Originally Posted by haschu33
So basically, I would take any advice, check it and do whatever works best. And best is always that what is most relaxed and efficient.
I'm fairly new to TI, and love the philosophy behind it, as well as this forum. Great, supportive community. I also am around swimming quite a bit as my kids swim competitively. My oldest is a distance swimmer who, in training and racing, swims more like what the triathlon coach was describing - breathing every 2 strokes and keeping up a constant flutter. But he's trying to go under 16 minutes for a 1500 meter race. That requires a tremendous amount of power, efficiency, and endurance, but there's not room for a lot of patient, effortlessness. People swimming that fast generally can't maintain a breath every 3 strokes and rely only on a 2bk, though I'm sure there are exceptions.
But in the case of many adult fitness swimmers and triathletes, the triathlon coach's advice may be a bit too dogmatic. The 2bk conserves valuable energy and breathing every 3 strokes balances out the stroke. Personally, I like the advice of doing whatever works best for you, in the moment. If you want to approach effortlessness, then go with a 2bk and breathe more rythmically. When you want to go faster, with more effort, you may need to mix in some more kicks and breathe more frequently. I'm actually trying to learn to breathe every 3 strokes more regularly, as I've been breathing to one side my whole life. Each session I try to maintain breathing every 3 as much as possible, but can't do it for very long. Looking forward to continued improvement.