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  #1  
Old 10-15-2013
ernewill ernewill is offline
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Default Does swimming next to the wall slow you down?

Just curious. Does swimming along the wall when swimming laps slow you down? It may be coincidence but my lap times seem a little better when I am not next to the wall. However, when splitting this particular lane I typically chose the wall so I don't catch the lane line floats with my hand.
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  #2  
Old 10-16-2013
daveblt daveblt is offline
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I think I prefer to swim next to the lane line than the wall because you could always hit your hand or your foot on the wall too plus in some pools you also have the ladder steps that could be in the way .


Dave
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  #3  
Old 10-16-2013
Rincewind Rincewind is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ernewill View Post
Just curious. Does swimming along the wall when swimming laps slow you down? It may be coincidence but my lap times seem a little better when I am not next to the wall. However, when splitting this particular lane I typically chose the wall so I don't catch the lane line floats with my hand.
I think there are less drafting possibilities near a wall, but at my level this makes no difference.
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  #4  
Old 10-16-2013
efdoucette efdoucette is offline
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Some pools have jets along the side so you may find yourself swimming with then against the jet flow.
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  #5  
Old 10-16-2013
andyinnorway andyinnorway is offline
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If you swim in an outside lane in a pool its considered a disadvantage as less of the water is dissipated before it bounces back to you as waves.

In my old pool which was unlaned and had 16-20 people doing laps in the morning I would swim a full stroke per length more at the side compared to the middle, but like you say, swimming on the side can help you relax and focus more so might be the best option, just don't compare the times of the two together.
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  #6  
Old 10-16-2013
dprevish dprevish is offline
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This may not be helpful but interesting...
When fishing the locks on the Columbia in OR the fish are commonly caught as they swim upstream hugging the concrete walls for efficiency as opposed to running up the center of the lock (main current). The prominent method of drift fishing is to take advantage of this and drift your bait about 2"-3" off the side of the walls. There is an element of friction that is gained that works for them there, just like at the bottom. The water in a flowing river is fastest and creates the most resistance at the center top on a stream/river in conjunction with this.

As Andy surmised there is more of a chance of dealing with the turbulence of waves bouncing off the wall, that makes sense to me.

I've also not ever liked "the gutter" as the dirt, debris and who knows what not else that's been...discharged in the pool seems to move that way. Maybe it really does not matter.
I know that there is a certain safety element that one gains over there though, especially if the other lanes are teaming with fast and furious swimmers. Id say that if you feel safer there keep with what works.
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  #7  
Old 10-17-2013
Grant Grant is offline
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Default Old style pool construction

In older style pools where the gutter is built into the side wall there is considerable wave action bouncing off the side wall. In the modern designs where the gutter is at water level on the deck there is virtually no bounce back off the side walls. In the good old days the two outside lanes were the slowest lanes in the pool but with the modern design that handicap has been largely eliminated.
Glad you brought this up as there were several aspects that have been mentioned that I had never considered.
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  #8  
Old 10-17-2013
wie wie is offline
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Related:
It is my impression that when I swim underwater I am faster, when I swim directly above the ground.
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  #9  
Old 10-17-2013
ernewill ernewill is offline
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Default Answer from Gary Hall Sr.

I also asked Gary Hall Sr. who is an acquaintance of mine. Long story because I don't swim in the same circles as Gary Sr. or Gary Jr. His response is similar to a couple of the above.
"Not your imagination, Ted. The wall bounces all waves hitting it back into your lane so without the space next to you, you are swimming in rougher, slower water."

So, now I have a good excuse if my times decrease when doing laps against the wall.
Ted
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  #10  
Old 10-18-2013
CoachBobM CoachBobM is offline
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It does, though at some pools they combat this by installing extra lane lines right next to the walls. The lane lines tend to block waves off the sides of the pool in the same way that they block waves between adjacent lanes.

In many of the meets in which I participate, they reserve the outside lanes for warmup and warmdown for this reason.
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