I wasn't in the mood to swim today, but there were two empty lanes in the pool. Once I got in there, I felt ok. I tried Dave Scott's advice to "breathe on every stroke"*, but that didn't work for me. It made me almost hyperventilate. So I tried two-stroke breathing again, but I kept going back to three-stroke. It feels better for me until I get tired.
But I also worked on "reaching for the wall" and "grabbing the rungs of the ladder and pulling myself up". Those both seemed to help lengthen me out. I also tried to focus on keeping my heels just out of the water on my kick. That made my kick more relaxed, and it kept my legs from dropping. Higher legs plus longer body made it feel easier, but I was still winded by 400m and ready to move on to the bike and run workouts.
* Dave Scott's Triathlon Training book, ISBN 0-671-60473-2, 1986, ch.3. Pg. 45: "The best pattern for triathlon swimming is one inhale on each stroke." Pg 46: "As long as you don't rush your stroke, one inhale per stroke is best." This book is available at the Madison library under call number 796.407 S4256d.