Originally Posted by novaswimmer
Yes, it still throws me off a bit and sharing a lane is not my preference. I'm not so much self-conscious about my pace, it's more the wave action from the other swimmer that disrupts my breathing (face barely at the surface). Although I try to breathe on the opposite side as the other swimmer usually.
And my relaxation and ease is reduced, so less concentration on form.
There's no way I can keep up with some of these swimmers to even THINK about drafting! Maybe if I threw a rope around them (?)
Hey, I just realised I've become very fixed in my ways. I breathe every 3rd stroke, and I've fallen into a fixed routine of breathing on the 3rd, 6th 9th, 12th, 15th, 18th 21st and 24th (when I used to do it) stroke. When I was first learning it, the mental divisor by 3 was a check to make sure I was keeping to the breathing order correctly. Now that I do this automatically and basically don't make a mistake, it helps me when I fall asleep during the stroke counting, which is almost always now -- it becomes very clear which stroke I am on because I am usually paying enough attention to know if the left breathing stroke I just did was the 18th or the 12th.
But I'm going to have to build some flexibility into this to learn how to do other ad hoc breathing patterns and not freak out.
BTW, a propos
of my struggles in vain to drop my SPL, I finally had a breakthrough this week -- see Favourite Sets and Practices "Gearing Practice (No TT)" thread. Last week I achieved a single length of exactly 20 SPL, but couldn't do it again no matter how hard I tried, in the days that followed, including Monday this week. But yesterday I managed to do it 7 times altogether. And today within the first 8 lengths I did it 7 times, and by the end of the whole session I had accumulated a total of 18 or 19 successes! It took me so long to get tto this point I can hardly believe it finally happened. Very cool. (Although it's easy for me to say now that I always had faith that if I stuck to the process of mindfully drilling and putting all the learned elements in place it would finally all click into place if I practiced long enough!)
And regarding keeping up with the other swimmers, there is quite a range of swimming speeds in my pool; and in fact I can swim faster for one length
now that I'm getting the lower SPL with a fixed TT tempo than some other swimmers, except they keep on swimming, and I have to stop to rest after one length and recollect my concentration. In theory, once I get the concentration right, and the drafting doesn't throw me off, I should be able to dive right in on their tail and obtain relative rest while drafting at the same speed that had me close to maxing out before.
Hmmm..., I have never considered the etiquette of drafting before. I suppose I better talk to the potential draftee first and make sure it's ok with them. And to make sure that I keep my head up and maintain that 18 inches or whatever separation with great precision so that I'm not running into the draftees feet all the time.