Breathless Swimming - A dilemma on the best approach
Hi all; I've been a breaststroker for many years and can pretty much knock out a decent distance without any issues. However, I'm new to crawl and find after around 100 metres I'm breathless with burning lungs! I think there are three reasons for this: overbreathing, stressing about getting breathless, and not being used to crawl. I've tried breathing on 2, 3 and 4 strokes and always have the same experience: for the first 50 metres I'm fine, then I have 25 metres sucking in air like a demented hoover, with a final 25 metres pushing myself to get to the end. Then I need a breather.
Talking to other newer swimmers and reading various things seems to indicate the best way to get past this is to grow a pair and push beyond my comfort zone. However, I have two ideas about how to achieve this and am not sure which is best.
Idea #1 is to do longish sessions (1,000 metres plus) without a break, alternating between a few lengths of crawl and a length of breaststroke as active recovery. Over time the idea would be to increase the number of lengths of crawl (3:1, 4:1, etc.), until I can complete a decent distance.
Idea #2 is to only swim lengths of crawl, starting off in 100 metre blocks, with a rest between each 100 metres. The goal would be to slowly increase the distance between rest intervals.
I know Idea #2 is more conventional, but I'm unsure if there's any setback or sciency stuff which makes Idea #1 a non-starter.
Any thoughts on this would be gratefully received, as will any other advice on getting over the breathlessness.