Originally Posted by CoachStuartMcDougal
Get the air you need, breathe on 2's. I typically have the pattern, 2,2,4,2,2,4. Then to switch sides, 2,2,3,2,2,4,2,2,4 .. and so on. More breathing = more head movement. The biggest issue causing problems with balance and stability is lifting head for air. As long as you breathe with neutral posture regardless of breathing pattern, noting to lose and only more air to gain.
I have got into the pattern of one in 3 breathing, which I found helpful because it forces me to develop my uncomfortable left side breathing, and it also helps me to keep track of stroke count (one in three means I breathe left on 6, 12, 18).
If I'm going harder I get a little air hunger, but I wondered if it was actually due to CO2 retention rather than O2 shortage, and might be alleviated by concentrating on the slow exhalation ending with a more complete exhalation before the breathing in stroke. i.e not deviating from the 1 in 3 pattern, merely concentrating on fuller exhalation. Is this a valid idea? Or should I just breathe 1 in 2?