Lane Etiquette

These tips on etiquette for Masters Swimmers are from the September 1996 issue of the Great Lengths newsletter for BC Masters. This has been edited to suit our team, with a few items added. I hope this helps everyone to understand why we do the things we do.

  • Help set up the pool for workout, and help put things away after.
  • If you are late, warm up on deck or in the public lane. Then start the workout at the same point as the rest of the swimmers in your lane.
  • Within each lane, swimmers should arrange themselves for each set: fastest to slowest. It is the lead swimmer’s duty to ensure that the lane starts swimming at the proper time for each set.
  • Allow 5 or 10 seconds between swimmers. Note that allowing 10 seconds in sets of over 2 lengths meant that the lead swimmer may overtake the end swimmer, so this is not always the best option.
  • Swim in a circle within each lane, staying off of the black center line.
  • To pass, touch the toes of the swimmer in front of you twice. They should stop at the end of the length and allow you to pass. If you must pass mid length, make sure it is safe so that you don’t hit a third swimmer!
  • As you approach turns, cautiously ease over the cross so you can pus off in a straight line.
  • Try to swim the workout as posted, but sit out a repeat if you need to. If you are not doing the same things as the rest of your lane, keep out of their way or move to another lane.
  • When finishing a swim, move so the swimmer behind you can touch the wall (especially in a timed set!)
  • Please avoid wearing paddles or big watches as they cause injuries. If you need to wear these, be aware of where your hands are.
  • Do not swim over people. If they are slower than you are, please follow the passing etiquette.

It’s a good idea to always be aware of where your teammates are (and where the wall is), if you want to avoid injury and enjoy a good workout! If any of this is unclear please ask someone.

A “How-To” for Rookies

  • Warm-up/Cool Down: Slower paced swimming that allows the body to get ready for and gear down from the main set.
  • Main set: The higher intensity parts of the workout, usually broken up into “intervals” or repeat swims.
  • Kick/Pull: Legs only/arms only drills, usually done with kickboards or pullbouys
  • Drills: An assortment of techniques used for stroke correction or improvement, and for variety
  • “On “: e.g.: 4 x 50 on 1:30 means swim 50 meters 4 times, leaving the end of the pool every minute and a half.
  • Descend: Each repeat is done in a faster time.

The Clock

There is a timing clock at either end of the pool. You will see it has 4 coloured hands, each 15 seconds apart. Here is an example of how to use it:

The coach says to start at the red top, so you leave when the red hand reaches the top (60 second mark). The set is 4×50 on 1:30, so you swim your 50 meters and touch the wall at the end. Looking at the clock, you see the red hand is on the 15, so your time is 1:15. As your intervals are 1:30, you then leave again on the red 30. You have had 15 seconds rest. The next time, you will leave after 1:30 again, so you leave on the red top. Repeat this until you have completed your set.

Hot Tub:

The hot tub is a good place to relax and socialize after workout. With the heat going to our heads, this is a good place to hear the latest . . .