to do relative to what Gary Hall Sr. and crew researched on breathing patterns and drag, I am holding my breath till the last second vs riding on my own bubbles:




They found that there was 9% less drag force on the body (not speed) lightly releasing air bubbles through the stroke to the next breath.


The video is worth watching. First they talk about naval architecture and cruise ships riding bubbles, and then in nature, penguins using it. So then they tested it to find out and came up with the 9% number with a propulsion drag meter system that pulled one of their swimmers across the pool in a steamline at 2.3m per second (so probably twice the speed of most of us, so we're not going to save 9% drag...we may only save 2% less drag force at our speeds, but still).

I think the hard part about releasing air under water, is this human instinct to hang on to air in your lungs until you definitively know you have access to air again. It feels against our instinct to release too much air too early. When I do fly with breathing every second stroke the breath holding gets even worse!


I wonder what the effect of extra buoyancy in holding the air in would be..?

I was always under the impression that this was the reason to hold breath in a bit longer. But, I am not a swimmer so I welcome the chance to learn!
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Re: Gary Hall Sr. Test: 9% less drag riding on your bubbles [Fuller] [ In reply to ]
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Fuller wrote:
Don't know about any drag improvements but I was under the impression that a steady release of air through the nose was better physiologically - more natural breathing pattern, less exertion and more time to take in air when you turn your head. I definitely swim faster when I get my head back in the water and facing down as quick as I can.

Since doing adding long swim-snorkle sets, where I have constant access to limited flow air, I have learned to relax markedly during longer swims. Previously, I left skill and fitness on the table by purposefully reducing my pace due to anxiety-producing air hunger produced by an inefficient breathing pattern... and its even worse in a wetsuit!
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Re: Gary Hall Sr. Test: 9% less drag riding on your bubbles [DFW_Tri] [ In reply to ]
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I watched the video, what Gary Hall Sr is advising is releasing some air immediately, then the majority of it right before taking your next breath. Done right, buoyancy should not be affected. I think this is what I have been unconsciously doing all my life, but the intent was to prevent getting water in my nose.
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Re: Gary Hall Sr. Test: 9% less drag riding on your bubbles [devashish_paul] [ In reply to ]
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Was a team swimmer from 5 to 18 a long time ago. We held our breath for 50’s (as much as we could one to three max.), and minimized amount of breaths for 100’s. If the lungs hurt and you didn’t pass out, you were doing it ok. Once we went into 200’s or longer, the normal pattern was every other or three depending on need and race strategy.
I think Caelab Dressel has a YouTube discussion of one of his races where he talks about breathing. Personally, I believe for distance swims the controlled bubbles makes sense.
Interesting post, thanks.
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Re: Gary Hall Sr. Test: 9% less drag riding on your bubbles [NAB777] [ In reply to ]
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NAB777 wrote:
devashish_paul wrote:
I just found this video and realized I am doing exactly what you are not supposed to do relative to what Gary Hall Sr. and crew researched on breathing patterns and drag, I am holding my breath till the last second vs riding on my own bubbles:




They found that there was 9% less drag force on the body (not speed) lightly releasing air bubbles through the stroke to the next breath.


The video is worth watching. First they talk about naval architecture and cruise ships riding bubbles, and then in nature, penguins using it. So then they tested it to find out and came up with the 9% number with a propulsion drag meter system that pulled one of their swimmers across the pool in a steamline at 2.3m per second (so probably twice the speed of most of us, so we're not going to save 9% drag...we may only save 2% less drag force at our speeds, but still).

I think the hard part about releasing air under water, is this human instinct to hang on to air in your lungs until you definitively know you have access to air again. It feels against our instinct to release too much air too early. When I do fly with breathing every second stroke the breath holding gets even worse!


I wonder what the effect of extra buoyancy in holding the air in would be..?

2 reasons I always (at least try to) breathe out constantly under water...
1- the buoyancy is in the chest - if I don't breathe out and hold on the breathe, it lifts the front of my body up and the legs go down = more drag.

2. What makes us all biologically want to gasp for air is the CO2 increase in the blood stream, long before the reduced O2 does. That's how we're all wired. Divers and free divers have understood this for decades. So breathing out constantly helps reduce the CO2 build up and so can go longer without the horrid 'gotta breathe' feeling getting as bad.
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Re: Gary Hall Sr. Test: 9% less drag riding on your bubbles [BobAjobb] [ In reply to ]
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Thanks this makes sense. I am looking forward to trying it next time I get to the pool. At my pace, I dont expect any miracles, but even 2% less total drag might be 0.5 percent improvement in speed, so over 1500m it might be 8-10 seconds which is not nothing if you are trying to achieve a PB etc etc.
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Re: Gary Hall Sr. Test: 9% less drag riding on your bubbles [devashish_paul] [ In reply to ]
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So a test that is done at 7% faster than the 100 m world record may have no application at all in triathlon and/or in triathlons swum at ordinary amateur FOP speeds -- e.g., do enough exhaled bubbles get and stay under the swimmers trunk to make a material difference at slower speed.

I think there may be other methodology deficiencies in the test. For example, it is done completely underwater instead of at the surface, it is done with the swimmer's body perfectly prone and not rotating as it would be in freestyle, it is done with no air introduced from the swimmer's stroke, etc.

Also, I resent the possibility that exhaling from my nose but not my mouth is the secret to big speed gains because recurring sinus problems I've suffered have only been solvable by using a nose clip!

On the other hand, I have found that I seem to get more O2 when I start my exhalation much earlier than just before I turn my head to breath. A swim instructor recommended it and since I was paying him good money I've worked to do it even though it was counter-intuitive to me (it seemed better to keep the O2 available for as long as possible). Now I am less out of breath after the same intervals and, objectively, my heart rate is lower. My theory for why it works is that by doing this I am exhaling and then inhaling a higher volume per breath either because (i) I wasn't giving myself enough time to finish the exhale and I had to cut it off so I could inhale while my mouth was still above water and/or (ii) there is some physiological impediment to inhaling immediately after exhaling. YMMV
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Re: Gary Hall Sr. Test: 9% less drag riding on your bubbles [BobAjobb] [ In reply to ]
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BobAjobb wrote:


2 reasons I always (at least try to) breathe out constantly under water...
1- the buoyancy is in the chest - if I don't breathe out and hold on the breathe, it lifts the front of my body up and the legs go down = more drag.

2. What makes us all biologically want to gasp for air is the CO2 increase in the blood stream, long before the reduced O2 does. That's how we're all wired. Divers and free divers have understood this for decades. So breathing out constantly helps reduce the CO2 build up and so can go longer without the horrid 'gotta breathe' feeling getting as bad.

I have heard this before, but it never made any sense to me. I assume that the amount CO2 being produced is the same (for a given exercise level) whether we are holding our breath or not. If that is true, by exhaling we are not just reducing CO2 in your lungs, but also N2 and O2 (I do not think our lungs can selectively exhale only CO2) -- so by exhaling only we then put the same amount of CO2 into a smaller volume and thereby increasing the concentration of CO2 (in our lungs and thus also our bloodstream) compared to what it would be if we didn't exhale. I think the help from exhaling must come from a more complicated trigger to want to gasp for air -- the trigger (or at least the panic trigger) must take into consideration not just CO2 concentration, but also whether we are holding our breath (and exhaling doesn't get treated as holding our breath).
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Re: Gary Hall Sr. Test: 9% less drag riding on your bubbles [hugoagogo] [ In reply to ]
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I just feel a lot calmer when I'm breathing normally whether I'm on the bike or running or swimming. It's as much a zen thing as anything hydrodynamic.

"Aquabike is a swim then sleep session on aerobars ...."
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Re: Gary Hall Sr. Test: 9% less drag riding on your bubbles [hugoagogo] [ In reply to ]
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I take your point there - and yes maybe it's all really FAR more complicated or subtle etc as to what makes a bit of our brain decide to tell another bit of the brain that it needs to make yet another different bit of the brain to hurry up doing what it does for a job (which is to tell the nerves in a particular place tell and make the muscles in the diaphragm to move !).

I'd like to see the wiring schematic for this system if someone has one !!
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Re: Gary Hall Sr. Test: 9% less drag riding on your bubbles [devashish_paul] [ In reply to ]
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Really???!!!! They got 2 data points (one with bubbles, another one without) and concluded that exhaling from your nose results in 9% drag reduction? How about they try a few more runs before jumping to conclusions?
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Re: Gary Hall Sr. Test: 9% less drag riding on your bubbles [Anton84] [ In reply to ]
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I tried it about a year ago or so

Tried it over multiple sessions. Didn’t see any difference even in times while maintaining the same pulse

YRMV
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Re: Gary Hall Sr. Test: 9% less drag riding on your bubbles [devashish_paul] [ In reply to ]
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I'm not going to believe it until Taren tells me it's true. :-)
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Re: Gary Hall Sr. Test: 9% less drag riding on your bubbles [hugoagogo] [ In reply to ]
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hugoagogo wrote:
BobAjobb wrote:


2 reasons I always (at least try to) breathe out constantly under water...
1- the buoyancy is in the chest - if I don't breathe out and hold on the breathe, it lifts the front of my body up and the legs go down = more drag.

2. What makes us all biologically want to gasp for air is the CO2 increase in the blood stream, long before the reduced O2 does. That's how we're all wired. Divers and free divers have understood this for decades. So breathing out constantly helps reduce the CO2 build up and so can go longer without the horrid 'gotta breathe' feeling getting as bad.


I have heard this before, but it never made any sense to me. I assume that the amount CO2 being produced is the same (for a given exercise level) whether we are holding our breath or not. If that is true, by exhaling we are not just reducing CO2 in your lungs, but also N2 and O2 (I do not think our lungs can selectively exhale only CO2) -- so by exhaling only we then put the same amount of CO2 into a smaller volume and thereby increasing the concentration of CO2 (in our lungs and thus also our bloodstream) compared to what it would be if we didn't exhale. I think the help from exhaling must come from a more complicated trigger to want to gasp for air -- the trigger (or at least the panic trigger) must take into consideration not just CO2 concentration, but also whether we are holding our breath (and exhaling doesn't get treated as holding our breath).

As someone with advanced degrees in physiology and pharmacology, you are sort of correct but not. CO2 is one of the most potent triggers of respiration available but the only way to excrete CO2 is through exhalation from the lungs. The source of CO2 in the lungs is though metabolism in the tissues and then blood flow into the lungs and you are correct in that it is your blood concentration of CO2 (not your lung) which is the potent trigger. But, the lung concentration is proportional to the blood concentration.
What I think you are probably missing is that when we exhale we do not empty the lungs of air, we exhale generally to what we call functional residual capacity (a rough volume for this is 30mL/kg, or about 2L in most of us). If we exhale harder we still do not completely empty the lungs, there is still a residual volume left even after a forced, full expiration (20-25 mL/kg).
Whilst you could potentially argue that at the end of expiration you get a little spike in alveolar CO2 levels, this is soon reversed with the inflow of fresh air and hence dilution once again.....but certainly if you breath hold you will spike your CO2 a lot more....
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Re: Gary Hall Sr. Test: 9% less drag riding on your bubbles [Fuller] [ In reply to ]
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Fuller wrote:
I just feel a lot calmer when I'm breathing normally whether I'm on the bike or running or swimming. It's as much a zen thing as anything hydrodynamic.

Not sure what you mean by normally? Are you saying that you inhale when swimming whenever you feel like it -- like you do when running? Do you keep your head out of the water all the time? To me it is not possible to breath normally while swimming because I can only inhale during a limited window during the stroke when my mouth is above water. Obviously, this is not so when running. So if when running you could only inhale for less than a second every third time your left foot took a stride, what would your "normal" breathing pattern be?
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Re: Gary Hall Sr. Test: 9% less drag riding on your bubbles [NAB777] [ In reply to ]
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9 % more drag.......?
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Re: Gary Hall Sr. Test: 9% less drag riding on your bubbles [hugoagogo] [ In reply to ]
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hugoagogo wrote:
Fuller wrote:
I just feel a lot calmer when I'm breathing normally whether I'm on the bike or running or swimming. It's as much a zen thing as anything hydrodynamic.


Not sure what you mean by normally? Are you saying that you inhale when swimming whenever you feel like it -- like you do when running? Do you keep your head out of the water all the time? To me it is not possible to breath normally while swimming because I can only inhale during a limited window during the stroke when my mouth is above water. Obviously, this is not so when running. So if when running you could only inhale for less than a second every third time your left foot took a stride, what would your "normal" breathing pattern be?

I guess "normally" could be different from person to person but when I run my breathing is never "when I feel like it" it's a regular pattern timed by my footsteps. That cadence changes with effort but any way I do it I'm not holding my breath. So I guess normal for me is not holding my breath whether it's swim, bike or run. Like others have said, it promotes a bad association with panic behavior and throws off your game.

"Aquabike is a swim then sleep session on aerobars ...."
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Re: Gary Hall Sr. Test: 9% less drag riding on your bubbles [Fuller] [ In reply to ]
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I am like Fuller, I breath either 45 times per minute, 60 times per minute or 90 times per minute when I am running depending on intensity but they are timed with every second right foot strike, every third foot strike (right to left) or every right foot strike (assuming I run at 90, but most days is is 85 unless I am running fast for me. In swimming, its barely 16-24 times per 50m, so that translates to 22-30 per minute depending on intensity, speed per 50m and stroke and whether I am swimming scm or lcm (more breath holding in scn due to more walls).

I had a pretty random swim set with a variety of strokes today, so not sure what I was doing as I started focusing on other things and my breathing just ended up being what I do (too many things to think about in swimming). I think I would have to spend an entire session doing this Gary Hall breathing to really get it down and then spend a month forcing myself to breath like that to move away from how I breath to break my current pattern.
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