Friday, May 25, 2018

Want to be faster? EFFICIENT vs. EFFECTIVE...

OK, let's float a controversial idea which runs distinctly against the status quo of swimming "fact".

Here's a very efficient road car (bear with us here this is about swimming):

It's a Volkswagen Polo 1.4 TDI, reaching 62mph (100kph) in 12.9 seconds with a fuel efficiency of 76.3mpg (3.7L/100km) on the combined European cycle.

All very respectable.

On the other hand, here's a Formula 1 car, a 2018 Ferrari SF71H in fact:

Top speed 240mph (390 kph). 0 to 62mph (100kph) in around 2 seconds. Super fast, super sculpted and streamlined. An awesome machine.

Now here's the thing, the fuel efficiency of this performance machine is a completely lousy 7mpg (33L/100km). Yes that's nearly 10 times worse than our VW Polo (and the car is less than half the weight)!

Ferrari haven't wasted any efficiency - just like an elite swimmer, the drag of this car is as low as it can be to get the job done.

And the clever engineers at Ferrari could easily make this car more efficient but the result is that it would immediately be slower. It would be less effective at covering ground quickly.

Here at Swim Smooth we believe "EFFECTIVE" is a good word for most swimmers to focus on. Rather than focusing solely on becoming more efficient, instead try thinking "I need to be a more effective swimmer". You'll swim with much more more purpose as a result.

Unfortunately the nature of aerodynamics and hydrodynamics means that the easiest way to be more efficient is to just go slowly. So the danger with chasing efficiency to the nth degree if that we just end up being slow.

We're not suggesting thrashing around like a mad thing and wasting energy unnecessarily. Instead we're looking to develop an effective stroke working with the water to move you forwards quickly over longer distances.

Want to be fast? Try EFFECTIVE...

Swim Smooth!

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