Drafting in swimming

I never really accepted that there was such an effect from drafting in swimming. I hate the melee of the open water swim starts in most triathlons. I usually try to find clear water as soon as possible, so I don't have to deal with other people. I also don't like trusting others to site for me. Well, that might have to change this year. I think that I will have to work on staying with the first group and staying on the feet of the swimmers around me.

I've been happy swimming the long free sets on Wednesdays with the masters group. I'm usually second or third off the wall, and can hang on the feet on the swimmer in front of me and hit the intervals decently. Well, the normal leader decided to hop up a lane and swim with the faster group this morning. That left me in charge. Bad combo - having to do weird math to hit the intervals and having to count past four while swimming hard? Not things I'm good at - I once lost count in a 200 free race in HS!

First half of the set went well. I was hitting the interval with plenty of rest, hadn't lost count and was doing the math appropriately. I felt like I was working harder then last week, but chalked it up to a busier first half of the week. On the last half of the set, my arms and back really started feeling the workout. I was still hitting the times with enough rest, but all of a sudden I was working a lot harder to maintain the pace. After the workout, I mentioned it to one of the other women in the lane. Drafting. I wan't able to just put my head down and follow toes. I had to work to cut through the water, to maintain the pace and the effort level. I have to be honest, I didn't not think that there was that much of an effect from drafting in the water. Well, now I know better. I'll lead the interval if I have, but I will also remember that following saves time and effort in a race.

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