The "aha" insight about breathing
I write this having just returned from the pool after having a breakthrough on swim breathing. After watching videos of Terry swim I got in the pool and allowed my body to relax down into the water and let the water completely support me. This entailed letting my face to stay down facing the bottom of the pool, instead of looking ahead, and also allowing my body and head to sit well down in the water, probably slightly below the water, like a giant wet log.
The result was a profound relaxation in the water and a gigantic reduction in effort. Normally I have to stop and catch my breath every 100 yards before I can continue. After experimenting for 15 or 20 laps I really was able to truly relax and was able to swim 1500 yards without stopping to catch my breath! Just a gigantic shift in the way I swim.
My take on what happened is I acquired a physical skill based on an psychological emotional shift of complete surrender and allowing the water to completely support my body. I could recognize how much effort I was making trying to breathe with an elevated forehead and also trying to plane along the top of the water. The one thing I noted with the relaxed head position was I did tend to get a lot of water up nose, as though my nostrils were facing upward rather than downwards.
So exciting, and wonderful to have such a huge shift in performance that was not based at all on level of fitness.