lane etiquette


24/02/2015 by Carl Reynolds

Charlton Lido gave some respite from the cold water, but kept us outside.

I got in with three others, giving myself a good 40m headstart and began to reel them in. Man 1, paused and let me pass, Woman 1 did likewise, Man 2 did not and continued to not for at least six lappings. Still I got some sprint work in. Latter fellow was also a prime example of being in the wrong lane; as my SLSC buddies in the next lane over were passing him too; arms and legs moving furiously, but not doing much to propel himself forward. I was tempted to suggest some swimming lessons, but was averse to a bloody nose, so let it pass. He got out before I’d done two km, and despite my feeling a little bit of ire, realised that calmness won the day. Another length of fly – seem to almost have it fluid – a few of backstroke and a couple of races with the SLSC massive completed the time in the pool. Followed by excellent grub at the Crystal Palace railway station cafe.

5 thoughts on “lane etiquette

  1. Some thoughts emerging on etiquette
    1. If you are approaching the end of the lane, look back and see if someone needs to pass – let them. Be aware of your surroundings as it’s good practice for open water.
    2. If you notice that you passed other swimmers by the steps, but on the way back they’ve gained on you, prepare for step 1. Be aware of other swimmers – there’s always someone faster than you.
    3. If you are faster than someone and there’s no one coming in the other direction, overtake them. Smile on the way past.
    4. If you’re too close to the end and there’s not enough metres left to overtake, do a wall-less tumble and carry on. Just remember not to try and push off – you may dislocate your knees.
    5. Stay calm and keep swimming, as flow state is better than frustrated state.

  2. DD says:

    Nice tips Carl. Swam a mile this morning in a lane with an old(er) and slow(er) chappy who waited every 2 lengths for me to lap him. Kind of him….

  3. Shane says:

    Lane etiquette. Not many have it. I’ve been in a lot of pools where I’m the fastest and when I’ve been the slowest. Its easy there are 2 rules. Pick the most appropriate lane for you and know the tap feet rule. Don’t tap someone’s feet just after you have turned, either overtake or wait for the 5m flags and give 2 good taps on the feet.

    Failure of those 2 rules normally results in swimming over the offender. Holding the offender.

    I’ve also turned into people who insist on standing in the middle of the end wall. I’ve had to swim under people who swim the wrong way.

    I generally let people know I’m not happy by a few well placed hard kicks as I go past.

    Problems arise where you go to a general lengths swimming sessions and there are only 2 lanes then I just get out as its near impossible to get a good swim.

    What are others guilty of doing to the uneducated?

  4. sarah says:

    “May I go ahead” at the end of the lane usually works

    Went to London Fields yesterday (lovely). Found myself caught between the fast lane and the medium lane -both were quite variable in speed- but after a few short sets in each plumped for being slightly faster in the medium lane. The lanes are generously wide, so overtaking is not difficult or problematic. A woman got in and started barrelling up and down the medium lane. I stopped to let her overtake at the end of the lane once. Bearing in mind, that I’m slightly fast for this lane, she’s been lapping everyone else quite a bit. The second time I managed to stop her before she turned;
    Me:”Hey, you should try the fast lane [pointing]”
    Her: “Is there a difference between the lanes?”
    Me: “[grin] Yes – that one is faster”
    She moved to the other lane. I don’t know if she feigned ignorance but she seemed pretty happy in her new lane.

    Worse is when someone starts swimming in your lane as you are about to turn. They are inevitably slower paced and it ruins the push off.

    What’s the foot tap rule? That you want to overtake at the turn? It’s never happened to me, but I don’t like people touching my feet :-(

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