My New Year's resolution was to start swimming & I go once sometimes twice a week but am still quite rubbish . I'm very happy in the water but my technique is distinctly average & it just feels really hard work. For about the first month I was literally managing a length or 2 of crawl before feeling totally knackered so mainly breaststroke but can now do a pitiful 400m non-stop. But it's still bloody hard work and I'm not sure how to improve? I'm ok fitness wise (can run 8-10km, comfortably do an hour cardio class or a 40/50km bike ride) . Is it just a case of going a bit more often and keeping plugging at it? I had a couple of lessons but struggled with my stamina (mainly constant feeling that I'm gasping for air!) . Any suggestion?
TBH, swimming is so much about technique that it is really, really worth getting some more coaching. I go to a lady who teaches at an endless pool, and videos you so you know exactly what you looked like, and what the drills look like. I find I need to self check my body position, arm entry, head, feet and so on all the time to make it all stay as it should, and the drills help reinforce how things should feel when correct.
The gasping for air feeling does suggest that your breathing isn't right - are you breathing out continuously?
I think practice practice practice... there are videos on youtube to improve technique. So after 2 lengths do you just give up on front crawl? Would you let yourself ease off so quickly if you were running? I bet not. I bet you'd grit teeth & keep running even if you just had to go slower.