Originally Posted by BradMM
(1) My first lap is always so awesome and it feels so smooth (except for the turn) and powerful. Then things go down hill from there. I would like to swim longer with that feeling I get from the first lap and that will only come from swimming a bunch more laps... practice!
Perhaps you are applying too much power during the first lap?
The turns could very well be breaking your flow. There are basically two turns for every lap so you need to make them good. Whichever turn you decide to do, learn to do it well. A poor flip turn will not be better than a good open turn.
OK, how about doing intervals of only 2 laps at a time? That would give you multiple opportunities to duplicate the feeling of the first lap during the second lap.
Once you can maintain the feeling for 2 laps, increase to 3 lap, and so on.
Use the pauses between intervals to "reset" your body and think about the experience you just had and the focal point(s) you will use during your next interval.
Doing short intervals might also allow you to maintain a higher pace, which would partially compensate for the pauses between intervals. On second thought, it might be best to keep your pace slower with the whole mile in mind.