Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Size Does Matter

When it comes to swimming pools that is. Now that summer is here and the long course (50m) lanes are open at our big lovely outdoor pool, I'm finding it very difficult to swim indoors after I coach in the 25 yard lanes at the gym. Not only is it so nice to do 100s in only two lengths, but the depth of the big pool makes such a difference, I'd forgotten how good it feels to swim in a deeper pool. Now when I go back to the pool I coach at, which is very shallow, I can really feel the turbulance caused by having so little depth. Your hands are constantly searching for purchase on the disturbed water, whereas in a deeper pool the water is so much smoother that you can more easily move it in the direction you want it to go. All of this is unconscious usually, it just either feels like swimming is going easily and smoothly, or it feels like you're swimming through molasses.

And speaking of feeling the water, a great drill for that is to swim with your hands closed for a fifty or so, then when you open up your hands you should have a great feeling for what you're doing with your hands when you catch and move the water. So many people swim by moving water in all kinds of directions besides straight behind them (which really is the only direction that counts). Sometimes when I'm swimming in the same lane, or even in an adjacent lane to another swimmer, I can tell that they're not very efficient just by the feel of the water they're moving. If water is being moved to the sides or in front of you, that's muscle power that's not being used to move water behind you. The closed-fist drill is a terrific one for starting to sense where you're moving water with your hands.


Trihardist said...

Cool post. I never really thought about it before, but now that you mention it, I think I know what you're talking about.

TriGirl 40 (okay - 41) said...

I love a 50 meter pool, though I rarely get to swim in one.

I miss an outdoor lap pool - as the last time I had access to one - I was a teenager!