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Old 05-04-2016
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Default Bubbles, turbulence and physics...

Since a view months I try to learn TI freestyle. Because I was getting better and I was swimming a lot alone I joined the local Triathlon club. First I was swimming alone in one lane while the other swimmers were in the faster lanes. But now I can keep up with the slower swimmers I swim with more of them in the same lane. Doing the 'pyramids' the trainer provides us with. Ofcourse we get in some competition during this somtimes with the lane next to us, because this is fun I try to keep up with the other ones.

I never had swam directly behind someone until now and I had this funny experience that made me wonder..... I was swimming behind a swimmer that made a huge amount of small bubbles with his feet. Because I wanted to stay close to him I started almost inmediately after him, finding myself in this cloud of bubbles that made me smile during swimming. I could easely stay right behind him and I felt the turbulence he made....My hands giving the water more speed while I felt it already streaming along my body, sometime it lifted my armes and hands. The cloud of bubble felt like a hole in the water made for me to swim in...

I wonder does this make my swimming easier? I broke my personal record keeping up with him without getting more tired. But the laps I was swimming as first swimmer, I was swimming with the speed I always do... I am not an expert in physics, so who knows?

If I ever go to swim in a competition would I benefit from swimming very close behind another swimmer?
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Old 05-04-2016
s.sciame s.sciame is offline
Senior Member
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Rome, Italy
Posts: 479

Hi Jantine,
what you describe is called "drafting" (google it for more details) and it's legal in open water races but not in pool races.

You may also like reading this:

Happy drafting ;)
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