I only had time for half a mile yesterday, because I was meeting Kev after, and because I got a minor strain in a hip, from kicking too enthusiastically.
But the good news is I worked out a tweak for the breathing. After the arm lunge, you exhale as far as you can. PaHa! Nobody can hear you cos you're underwater. Right to the point where it feels like the sides of the lungs are sticking together. That way, when your head surfaces again, you're ready for a maximum involuntary suck in.
Of course it takes timing too. Otherwise you make a goose of yourself by shouting out loud, or blowing a fountainous raspberry in front of yourself. Or inhaling water and choking.
A few years ago, in the piddledorf pool, the old dear said I was the fastest swimmer she had ever seen. A huge exaggeration, unless perhaps I was also the only one she'd ever seen. But it was kindly meant, and the first time she had ever shown anything approaching pride in one of her kids.
My technique has improved since then, but I'm a few years more decrepit. It all balances up.