Do you veer off course during the swim portion of your race? If so, you will be surprised at how much extra distance you will cover.
This may be due to sighting but also due to having imbalances in your stroke. As on land, you will likely have a stronger side, for example if you tend to breathe only to one side.
You likely won’t discover this while swimming in the pool, since you have the black line at the bottom of the pool and lane ropes to guide you. It is not easy to correct imbalances without any visual guidance.
A way to test for any such imbalances is to swim with your eyes closed. Yes, eyes wide shut!
Push off the wall and swim nice and steady. Easy! No peeking. If you reach the end of the pool without bashing into the lane rope you are golden: no imbalances! Most people however will end up swimming to one side.
Once discovering to which side you veer, you can work on your stroke to correct the imbalance. It is not unlike running where – sometimes due to a prior or current injury – you favor one leg to some extent.
Be careful if sharing the lane with other swimmers of course!
So, “close your eyes, give me your hand, darling” and swim along (and sing) along.
Did you discover any imbalances in your stroke? Please comment below to let us know.