A common problem that swimmers face very often is the inability to swim in a straight line. In a pool, it’s usually not a huge deal since you’d be swimming in a defined lane and you can see the lines at the bottom of the pool. These lines help guide your way and keep you from bumping into someone else, or some “thing.”

In the ocean, swimming straight is much more of a challenge. You have to sight on something in front of you, or beside you. If you are competing in a race, failing to swim in a straight line may result in you hitting another swimmer, and will certainly affect your finish time. When there is a fair amount of current, the swimmers quickly spread apart from each other, swimming as straight as possible, which is critical to the completion of the event.

The solution? Bilateral breathing!

Bilateral breathing is a technique to help you strengthen your stroke evenly. I too favor breathing on one side more than the other, but doing swimming drills to correct it helps a lot. One easy thing to do is to breathe every third stroke. This forces you to alternate breathing on one side and then the other.

This type of training has helped me quite a lot in getting better at swimming straight, especially in places where there aren’t many markers to “sight on”.

More: 21 Open Water Swimming Terms You Should Learn

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