Thursday, March 25, 2010

Swimming Tip of the Week

I've been thinking about something to add to my blog every week and since I LOVE me some swimming I thought I would give a swimming tip a week. I was thinking about drills, etitquette, open water swimming, gear, workouts etc.

Introducing your first swim tip for the week and it's a biggie!

Lap Swimming Etiquette
You enter the pool area and you are overwhelmed by a myriad of swimmers filling each lane and you think to yourself, "Where should I go?"

1. Most lap swim times will have designated lanes: slow, medium, fast, very fast and possibly a lane for a masters group. If you are unsure of your speed take some time to look at each lane to see how people are swimming. I often think of myself as a fast swimmer, but when I scan the lanes there might be some faster swimmers in the fast lane and I should not be there. Time to pick a new lane.

2. Once you have decided your lane, wait until there is an opening or a space for you to slide into. Please make sure you start right away and don't hang out on the wall too long. Have your cap and goggles ready to go, especially if the lane is crowded, no one likes a wall-sitter!

3. Please circle swim to the right of the lane if there are more than two swimmers in a lane. If there is just you and another swimmer, politely ask them if you could split the lane (one swimmer on the right of the lane and one swimmer on the left). Once someone joins you or you are joining lane splitters please let both of them know you will be joining them. No one likes to be surprised when they see someone swimming head-on directly towards them.

3. If you are consistently passing slower swimmers in your lane you need to move to a faster lane. No one likes to be passed all of the time. Same goes if you are being passed many times... time to suck it up  move to a slower lane.

4. Have you noticed the big black + on the wall? Please don't stand in front of it. That is where swimmers turn. If you have made a swimmer mad, they will flip-turn on top of you. Please be aware of other swimmers around you.

5. Please don't start swimming when you know a fellow swimmer is about to do a flip-turn or open turn at the wall, you will get in their way.

6. What if you need to pass someone who is kicking or doing drill work or just plain going slow? Tap them on the feet to let them know you are there. They should move to the right and you pass in the middle, or you can wait to the wall to pass them.

7. If you notice someone in your lane is trying to do a workout and using the pace clock, try to stay out of their way. Or if don't know just politely ask, "Are you using the pace clock?" If they are just let them go first when their rest time is up. Or they may just tell you to go if their rest is longer.

8. If all else fails and you find yourself following the rules and your fellow swimmers aren't, have a little chat with the lifeguards about your concerns, they'll almost happily want to help you out!!

9. Now go have fun!!


  1. Can you post these at my gym? please?!

  2. This was helpful! Thanks! I want to start doing laps at the gym at work, but I'm always so intimidated. I'm not a horrible swimmer, but I always feel like I have no idea what I'm doing.

  3. Thanks! I want to get into swimming and knowing the etiquette beforehand will prove helpful. I'm afraid I will be in the slow lane.

  4. Sometimes serious swimmers get a little huffy and easily exasperated with newbies. Though you may want to tell them to get off their high horse, a smile and introduction (AFTER their workout, NOT during!) will break the ice.

  5. Great tips, thanks!

    Lauren (from the nest)

  6. I'm always too shy/uncomfortable to tap people on their feet to pass. Its good to hear that it really is proper etiquette


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