That heading sounds like a sales pitch! Well, it’s not.
A seemingly small thing that is obvious to every good swimmer but often neglected or even unknown to triathletes including myself is working on ankle flexibility.
As runners and cyclists, we typically develop extremely poor flexibility in the ankles and while swimming we point our toes towards the bottom rather than the horizon behind us. The additional resistance of two big feet hanging down is obviously not something that will have positive impact on our battle against the resistance of water. A better option is to learn to point them and make this part of the body as hydrodynamic as possible rather than trying to catch fish between the toes.
I have heard swimmers tell me that I can gain as much as 5 seconds / 100m which seems a lot - perhaps they were referring to my size feet which typically sends shoe sales people into the back of the shop for hours or across the street to the canoe and small boat outlet to find something that fits. Either way; 5 seconds or 0,5 seconds/100/meters my point is that less drag will give faster times without more effort and energy spent.
Training your ankle flexibility is very easy and can be done anywhere and as you can see on the picture it’s pain free, enjoyable and quite glamorous (at least when you FINALLY get flexible – I have been told..)
Folding a Yoga mat under the top of your feet and toes increases the effect and can be used once you can comfortably sit on your feet.
Have a good one and happy training!