Originally Posted by gladtobedifferent
I dont push off very far from the wall as I feel it is cheating. If I am tired I do, but otherwise do a short or non existent push off.
Glad, a poor pushoff IS cheating, only not the kind you think. Instead you're cheating yourself . . . of a better stroke and better swimming overall.
My advice is: When in the pool, swim the best you possibly can
. And when in open water, do the same.
A good pushoff in the pool means you start stroking in a balanced position with the momentum to be able to stroke smoothly from the first stroke. A poor pushoff is likely to result in your needing to fix balance and use excess force to create momentum.
Not just my advice. Mike Pigg came to a TI Weekend Workshop in the early 90s. At the time he was the #1 Olympic distance triathlete in the US and consistently among the best in the world. When another triathlete asked if it was a good idea to neglect the pushoff while training in the pool to mimic open water, he said the following: When I'm swimming I try to practice like the best swimmers in the world. I do the same in the other disciplines. In the pool that means striving to do great turns and pushoffs.