After a hard day writing a lecture I just had to go swimming yesterday. I'd half planned to do it but didn't have a pull buoy and didn't bother taking the snorkel. That meant I had to swim unaided! I set myself a 1000m target with an intention to do bilateral breathing whenever possible after the usual 200m warm up.
I found that I could only manage a 3 stroke cycle every 5 breaths or so, meaning a few times per length. Certainly my stroke was scrappy and I could tell that I was letting my right arm fall as I breathed to the left. I also felt that the first stroke after such a breath was ineffective. I don't think my roll was well controlled, especially to the left, which always felt like a heave to breathe rather than smooth positioning. Anyway, after 26 minutes of struggling I'd completed the task. This wasn't an attempt at a time trail, more an exercise to see how much I could cope with bilateral breathing. Not very much it appears without a pullbuoy.
This morning I awoke with a stiff neck which has been troublesome all day despite some attempts to stretch. Now I'm trying to decide whether the pain has come from doing 80% of the swim with unilateral breathing and struggling to do 20% bilaterally and badly. Until I hurt my elbow I did nearly all swims with unilateral breathing but I'd built into that. Recently I've been focussing on bilateral breathing in various guises. So perhaps I simply twisted to the right too much. I hope the muscles relax overnight.