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Head down or slightly

Hi all,


Just a quick question, Do any of you think there is any point in swimming with your head loooking straight down at the bottom of the pool (for less drag), if your doing soley Open water Triathlons,where, you will be sighting and drafting the majority of the time, which will require the head to be slightly up.






  • risris Posts: 1,002

    i'm not sure that swimming with your head straight down is that much better hydrodynamically. most swimming guides (swimsmooth, for example), and coaches, suggest that the water line should be between hairline and eyebrows - too low and you can't see where you are going and not presenting the smallest profile of your head to the water; too high and your feet can sink a bit. 

    you are right that head down swimming isn't great for open water sighting, but it isn't much better in a pool where it helps to know where the end of the pool is, and other swimmers are! 

  • Cheers Ris,

    I know Gary Hall Sr  of the Race Club is all about keeping the head down,

    The whole point I guess is to create less drag, Suppose when your dealing with Elite Athletes every mili second counts. For me I guess I might just use a combintaton of face down and slightly looking forward, whenever it makes sense to do so.

  • gavinpgavinp Posts: 168


    It's down to what you are like as a swimmer(technique) and your own physique (body size, sinky legs etc) - so in other words everyone is different and adjusting your head to different levels will help you stay more streamline (or can depending on any other techniques issues).

    Looking straight down in a pool you know where the end is by the black line:  The large T at the end of the pool is a bit of a hint.  Also, the lane ropes change colour at the end of the lane so if you are breathing to one side you will see the lane rope colour change and know you are close to the wall.

    Even when open water swimming look where is appropriate for you as your technique will be different with a wetsuit on, but don't worry about looking straight down.  If you can, do it and just lift your eyes out of the water to sight.  It will help you in the long run to maintain a good technique.

    Have fun!

  • Mucho grasias Gavin.

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