Streamline – Feel The Speed
Why Get Streamlined?
This might seem strange to some people who predominantly race in open water – and therefore have no turns. But maintaining a good streamline throughout your pool training will massively aid your overall swimming – and as a result your race speed. There are several very sensible reasons for this:
When you push off the wall, you should be moving faster than you can at any other point in your swim. Bar none. Whether you are joe bloggs novice swimmer and learning, or Michael Phelps, you should be able to generate more speed from a start or turn than when you are swimming. This is a simple fact of physics; due to the inherently inefficient nature of propelling yourself through water, a good push off the wall will carry more power. Obviously this is only useful to you if you get into a good streamline position, otherwise as on the bike you will just cause more resistance!
Use Your Strengths
Being a triathlete, you’re most likely to have strong glutes and quads from cycling and running. And if you are doing squats as part of your strength routine, you’re halfway toward a good push off.
Or getting more of a rest – depending on which way you look at it! Even without kicking a good streamline means you should be able to make 5m off the wall. In most cases, this means only 20m left to swim. If you find swimming tough, then take advantage of the boosts each length so that you have to swim less. If you are a stronger/faster swimmer, use the turns to your advantage to make sure each length you swim is quality. By having more turns, you can make sure you reset your technique each length. A good streamline will even help set you up for the length feeling good and strong. Remember, that 3-5m of not swimming is negligible, it won’t impact negatively on your training.
A good streamline is not “cheating”. Its a great way of making your swim stronger & faster.
Gaining A Good Streamline
A good push off is like a squat jump on dry land. Because you’re weightless in the water, there isn’t the fatigue that is associated, so you can really make the most of this.
As you leave the wall, your body should be pulled in tight – your core “set” and your hands stretched out above your head. Ideally your ears should be between or just below your shoulders, arms tight against against your head. If flexibility allows, then one hand should be on top of the other, pulling the body taught. When teaching young children, you would teach them to push off like rockets – the idea still holds true even if the imagery changes!
Try it yourself. See how far/fast you push off the wall ordinarily, then try really tightening things up and really focussing on that streamline. Remember, if you hold a good streamline and shape, then you are automatically in a better position to start swimming, and maintaining your speed off the wall. And if you get used to swimming fast between the walls, then you’ll be ready to swim even faster in a wetsuit.
Take your time with learning this – as with any skill. The point is that drills are there to make you smoother, stronger, more efficient. Make sure you hit all those target points!
If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to get in touch; either by email, facebook or leave a comment on here!
See what’s up next week for our #SwimTechTues tip!