Originally Posted by descending
For his interests with endurance based open water swimming I would have to believe it's the same rationale as pool based. It's an aerobic sport if you are pushing yourself and oxygen exchange is a good thing. Measure your respiration rate walking down the sidewalk today at an easy effort and take note. Now divide your stroke rate by 3 and see what number you come up with. Does it scan? I am sitting at the airport waiting on a flight at 21 breaths per minute typing on a computer. With most of the stroke rates I read about in here I wouldn't even be getting typing air exchange at bilateral. I need at least 63 SPM to get 21 breaths per minute with bilateral. Now it just so happens that I race around low 70's so in theory that could fit in if I wanted to stay at sitting typing exertion levels, but I do not I work harder than that. Alas even for my 2.4 mile IM relay swim I was around low 60's probably, but I breathed same side every stroke so about 30-ish breaths per minute. Go figure that is what I need at a solid run pace ~ 32!
The only way you will know is if you allow yourself to sip some more air and if you feel better and your workload potential goes up it's pretty safe to say your body wanted more O2. I'm not saying I don't hurt still I do, but the net result is I can do a lot more work at 30+ breaths per minute as opposed to 20 or so. 20 is warm up pace and I often do a little bilat warming up, but by the time the warm up set is on I'm unilateral.
OK, so it's the result of the equation that you're working so hard you can't get enough O2 at one breath in 3 strokes, it's got to be one breath per 2 strokes.
Does he have a preference for swimmers to be able to get those breaths on either side? i.e. Must work on being able to do All on the Left, or All on the Right?
Edit: Oh, fully addressed in the later exchange -- I take it Gerry's prohibition was on breathing 1 in 3, not on being able to breathe on either side per se.