View Full Version : Is the best swimmer....

June 11th, 2012, 09:44 AM
Is the best swimmer the person who overcomes resistance the fastest?

June 11th, 2012, 11:33 AM
Is the best swimmer the person who overcomes resistance the fastest?

the best swimmer is one who moves through the water the fastest doing a certain stroke over a certain distance in a certain race.

Sometimes that swimmer is clearly dominant and if you did the same race 100 times he'd always win. Sometimes it's a toss up, where one swimmer won a particular race that day but others were very close and could have won and if you held the race again it might have a different outcomes.

overcoming resistance is important, as is technique, conditioning, strength, & body features. It's the swimmers ability to apply power and minimize resistance.

SFF Tip 165 Build a Better Boat talks about it

June 11th, 2012, 02:04 PM
Thanks! That is really good information.

I'd like to understand the details of how the water affect resistance. Does the resistance increase as an object moves faster or is the water's resistance a constant? I'm sure the answer relates to the amount of work being done, but is it a case where it is more work to go further or fast?

Michael Blatt
June 11th, 2012, 02:25 PM
All other things being equal, resistance (in any medium, not just water) increases at a rate greater than the increase in speed (the square of the speed increase, I believe).

But there are things a swimmer can do to minimize resistance (general body position being just one), so that faster swimmers are not necessarily creating more resistance to their movement through the water than slower swimmers are.

Regarding the amount of "work" being done, there was another thread recently that addressed this to some degree. Physicists will tell you that moving through the water faster requires more work, using their unambiguous definition of "work". Whether that has anything to do with perceived effort on the part of the swimmer is another thing.

June 12th, 2012, 07:30 PM
A number of factors go into speed.
One is resistance, or streamlining to minimize resistance.
One is strength.
One is reaction time.
One is intensity.
I can be the best swimmer in the group and no where near the fastest. I'm older than most of my teammates. I keep trying to recruit more of us old timers, with little luck. I never competed when I was young, so I don't have the intensity of my peers.

June 13th, 2012, 10:51 AM
The "best" sprinters get killed when they try the best "distance"swimmers!!!