How do you know what you're doing is working?
How do you know if your skills are effective?
Calibrate what you're feeling and what you're doing against how you're performing.
Are you swimming faster in training?
Are you taking fewer strokes in training or is it easier to take the same umber of strokes?
Is it easier to swim the same speed (ie your heart rate is lower)?
If ANY of these are true, what you are doing is moving you in the right direction.
If ALL of these are true you are definitely moving in the right direction.
If you want o make progress, you need to KNOW that what you are doing is working.
MEASURE and CALIBRATE.