I often hear from people that the number one reason they couldn’t do a triathlon is because of the swim. They never mention running or cycling, and seem both fearful of swimming at distance or show a lack of confidence in their ability.
This four-series article will explore the common issues that most people face with swimming and will provide some solutions for addressing the issue.
As a former competitive swimmer who just got back into swimming a couple years ago, I found that I returned with some bad habits. Given my base knowledge of the sport and 18+ years in the pool , I have developed a unique view into the issues that plague swimmers.
Let’s start with a quick lesson on hydrodynamics, or the interaction between your body and the water. According to Wired, there are four forces related to swimming:
· Gravitational: Downward force dependent on swimmer’s mass
· Buoyancy: Upward force proportional to volume of water displaced by swimmer
· Drag: As a swimmer pushes forward, water pushes back, creating drag
· Thrust: The force that the swimmer creates to push back against drag
So the swimmer needs to balance gravitational and buoyancy forces to stay at the surface, while counteracting the drag of swimming through the water. Your thrust, or your pull and kick, will carry you forward.