I’m often asked by triathletes and open water swimmers if drafting makes a difference.

What is drafting? Drafting is using the wave and current created by another swimmer to help pull you through the water.

Why should you draft?

  • You conserve up to 15% more energy than when your not drafting
  • Speed is increased by 3% over 400m
  • It’s a FREE ride!

How to draft:

Sit behind a swimmer so you feel their bubbles. Avoid touching their feet, it slows them down which slows you down.

Another alternative is to position yourself so your head is even with their ribs. You can then ‘ride’ their wave. The best example I have ever seen of this was by Duncan Armstrong in the 88′ Olympics.

He rode Matt Biondi’s wave for 150m and conserved his energy for the final lap. See what happened.

In your next open water race, try drafting a swimmer slightly faster than you. It will help you keep up with them and increase your speed without using more energy.