Tuesday, 12 June 2012

Swimming etiquette

Monday’s Workout:
  • Badminton         2 hours

Today’s Workout:
  • Tempo Run         6 miles                 1 mile WU/CD and 4 miles at 8:40mm
  • Swimming          32 lengths
  • Weight Training
  • Badminton         2 hours


I have only been swimming for a few months, and was really nervous about lane swimming before my swimming teacher finally talked me into taking the plunge (see what I did there lol!!).  My teacher enlightened me to some well-known (but often unspoken) lane swimming rules to that should make everyone’s swimming experience safer, pleasant and more efficient:
  • Slower swimmers starting a set should not push off in front of a faster swimmer thereby blocking them, but should wait until they have passed
  • Faster swimmers should try and give slower swimmers as much running room as possible before pushing off
  • Allow swimmers doing a faster stroke to go ahead (e.g. front crawl is often faster than breast stroke)
  • If resting at the wall stay as far as you can to one side out the way
  • If the swimmer behind gently but distinctly touches the feet of the swimmer in front this indicates they would like to overtake, therefore the slower swimmer should stop at the wall and move to the corner to allow the faster swimmer to overtake before pushing off
  • Swimmers should not swim wide in order to overtake mid-lap (this is not allowed at my pool)

At my swimming session this morning, I arrived a few minutes later than usual but to my delight I found I had the entire slow lane all to myself.  My aim for the session was to swim 60 lengths taking as few breaks as possible.  After I had done about 22 lengths another swimmer entered my lane and proceeded to break every one of the aforementioned ‘rules’.  

Now, I have absolutely nothing against slower swimmers (in fact, this is the first time I have actually been faster than someone) and as a slower swimmer I always show respect and try not to impede those faster than me. 

The other swimmer was doing breast stroke and as I came up behind her I slowed expecting that she would stop at the wall and let me pass – she did not!!  I gave her the benefit of the doubt, assuming she hadn’t realised I was there and continued to follow her for another length.  When she didn’t stop for the second time (and I know she had seen me) I was starting to get mildly annoyed so for the following four lengths I tapped her feet periodically to indicate I wanted to pass and.... nothing.... she just kept on going.  How rude!!

I decided to try a different tact and waited at the wall until she had completed a full length and then was halfway back towards me before I started again, figuring that this would give me plenty of room before I came up behind her again.  As I turned at the end of the length, I noticed she had stopped at the wall at the other end of the pool.  I checked her position again about halfway back and she was still at the wall.  Great, I thought, I can over take and get in a few more continuous laps.  Anyway, I when I was about an arms distance away from the wall – she pushed off to continue right in front of me.  By this time I was cursing her under my breath.  I decided to try the same tact again – letting a decent distance build between us and she did the exact same thing again.  I couldn’t believe it.  I was so angry by that point I had to get out and abandon my swim half way through (it was that or drown her). 

Now, maybe I am overreacting but for there is no excuse for someone to ruin your training session as a result of bad pool etiquette – it would have impacted her very little to let me past every now and again.  



  1. I've been lucky enough not to have to share a lane at my pool (it's hUgE!!), but man, that does sound frustrating. Maybe she didn't realize the pool etiquette and thought you were being mean by touching her feet? It's like the slow people that drive in the left lane (in the States) that drive EVEN SLOWER when people tailgate them... just to be jerks. Ay... dumb people should just all go live by themselves.

    1. Your probably right - she's probably gone home talking about the weird women who kept touching her feet and probably has some kind of foot fetish :)

  2. This comment has been removed by the author.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...