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Old 02-19-2015
s.sciame s.sciame is offline
Senior Member
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Rome, Italy
Posts: 479
Default Drafting and pace awareness in the ow

Hi all,
last week I was in the 2nd rep of a 10x400m scm - I always pay much attention on pace to prevent going out too fast in these long sets - when 2 swimmers jumped in the lane and started swimming faster than me. Sometimes I found myself in their wake for a while, so I unintentionally drafted a bit and, without wanting, completed the rep (and the following 2) about 10s faster than I planned. I wandered if I was going to "pay" for this enhanced speed toward the end of the set, but actually it didn't happen: I completed the set without problems.

I lately thought about how crucial it would be to take advantage of drafting (ie getting closer to that faster swimmer than I had, and keep in his wake longer) during an oper water race.

The problem is that in ow it is more difficult to be aware of the pace you're holding in a given moment and assess the right swimmers to draft, which should be slightly faster than your sustainable pace. I mean, since when drafting your effort and speed are kind of masked, it could happen that

a) you're going too fast without realizing, and you could then blow out at the end of the race, or
b) you're taking it too easy because you're drafting a swimmer that seemed faster than he actually is (hard to say if you find at ease because drafting well or because you're simply not going as fast as you think you are)

Does anyone who raises in open water ever deal with this concern? And are you (more or less) aware of your pace during a long ow swim, without relying on pace clock, TT, stroke count etc?

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