Friday, August 24, 2007

Auto-Hornblowing Zone

...because I deduce that a blog named Eminently Blogical is an appropriate place for horatiocination.

I'm still swimming lead in lane 3 (the slower of the two intermediate lanes) at Masters. Last night the fellow who has been leading lane 4 (the faster of the two) when he attends moved up to lane 5. This helped highlight a couple of things.

First, ensuring that my right arm is deeper before commencing to pull, especially on a breathing cycle, is at the least a good short-term adaptation. Doing this on catch-up drills I now lose no time relative to lane 4. Also, my view is changed when I breathe to the right; left eye is not clearing the water so much. Confirmation that (in the context of the rest of my stroke) I was starting my right-arm pull too shallow; the arm pull went down; that forced my head up; that forced my hips down; so I slowed.

Second, I would do really well to find feet to draft at IMMoo. We had four swimmers in lane 3. Two of those stayed on the train. Drafting me, those two were doing faster reps than the lane 4 leader. I know these swimmers a bit. Side-by-side they wouldn't be doing that; being able to draft gave them a big advantage over the lane 4 leader.

While I'm intellectually aware of the impact of drafting, the on-going demonstrations, rep after rep, I found very striking.


Blogger Wendy said...


It's really interesting how one motion has ramifications through the whole body, isn't it?

Lots of people don't realize that the person leading the lane, even if there are 5 seconds between swimmers, is pulling the others along. Even when you do know, the extent of it can be really surprising.

Sounds like you had a great demo!

8/24/2007 01:11:00 pm  
Blogger Jenny Davidson said...

See, it is the APTNESS of the pun that I find fairly staggering, that was a good one...

I couldn't believe it the first time I drafted off someone in the pool--it was quite amazing. You must do it if you can find the right set of feet, it will make such a huge difference to freshness on the bike--though I suppose that you can get sucked into going too fast as the person you're drafting off speeds up to try and get rid of you!

8/24/2007 03:05:00 pm  
Blogger Fe-lady said...

May you find the perfect feet during your IM! :-)

Not swimming with a master's team I guess I am missing out...!

8/24/2007 04:58:00 pm  
Blogger Tony said...

I don't really understand any of it. In the water I just try to move forward and survive. Yep, I need to learn how to swim.

8/26/2007 10:50:00 pm  
Blogger ShirleyPerly said...

I was surprised to read in Triathlete magazine that drafting while swimming only helps improve one's times by 8%. Sounds like it's more than that, perhaps just by encouraging a slower swimmer to try to keep up with a faster swimmer?

8/29/2007 09:45:00 am  
Blogger Brent Buckner said...


8% seems a reasonable ballpark. Recall, that's at no energy cost - free speed. From 2:00/100m to 1:50/100m say - six minutes off an Ironman swim time at those paces.

In my example, lets say person A is the speedy usual lane 4 leader and person B is the usual second in lane 4. On a night when person A is there, I could start 200m in lane 3 at the same time as person A. I could then finish at the same time as person B, who started 5 seconds after I did. On a night when person A is not there, person B and I would start at the same time and I would finish almost 15 seconds ahead.

It's noticable.

8/29/2007 10:05:00 am  

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