Hi "SolarEnergy"! I thought it might be better to stop "shooting off my mouth about things", but am terribly addicted to this forum since I have learnt a great deal from it - so here I am "bouncing back again" commenting on what you say, in relation to what I am probably doing wrong!
SolarEnergy wrote:...Given that you breathe right, you should be able to breathe every 2 very easily. A perfect breathing mechanics even allows breathing every1, ie every single stroke.
...Your age and condition prevents you from doing several things that you would otherwise have been able to do if you were younger... But exhaling should not be part of this list. To some extent, inhaling neither.
Also note that again, given a sound breathing technique, and a rate that's say, under 60spm (which is likely the case here), freestyle provides with a lot of time to inhale. You should not feel that you have to hurry up inhaling...
I think my front crawl SPM is probably in the 30s region, so it's all relaxed stuff. When I inhale on every second arm stroke, despite exhaling on the head-down arm stroke (I really do
gently puff out a stream of bubbles!), I can definitely feel myself "blowing up with stale air", and it becomes more difficult to make a proper inhalation after a while. That's why inhaling on every 3rd arm stroke enabled me to feel more comfortable for the next inhalation. The problem that arises with this bilateral style is I think, more one of "rate of energy expenditure"/"oxygen input". If this is really the case, then as I begin to feel things are "getting a bit fraught", maybe I should temporarily roll onto my back for a "breather", then continue.
On the matter of "perpetual swimming", I had forgotten that is exactly what I can already do, when on my back swimming English back stroke. I just need to be able to do a similar thing while on my tum!
Thinking along those lines, I first tried to see how many continuous lengths I could do with back crawl - inhaling on one arm stroke and exhaling on the other. At 70 could manage 4 lengths=100m without too much trouble. That has now dropped to just 2 lengths - laboured breathing and the the tiring continual arm/leg action without any rest decided me against pushing on a bit more! Repeated the test - yup! just 2 lengths were about my comfortable limit.
Doing kicking drill on the back soon puffs me out, and I just "dribble along" rather slowly due to having by stiff ankles/inflexible feet.
Next I tried to see how much breast stroke I could manage, really doing a long exhalation during a glide phase. That was quite a bit better, getting a wee bit "fraught" towards the end of the 2nd length, but not sure if that was tiredness or breathing going wrong. Did a repeat test, and pretty much the same result - I could have
" pushed on" a bit more, but "chickened out"!
Maybe I should try doing more breast stroke - as long as the "grotty" knees don't complain!
On the "TI long doggy paddle" with unilateral breathing, I "blow up with stale air" towards the end of just the first length, despite doing it all in a leisurely manner and exhaling on each alternate underwater arm stroke. Not good for "perpetual swiming"!
I tried doing it inhaling on every 3rd arm stroke, but as I was doing it all so leisurely, found myself getting a bit desperate for fresh air towards each inhalation time!
I was interested to read some comments, in 2 separate posts, that "sharkFM" made on this breathing business (from topic "Advice on breathing please?") : -"...So freestyle at minimum we are what say ~ 70% exhale, 30% inhale. The balance is off. So to optimize the gaseous exchange you need to bleed the air out in a ultra-controlled fashion and time it so it's linear and exhausted just at the point of the inhale. Who does that? When we sing we do that. You exhale the lyrics, grab a breath and keep singing.""...Got me thinking about the heart & lung pumping system. There has to be a rythmn or frequency that the breathing rythmn must tie or dovetail into to allow for a steady state operation..."In my case, when I swim my old English back stroke, I must have just the right balance between inhalation, exhalation, and rhythm. So why can't I transfer this correct "balance" (that allows me to go on indefintely) across to swimming on the tum! After 4 continuous lengths of EBS, I could go on for another 4 or much more without feeling tired - almost as "fresh as a daisy" - maybe it's the rate of energy expenditure compared with oxygen input that's important.
Am thinking it might be a good idea for me to try again, the full front crawl "catch-up" drill. Bringing the hands to meet together at the front after each arm stroke, doing unilateral breathing, and just kicking if I need to carry on exhaling till comfortably ready to take the next inhalation, and taking as long as I like over that inhalation! (Doing that can't be any slower than my efforts using the TI long doggy paddle!)
Baffled! / Don