Holding your breath

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DaveBland
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Holding your breath

Post by DaveBland »

I was stunned the other night, down't pub with a group of paddlers that none of them practised holding their breath.
I've always thought of holding your breath for as long as you can, as big a part of safety as rolling. Most nights I have a quick go for as long as I can or in the bath or wherever really. Makes a big difference I reckon.
Just wondering how many of you folks do this?
Go on... give it a go sitting there now how long... do it... 1,2,3 go.
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HarryWats0n
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Re: Holding your breath

Post by HarryWats0n »

Im interested, is there a way you can increase the time?

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Re: Holding your breath

Post by DaveBland »

It just kinda improves the more you do it. I do it more in season or a few days before trips etc. With a few goes you can increase by 30 - 40 secs.
Lying in bed at night does it for me. Say three goes for as long as you can over say 10 mins each night. Give it a week and you'll have an extra say 40 secs.
Of course that equates to about an extra 10 secs in 'action' but that's quite a lot?

I play around with it in the bath too!
Try holding your breath face under, for as long as you can, when you are ready to burst, head up, grab a breath and straight under again. Repeat until dizzy or hair is rinsed.
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Poke
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Re: Holding your breath

Post by Poke »

You've got 9 mins 8 seconds to beat!! (or 19+ minutes if you've got a can of O2 handy)
the internet wrote: On April 30, 2007 David Blaine was on the Oprah Winfrey show, not just for an interview, but to also make an attempt to break the record for the world's longest breath hold of 16 minutes 32 seconds set by Peter Colat.

David Blaine did beat the record, spending a soggy 17 minutes 4.4 seconds in an acrylic bubble filled with water.

But.......Although David Blaine's record is recognized by Guinness, it is not recognized by the free diving community due to the fact that he spent 23 minutes breathing pure oxygen before his attempt.

From Wikipedia: Static Apnea should not be confused with the Guinness World Record for holding the breath underwater. Guinness allows inhalation of oxygen prior to the athlete's performance, while such inhalation is strictly forbidden according to AIDA's rules for the recognition of records para 3.9.

According to AIDA, the record for the longest breath hold is owned by Tom Sietas at 9 minutes 8 seconds which he accomplished in Hamburg, Germany in 2007.
Me? I only just managed a minute ten. But then I'm not known for my ability to take a good hiding. Three roll attempts and I'm smashing the glass...

Oh, and this might help: http://www.online-stopwatch.com/
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DaveBland
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Re: Holding your breath

Post by DaveBland »

In the absence of a tank of pure oxygen to gasp on before getting to grips on a feature, I do max out on big breaths. So sort of the same thing.

Edit: Reading these back, I sound kind of obsessed...
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Re: Holding your breath

Post by Toby »

You are not alone. I never used to practise holding my nreath in bed mind, but I did used to practise swimming under water at the swimming pool. Push off from the side and see how far you can swim before having to surface. Repeat this everytime you go swimming and you will see a big improvement. I used to be able to do two and a bit lengths of a 25M pool entirley under water. I used to kid myself that it was great for kayaking as it combined holding your breath with activity. The smoking probaly wasn't so good though...

On slightly bizarre note, I noticed that Mrs S holds her breath when driving through tunnels. Until we go to the Homer Tunnel in Fjiordland the other year.
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Alec Ferris
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Re: Holding your breath

Post by Alec Ferris »

I see an opportunity for some sixth-form-smart-arse-ery; pure oxygen wouldn't be a great idea as it'd actually kill you as surely as the water.
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Re: Holding your breath

Post by MK123 »

1.53 not as good as I thought!

A coach sugggested to me last week I should try holding my breath for 1 min, then capzizing and rolling up (in the swiming pool) was a bit too scared to push it! Not sure if this would be good practise or a way to give yourself a fright!

Ive often wonderd though about breathing out and holding and maybe doing it with the abouve excercise as you dont always get time for a breath before getting rinsed!

Would using one of those sport inhaler trainer thingys have any bearing on ability to hold breath?

MK

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Re: Holding your breath

Post by pacman »

Hi dont normally post but thought I would on this as I used to do a bit of freediving/spearfishing.
If you search for O2/CO2 tables it will bring up a method widely used to increase you breath hold times but as always a word of caution if you are doing this in a pool or bath make sure there is someone there who knows how to recognoize a shallow water blackout.
You can try apnea walking where you hold your breath whilst walking, but double your breathing time to breath hold time

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Re: Holding your breath

Post by Jim Pullen »

2:10, its an essential skill to perfect your head-ruddering technique...
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Re: Holding your breath

Post by Jim »

Alec Ferris wrote:I see an opportunity for some sixth-form-smart-arse-ery; pure oxygen wouldn't be a great idea as it'd actually kill you as surely as the water.
I thought until I looked it up for something the other day, the toxicity of oxygen depends on the depth, I can't remember the depth at which it becomes a problem, but you would have plenty of other issues to worry about if you got there on a river. Presumably that's why climbers can use it at high altitude.

sixth-form-smart-arse-ery never pays!

I've never bothered practising holding my breath, to me being upside down at all is the acceptance of defeat :-)

Seriously though, EBS (air pocket) used for offshore survival is great, I can stay down well over a minute before I feel my chest starting to tighten as I use up the oxygen and replace it with CO2

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Re: Holding your breath

Post by tommfuller »

I used to practice a lot, and managed over 3 minutes quite regularly. This was prone and relaxed though.

I've just done 2 minutes sitting at my desk. I might have managed more but would have got some strange looks from colleagues!

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Re: Holding your breath

Post by DaveBland »

Respect! I can make 2+mins okay, but 3 is awesome.
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Re: Holding your breath

Post by Ken »

Just done 3 mins 1 sec sat at my desk, not sure I would want to replicate it under water however. All got to help though, and knowing you've got the extra reserve has got to give you more confidence in holding on for an extra roll attempt or three.

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Re: Holding your breath

Post by Randy Fandango »

Alec Ferris wrote:I see an opportunity for some sixth-form-smart-arse-ery; pure oxygen wouldn't be a great idea as it'd actually kill you as surely as the water.
At normal atmospheric pressure breathing pure oxygen is fine (though I wouldn't do it for prolonged periods -- I believe you get a build up of fluid in the lungs among other things. By prolonged I mean a day or two).
It's when you increase the atmospheric pressure that it becomes toxic. I've seen both 7 metres of water depth and 10 metres put as the depths at which it'll kill you so I guess it's probably around 2 atmospheres of pressure at which it becomes lethal.
Interestingly I've heard that some navy divers, one of whose main roles is to check the hulls of warships once they enter port to presumably check for damage/mines/midget submarines (!), use pure oxygen as there's no nitrogen build up problems (so no need for deco no matter how long they dive) as long as they don't exceed the oxygen toxicity depth limit.
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Re: Holding your breath

Post by Jones Chris »

As a squirt boater I've played a bit at this. Can do ninth seconds plus easily in a pool while static but I found the biggest benefit came after swimming 20 lengths or so at a good pace. I would then do ten lengths, a length at a time, underwater with just enough time to get my breath back between each length. My ability to work more and breath less got better in a remarkably short time.

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Re: Holding your breath

Post by Strad »

I do a similar thing Chris, but I do 1 length under, 1 length above, no rests until I've done 20 total.
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Re: Holding your breath

Post by KelvinH »

Now lets put this into context. How many rolls can you do on one breath? I used to manage 12...

Kelvin.

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Re: Holding your breath

Post by ianletton »

KelvinH wrote:Now lets put this into context. How many rolls can you do on one breath? I used to manage 12...

Kelvin.
2, maybe 3 tops then I'm swimming.

Can't hold my breath very long.

Maybe I will start practicing.

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Re: Holding your breath

Post by Unstabler »

Before attempting to roll, remember to breath out. The number of times I see people doing desperate half rolls and sucking air into already full lungs. I'm convinced it's why people bail after 2 -3 attempts when at each attemt they would have been able to get a lung full of air if they had breathed out first.

(p.s. - Best I've ever done was 3 minutes. I've never felt the need to try and repeat this as it wasn't pleasent).
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Re: Holding your breath

Post by TechnoEngineer »

Unstabler that comment is very apt; that's exactly how I go wrong with it. I've also noticed that once someone lifts their head, they will do so on subsequent attempts (not uncommon to see someone doing a dozen attempts, lifting the head on every go).

I normally practise breath-holding in a swimming pool, and I make a point of keeping a hand above the surface, moving my fingers (otherwise the lifeguards get twitchy).

On the first go I usually manage 20-30 seconds. After relaxing and doing several attempts, I can get it up to 90 seconds, and I don't feel motivated to extend that any further. I can normally swim 2/3 of a length underwater.
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Re: Holding your breath

Post by Kayak-Bloke »

MK123 wrote:1.53 not as good as I thought!

A coach sugggested to me last week I should try holding my breath for 1 min, then capzizing and rolling up (in the swiming pool) was a bit too scared to push it! Not sure if this would be good practise or a way to give yourself a fright!

Ive often wonderd though about breathing out and holding and maybe doing it with the abouve excercise as you dont always get time for a breath before getting rinsed!

Would using one of those sport inhaler trainer thingys have any bearing on ability to hold breath?

MK
Blimey Martin, That sounds a bit hard core..
Better advice (in my humble opinion) is to dileberately miss a roll as practice. It's more realistic and happens all the time.
You can always chuck in a second missed roll if you're feeling happy with missing just one attempt.
General fitness has a strong connection with how long you can hold your breath.
Have a look at free divers none of them look like pie eaters!

The thing I think which has most bearing and is the hardest thing to replicate, when practicing, is delaying the onset of panic. Pretty much all my missed rolls are down to my head going and a messed up sense of time when capsizing for real.
I'm much more likely to bang out due to panic (percieved lack of air) than actual lack of breath.


PS When are you next about? CIWW is closed next week :-(

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Re: Holding your breath

Post by Dave McCraw »

I just managed 2:20 at my desk, with a few deep breaths beforehand.

But, there's no way I would go anything like that long in a river. For starters you've not spent much time pre-breathing, and your oxygen consumption is much higher from the activity.

I can't say I've ever considered it a useful skill to practice. It's not obvious that whatever system you are training is really the limiting factor when you're on the water. (Or even if running out of breath is).

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Re: Holding your breath

Post by John Kennedy »

It's not the requirement for oxygen that makes you breathe, the reaction is brought about by the amount of CO2 in your body crossing a threshold.
Hyperventilating, from what I understand, simply flushes the CO2 from your body, allowing you more time for it to rise up high ennough to make you want to expel what's in your lungs.
This can be a problem when your consumption of O2 happens at a quicker rate than the build up of CO2, and you pass out.
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aria230
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Re: Holding your breath

Post by aria230 »

Does age make a difference? I'm 15 and I just did 1:36 but I do feel rather dizzy now :P

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Re: Holding your breath

Post by waynebrown »

i used to do a breathing exercise at the pool where it was safe i once managed to get 4:20 but did get rather dizzy in the process, i once had a lifeguard jump in to see if i was alright, after that we warned him about practicing it

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Re: Holding your breath

Post by h04dy »

Hey ,

I can see some benafits of holding your breath and training your body to last longer , but how many people roll in a nice warm pool and how many roll or capsize into cold/freezing water and have the air sucked straight out of your body ????

I am no expert but if and when I have capsized I find it hard to even hold my breath as I am thrown into the cold water " it is in Scotland anyway " , I have heard of cold water imersion where the body can go into a shock like state , I think you try to breath but find it increadably hard to even speak let alone hold your breath , I am not saying training your body to hold out for longer is not a good thing I am just trying to gauge opinion .

Whats folks thoughts on this ??

Cheers

H04dy

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Re: Holding your breath

Post by DaveBland »

I suspect the ability to keep a cool head, relax and be aware of what's going on around you etc are way larger influencing factors than any training to hold your breath, but it still has to help.
Especially if you are relaxed,with a cool head, aware, etc – and STILL getting a good trashing.
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Re: Holding your breath

Post by Jim »

h04dy wrote:Hey ,

I can see some benafits of holding your breath and training your body to last longer , but how many people roll in a nice warm pool and how many roll or capsize into cold/freezing water and have the air sucked straight out of your body ????

I am no expert but if and when I have capsized I find it hard to even hold my breath as I am thrown into the cold water " it is in Scotland anyway " , I have heard of cold water imersion where the body can go into a shock like state , I think you try to breath but find it increadably hard to even speak let alone hold your breath , I am not saying training your body to hold out for longer is not a good thing I am just trying to gauge opinion .

Whats folks thoughts on this ??

Cheers

H04dy
Have a look at Wildswimmer Pete's descriptions of training for cold water shock etc.

The gasp reflex that non-paddlers and new paddlers have is what gives them so many problems (short sharp gasp of air as a reflex to hitting cold water, actually don't get much air but often take in water as well/instead which is less than helpful). Most of us do develop some resistance to it over time, without doing specific training. I'm not really sure why that is, probably something to do with our body recognising that the cold isn't actually a problem after you have done so many times and dealt with it fine?

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Re: Holding your breath

Post by JayC »

h04dy wrote:Hey ,
I have heard of cold water imersion where the body can go into a shock like state , I think you try to breath but find it increadably hard to even speak let alone hold your breath
Definately true. I've had the pleasure of being neck deep in an icey lake in January with little more than shorts and tshirt on. I couldn't even call out my friends name... just let out a series of unintelligible noises in between erratic breathing

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