The Open Water Swim Club in Huntington Beach, California occasionally practices drafting and positioning when they train in the pool as well as in the ocean.

One of their tougher sets includes two swimmers of similar ability. The two swimmers share a lane, each swimming on only one side (i.e., no circle pattern). The goal is aerobic conditioning with a bit of drafting thrown in.

The pair mutually decides on a fairly tough interval that is difficult, but not impossible for 1000-2000 yards/meters (e.g., 1:10 for 100 meters which should be modified to match everyone’s abilities).

The goal is to maintain that particular interval (e.g., 1:10) throughout the entire set, which is usually 100′s, but can be modified from any distance from 50-200. The first swimmer starts and the second swimmer starts 5 seconds behind. The two swimmers alternate who goes first and who goes 5 seconds behind. But at all times, the first person must stay with the agreed-upon interval.

If the set is 10 x 100 at 1:10, then Swimmer A starts and the Swimmer B starts 5 seconds behind on the first 100. However, Swimmer B must swim fast enough to maintain the 1:10 interval – which means Swimmer B must swim at least at a 1:05 pace. Meanwhile, Swimmer A can cruise the first 100 because they will begin the second 100 five seconds behind Swimmer B on the second 100.

In other words, each swimmer alternatively maintains a 1:05 interval and a 1:15 interval. That is, the 100s are alternatively easy and fast. On each 100, the swimmer behind is catching the draft of the lead swimmer and then bolting into the lead in order to make the interval.



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