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Training

4 Tips For Drafting On The Swim

Drafting can reduce energy output by up to 38 percent. These positions will help you swim faster and easier in your next race.

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Follow the feet

This is the basic drafting position. The swimmer on the left of the image follows directly behind the feet of the swimmer on the right and stays within 2 feet for the most benefit. Try not to touch the lead swimmer’s feet and don’t trust that they will navigate the course correctly.

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Move to the back

When a small pack forms, do not waste energy fighting for a front position. Instead of jostling and bumping each other, the two swimmers in the back should rest for a moment and move to the back of the line for a better drafting position.

RELATED – Swim Tip: Am I Crossing Over?

Ride the wave

Swimmers create a “bow wave” as they move forward through the water. The faster and larger the swimmer, the bigger the wave. In this example, the swimmer on the left is riding the wave by aligning her head at the other swimmer’s hip. This is a smart drafting position because she does not have to lift her head to follow the lead swimmer.

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Don’t get stuck

The underwater turbulence of a swimmer “riding the wave” can have a negative and slowing effect on the lead swimmer. The lead swimmer in this image is being drafted by two swimmers and should move out of this position as quickly as possible.

RELATED: Is Open-Water Swim Training Necessary?

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