Friday, June 6, 2008

Lasting Images from Beijing - Part 11

As Petar Stoychev swam through and over the whitecaps to pull away from his competition at the Olympic 10K Marathon Swim qualification race in the Shunyi Olympic Rowing-Canoeing Park, his swimming technique under the strong winds reminded me of conversations with Tim Maximoff, a national-level swimmer from California, who trained in Australia in the 1970's under legendary coach Forbes Carlisle.

In outdoor pools under very windy conditions, when the wind was blowing parallel to the lane lines, Tim calculated that if he swam with his recovery hand held aerodynamically flat going upwind and perpendicular to the wind downwind, he was able to save about 0.5 seconds per 50 meters.  

There were two schools of thought:

1. Due to this constant changing of the recovery hand position, the tension in the arms could lead to fatigue for some swimmers. 
2. The concept of flying upwind and sailing downwind enabled a positive mental outlook that also possibly help lead to the faster times.

Has anyone experimented with their recovery hand positions under windy conditions?

Photo by Pei Qingsheng.

Copyright © 2008 by World Open Water Swimming Association

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