Originally Posted by efdoucette
Novaswimmer, this makes perfect sense, totally relatable, well said.
I think I'm at that "air regulation" discovery stage, just need to find it, and I will.
I am now in my mid 60s and sometimes wonder if I just no longer have the lung capacity, but your words make me believe I can do it. Thank you for your time.
I'm in my 60s too. I started learning to swim freestyle in earnest in my mid-50s, so we're not all that different.
It was important for me to learn to exhale slowly, and continuously throughout the whole time underwater. This helped with relaxation.
If you are still gasping as you come up for air, maybe you are not breathing frequently enough? I can sometimes start out breathing every 3rd stroke, but eventually have to settle into breathing every other stroke. This may be because I just still have a lot of drag, or a small lung capacity, or am exerting too much -- or all three. Then, I'll slow down the stroke to decrease my oxygen consumption if I need to.