Originally Posted by truwani
I am certainly not a coach, but if you are able to swim consistently breathing every 4 strokes then I do not think breathing bilateraly every three will increase your performance significantly.
I would keep up your current pattern and focus on other technical points. One quote that helped me a lot: either you breath in or you breath out, but you never hold your breath.
I say this because I have spent a lot of time trying to breath bilateraly, without significant results, where working on one goggle out breathing, body posture or core swimming really paid of.
I am also curious on the views of the other forum members: personally I feel bilateral breathing is overrated
I was forced to learn it from my first coach and I think it's a nice tool to have b/c even in the pool yo unever know when it might come in handy to take a peek at competition. That said I left bilateral behind by the time I was 11-12 years old b/c unless the stroke rate is really high the swimmer doesn't get enough oxygen if they are seeking their fastest result.
I think TI is pretty smart in teaching it for newcomers. They can always go to unilateral later, but it's a skill you won't regret having. What happens if you show up for an open water race and you have 3 foot swells, sun and wind coming from the right and that's the only side you can breathe on? I have seen people DNS races b/c they were so psyched out about having to breathe to their off side. That would be a bummer. What you might not appreciate when you see someone flying along in the pool unilateral is that they can breathe just fine on the other side too, they just don't b/c we all have a favorite side. The idea of symmetry makes little sense in terms of how our body works in motion. Fascia is wound up like a screw starting at the feet and working up so we all have a 'better' side and it's purely natural. Even bone is just calcified fascia.