It's always darkest before the dawn! :-)
I'm probably not much further past where you are now. Same deal with 50m before needing some kind of breathing break, had spent a good amount of time with TI getting pretty facile with the drills, and also having an instructor too. Seemed to me like that should have taken care of the breathing, alas not.
Not sure why the Bob/Swim/Bob method has worked so well for me, if nothing else it puts me in a relaxed mindset before I swim as well as sort of sets the breathing cadence in my head. Afterwards, doing the Bob gives me immediate feedback on whether I'm out of breath, how much I'm gasping, as well as relaxing me for the next round of lane work.
While I've hardly turned into an expert, I'm pretty happy that I've got something that's more mental than physical that makes the breathing make sense...if you follow that.
What's working for me in a nutshell is making sure that I just doing relaxed breaths not much similar that the sort of breathing I'm doing as I write this. Just a normal, unhurried, and not giant breath in, followed by a relaxed breath out. No hyperventilating, no feeling like I need to squeeze every last molecule out, no gasping, and no feeling like my stroke is starting to thrash so I can get to my next gasp.
I wish you well, you'll get there and you'll love the feeling!
Originally Posted by collinsdc
Hi Tom, congratulations on your recent success, I can almost feel your elation from here! You have overcome an obstacle that is still eluding me at present.
I too was stuck on 50m for a long time & now 75m is my limit before a length or two of backstroke is needed to recover. I began TI almost a year & a half ago, worked diligently through all the drills, even had some one-to -one lessons with an instructor who practices TI freestyle, yet despite all this relaxed breathing still has not fallen into place.
Lately, at least once a month I feel like throwing in the towel but thankfully people like you take the time to post their achievements & this is what keeps me going.
Thank you for sharing your insights, I am looking forward to trying out your method at the pool later.