Originally Posted by Tom Pamperin
It sure has for me. I recently switched to almost all open water swimming and have become remarkably comfortable and efficient with sighting compared to how I was when I started. Mindful repetition does wonders for any skill.
It sure can happen like that. I just returned from a 93k bike ride today with all kinds of side and head wind, and found that I've finally got much better in biking efficiently in aero position, didn't actually notice when I got comfortable in this mode -- it happened imperceptibly some time in the last 1-2 months. I guess I have been paying a lot of attention to technique, and it finally paid off.
It kills me that my swimming is so slow to improve. I think I'm paying attention, but maybe I'm not, or not enough. Funny, the relaxation and being mindful of staying out of the way of the fluid moving past you are basically the same concepts! The only thing different is the anchoring of the catch against this same fluid in swimming to get traction and propulsion so as to move past the very same fluid whose viscosity and drag against the forward progressing body parts you are trying to evade.
Also funny, I just realized, even the sighting from an aero position on the bike shares many elements with sighting in open water TI swimming! Raising the head to get a clear view of the road ahead is essential for safety, every now and then. In fact some ill-advised extreme head down aero tuck position contributed to my alarming 54k/h bike crash (I drifted onto gravel on the edge of the road) a month ago. The trick is to find a sweet spot timing combination between too much drag and too much blind navigating.