Last May I wrote a post about coaching recommendations to breathe bilaterally, or not, and about my attempts to incorporate true bilateral breathing into my stroke. That post is long, but worth reading, and the upshot is I settled for breathing twice to the right, then twice to the left (2R/2L) for longer than 200m swims and once to the right and once to the left (1R/1L) for shorter swims.
A few weeks ago on one 1600m swim I started swimming 1R/1L and found that I had enough air. I’m chalking that up to being in better aerobic shape from all the cycling I’ve been doing this Spring.
In the 1600m I’m swimming the same speed with less effort, and feel much smoother. My worst bad habit is holding in air, so exhaling fully requires a great deal of concentration. While thinking about exhaling I’m doing a lighter two-beat kick, but at least it is a steady, well-timed kick. My goal for the rest of the summer is to add speed and work the pull and kick harder.