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Old 02-22-2011
ames ames is offline
Join Date: Sep 2009
Posts: 72
Default Deep vs. Shallow Water

I have noticed when I swim in the deep pool (6'8") at my gym I swim better and more easily than in the shallow pool (4'6"). In the deep pool I feel more supported by the water, I feel like I'm naturally riding higher in the water, and I am less likely to lift my head to breathe. At first I felt more resistance in deeper water, but now that I am more comfortable in it, I like it better. Is there any real reason for this or is it all in my head? Wondering if the jets make a difference. Sometimes there can be some pretty strong currents caused by them.

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Old 02-22-2011
Lawrence Lawrence is offline
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: London, UK
Posts: 804

I would guess deeper water is more still, meaning there are fewer unexpected forces to buffet you as you swim.

For elite competitions I've heard it said that such-and-such a pool has been built especially deep in order to reduce surface chop, which I would think means faster times.

Last edited by Lawrence : 02-22-2011 at 01:15 PM.
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Old 02-22-2011
CoachDave's Avatar
CoachDave CoachDave is offline
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Minneapolis, MN
Posts: 249
Default Deep water/fast pool

Surface chop is the top thing to get rid of in a pool to help speed. I remember when joining in a swim practice at Auburn University that one swimmer took bets on whether he could hide in the gutter for the whole practice (he did, and they are that big). Some of the fastest pools always have a little too much water in them so that it's always overflowing into the gutters. This means more of the wave gets chopped off when it flows in. Waveeater lanelines are another thing that helps with this.

Deep pools are considered faster, especially if they use slits and deep jets instead of jets high up on the walls. Everybody used to avoid lane 1 in one of my old pools because it had two jets that would just push you into the laneline. Still water is good, and often in a shallow pool, you can feel the waves bouncing back on you from the bottom. In Minnesota, many coaches swear that the fastest 25 yard pool is NOT the University of Minnesota (the 25 yard section of the 50 meter pool is 8.5 feet or so) but instead Rochester is faster because their racing segment of the 50 meter is the 16-foot diving well. Both have bulkheads that allow some water to pass through so there is less turbulence on turns.
Dave Cameron
Total Immersion Master Coach
Head Coach- Minneapolis YWCA Otters and Masters and MN Tri Masters
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