Two changes that made me 10 seconds faster!

While I’m not really focusing on swim right now, I can’t help but be a little preoccupied thinking about how I can improve on the ocean race I did this month. I’ve been searching for small improvements I can make that will pay dividends in future events and I found these two which have been incredible.

From two weeks ago, notice how low my hips are and the curved back.
  1. Head position is crucial!
    I’ve always had a pretty neutral head position, but understanding it’s impact on your hips was a new one for me. It will likely vary for everyone, but the further forward my eyes look, the lower my hips sit in the water since it curves my spine. This creates a TON of drag that I then have to overcome with either kicking or pulling. Simple adjustment to look straight down at the lane line raise my hips and without trying any harder, I was going faster!
  2. Scoop the water, don’t push it.
    I have always had a pretty naturally good stroke. One thing I’ve known for awhile though is that I was pushing down on the water instead of scooping it back to me. The simple way to think about it is, “get your finger tips always pointing down not straight.” This is akin to climbing a ladder. By pushing down at the beginning of my stroke I was actually moving my body up and down in the water creating extra turbulence instead of focusing all that energy into moving forward.
Fingertips are down, scooping the water back.

So what about you? Have you made any small changes to your program that have added up?

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