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Marianne Johnson

SUSSEX | UK

For several years I realised that my breathing was not optimal. I was aware of sighing and yawning a lot and even feeling like I was not getting enough air sometimes. My hands and feet were often cold and I was definitely a mouth breather, always waking up with a dry mouth and tired due to broken sleep. I also felt my breathing was not as efficient as it could be in swimming, despite my fitness and being a swim coach. Many people experi-ence some or all of these issues and do not realise they are “symptoms” of dysfunctional breathing.

I am a SwimMastery Coach, primarily working with triathletes, distance swimmers and adult improvers who want to be more efficient. A large proportion of my swimmers come to me saying that they need to improve their breathing in front crawl, as they get breathless after a couple of lengths.

I usually address breath management in the first lesson, but I lacked the knowledge about dysfunctional breathing and how to improve this. Having trained as an Oxygen Ad-vantage Instructor, I am now equipped to assess swimmers’ breathing in much more depth and understand that they have to improve their functional breathing on land before they can make long term changes in their swimming. I can now give my swim-mers/triathletes a breathing programme to work on this.

In addition to improving functional breathing, I can also help my competitive triathletes and open water swimmers improve their energy levels, sleep, endurance and reduce lac-tic acid build up through simulating High-Altitude Training.

I’m also an open water swimming coach and open water swimming poses additional chal-lenges to pool swimming, including colder water temperatures, deep water, or choppy conditions. This can create anxiety and even panic attacks for some swimmers and know-ing how to control your breathing and activate the calming part of your nervous system is key to overcoming these challenges. Athletes with exercise-induced asthma can also greatly benefit from targeted breathing exercises.

I can offer online 1-2-1 sessions and group workshops via zoom and hope to offer face-to-face options after the COVID era.

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