The second some of us get out of the pool, into the open water and no longer have a thick black line to follow we struggle. There is a definite art to swimming fairly straight. We’ll try our best in the following few points to get you on the right path.
BREATH BOTH WAYS. If you were to breath to your left every time, when your head comes up to breath you roll your body that extra few inches. This means that you extend your right arm forward that extra inch or two. If you’re right handed you’re extending your dominant hand forward an extra inch or two. Doesn’t sound like much but that extra inch or two over and over again starts to make a difference and you generally start to via to the right. It’s like rowing a boat with one oar that’s slightly longer than the other.
SIGHTING : You’ve probably read a million and one articles about sighting. I won’t bore you further…other than to say, you don’t have to sight forward. I had a recent discussion with a swimmer about swimming into the sun. You can sight to the side, and use the beach or river bank provided it’s relatively straight. You can also use the depth your swimming in to a certain extent - provided you know the water and know the consistency of the bank / sea bed.
RUDDER SWIMMING. I tend to drift the opposite way to the way I breath. To counter this I breath every 2 for 3 cycles, then every 3 for 1 cycle and every 2 again for 3 cycles…and repeat. This keeps me straight. Experiment a little with your breathing and see if it has an influence.
SIGHTING FREQUENCY. Everyone is different. Again, experiment a little and see what works for you.
DRAFTING. Draft off of someone’s feet and you don’t have to sight. Just make sure they’re swimming in a straight line!
Best of luck.