Tag Archives: pool

I’m back… Part 2

I wrote the other day about being back in the open water.

Today, I’m writing about being back in the pool. Obviously, I’ve been in the pool quite a lot over the last few weeks, but those have been gentle, re-acclimatisation swims.

The swim today, however, was different. I really went for it. It was the first time in about 18 months that I’ve felt good enough to smash it.

The swim times, the amount I swam may not be quite up to what I used to be able to do, but that will come.

For now, I feel like I’m back.


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Filed under Motivation, Swimming

I Has Swimmed

It might not sound like much given that this is a blog (in theory) all about swimming. However I’ve had a bad back for the last four months, so I’ve hardly swim at all.

At first I tried to swim through it, but that was no good. So then I tried to use swimming as therapy, but it wasn’t.

So for the last three months or so I haven’t swum at all.

Over the last few days my back has started to feel a little bit better. I don’t want to tempt fate, but just maybe…

Anyway, I decided to risk a swim today and managed a whole 500m, I was delighted. Of course I had a rest at the end of every length, but 20 whole lengths!

It was also nice that a few people at the pool said hello and asked if I’d been away. I suspect that they just enjoyed a more relaxing swim over the last few months – well, that might be about to change!

UPDATE – 1st Sept

I has swimmed again today – another 500m. This time I even managed to it in 100s (so 4 lengths at a time, no rest)!

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Get out of my lane!

<rant> If you’re swimming in a pool where the lanes are marked out for speed – that is relative speed, compared to the rest of the people in the pool that day. It’s not a speed that you aspire to, or the speed that your ego says you ‘should’ be doing.

In our four lane pool this morning, at one stage there were about 12 people in the fast lane, but only 12 people in the other three lanes combined.

To be fair, most of the problem was caused by people being in the medium lane when they should have been in the slow lane. This meant that people that may have moved into the medium lane felt that it would be much too slow for them – so they stayed in the fast lane clogging it up.

But my most fervent rant today is saved for those people that swim a set of – 1 length crawl, followed by 1 length slow breaststroke – in the fast lane. That tells me that you’re perfectly happy to potentially disrupt a whole lane when doing your slow breaststroke, because you don’t want your [still not very fast] crawl to be disrupted in the medium lane. GRRRR! </rant>

My plans were disrupted by how busy it was, so I did a gentle 2km instead.


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I’m going to get my ‘summer haircut’ soon. I’ll also have a ‘summer beard’ too.

It just means that both will be shorter and a bit easier to manage. It’s partly to remove any extra and unnecessary resistance I create in the water with all that extra hair getting in the way. But to be honest it’s mainly just about making it easier to manage if I’m in and out of pools and lakes more regularly.

Here’s as an example as to why it’s necessary.

This morning's hair - mad professor!

This morning’s hair – mad professor!

I went for a swim late last night, so went to bed before it had fully dried, then when I got up this morning to swim again it looked like that!

Office hair - a bit more normal

Office hair – a bit more normal

I didn’t actually do anything with it, just went to the pool and swam it into normality. I did spend a little bit of time after the swim trying to look less Yeti like for the office though!

Anyway, there will soon be less of it and I will hardly have to spend any time worrying about it.

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Breezy 1km

I’m quite pleased with 17:37 for 1km after a tough day in the office. It would have been a bit quicker too if that bloke had got out of my way!


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Lane Swimming Rules

My local pool only allows lane swimming at certain times, which means it can be hard to manage the diary to make sure that I can swim as much as I want to. So it is very annoying to then have your swim ruined by someone not following the ‘rules’.

That said, the rules haven’t been written down, they are just common sense. Unfortunately not everyone has common sense, so I thought I’d write them down here.

Of course, I’m only saying that these are the rules for the pool I swim in. Other pools may have a different set up, or a different culture.

– – –

In this pool there are four 25m lanes. The lanes are split according to the speed you are swimming (from left to right as you’re stood at the shallow end) SLOW – FAST – MEDIUM – SLOW.

Here are the five rules for swimming during a lane swimming session.

1) Check Your Speed

– Enter the correct lane according to your speed.
– If you are constantly being overtaken – think about moving down a lane. If you are constantly overtaking – think about moving up a lane.
– Don’t forget that the speed is relative not absolute. The lane you were in last time is irrelevant, it’s all about how fast you are swimming today. And if you do drills or sprints that change your speed, consider changing lane too.
– Even if everyone is in the right lane different speed swimmers will need to mix. If someone is faster than you let them pass at the wall as soon as you can. If you are overtaking make sure you can touch and turn before the person you are overtaking touches, if not then hang back and wait until they let you through at the end of the length.

2) Give Way to Swimmers

– The session is for swimmers, so give way for people that are swimming. If you stop swimming, whether for 10 seconds or 10 minutes, then you must give way for swimmers.
– Don’t block the wall, not allowing people to turn.
– Don’t set off just in front of a turning swimmer (assume that every swimmer will be turning and setting off for another lap).

3) Go With the Flow

– The lanes are designated as alternately clockwise or anti-clockwise. This is so that people aren’t swimming towards each in opposite lanes and therefore reduces the chances of collisions.
– Respect this and if you are overtaking move back to the correct side of your lane as quickly as possible.

4) Shower

– Please shower before you enter the pool.
– Please shower again if you leave the pool to go to the toilet.
– It’s just common courtesy folks.

5) Don’t be a Dick

– If people that are swimming with you break any of the above rules, take a deep breath and carry on.
– DON’T intentionally overtake, blocking them off from turning.
– DON’T push off just ahead of them on purpose.
– DON’T speed up if someone is overtaking you.
– Just DON’T be a dick.
– Everyone is doing some sort of set. It will be different than yours, but no less important than yours. Don’t disrupt other people’s swims and just relax and enjoy yours.

– – –

As I’m sure you’re all aware, rule 5 is the one that I break most often. People not respecting other swimmers can just wind me up and I struggle to take a deep breath and relax. I’ll try harder though.

– – –

By the way, I’m tempted to print these out and pin them up around the leisure centre.

What are your thoughts about all of this?

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Don’t Be A Kn0b!

There’s a guy that sometimes swims in the fast lane at my local pool. He’s not a bad swimmer, I think he’s actually training up for a triathlon. However, he’s not that quick. He’s not slow enough to need to be in the medium lane, but he is often the slowest in the fast lane.

Now that wouldn’t normally be a problem… if he wasn’t a knob.

Unfortunately he just plods up and down the lane without ever letting people pass. The etiquette is quite simple – if someone is quicker than you, let them pass. It doesn’t matter if you’re in the middle of an important training set, because you know what – so are they!

I have mentioned this to him before and we came to a strange compromise – he suggested that if I wanted to pass him I should tap his toes. I wasn’t keen on the arrangement, but I agreed to it. So when I saw him today I made an effort to speed up a bit to make sure that I tapped him quickly so I wasn’t stuck behind him for another length.

For some reason however, instead of letting me turn and swim on, after waiting a couple of seconds he started to turn with me. So for a moment or two he was right on my toes. To do this once might have been simple poor timing, however to do it three consecutive times is just being a knob.

On top of that he was back to his old tricks and not letting anyone else pass. So when he turned into me for the fourth time I decided it was time to have a word.

All I tried to do was explain the etiquette, to explain that while he was trying to train hard, so were the rest of us and that everyone’s swim would be so much easier if he just behaved himself. But what I really wanted to say was… “stop being a knob.”


Filed under Swimming, Thoughts

Terrible swim, great chat… Masters

On Monday I got into the pool just after 7am for my regular Monday morning swim session, but to be honest it was hard work. I was still really tired from the previous week’s work and hadn’t managed to catch up fully on my sleep. It really made me realise just how important rest is in regards to all of this training.

I plan to do mini 1km sets at a threshold pace when I’m swimming these sessions. The plan is to keep to a 1:54 / 100m pace (1 minute and 54 seconds for every 100m swum). I managed the first two 1km sets, but setting off on the third I just didn’t have the energy.

I could have pushed through it, but part of the reason for being tired was because I was busy at work – and there was still plenty to do on Monday. So instead of keeping going and wiping myself out for the day, I called it a day.

By doing so it meant I had a few extra minutes to chat to someone who is a regular lane buddy. I see her and say hello, but even after all these weeks we’ve only just got onto first name terms – I’m usually too busy swimming and then rushing to work. But on Monday I had a few extra minutes and we chatted for a bit. Naturally the talk was about swimming and our stroke (I’m a bit choppy with my left arm apparently) and during that conversation she mentioned that there was a Masters session at my pool twice a week – I didn’t know that!

So last night I went down to my first ever Masters session – in fact it was my first ever swimming “lesson” of any kind. I don’t remember being taught to swim but I presume that my dad gave me the basics and I got on with it as a nipper, I certainly was never a member of a swimming club. So I was a little bit nervous at the start of the session.

In the end the session was a swimming club session for teenagers with one lane roped off for the old folk. It doesn’t sound like much, but as there were only three of us it was plenty. We started with a warm-up as the coach watched our stroke and then gave tips.

She actually said that my stroke was quite good – which was gratifying to hear – I just have to focus on reaching a bit further and rotating a bit more. Although I’ve never had any lessons I have watched swimmers and read a few tips and hints and tried to adopt the good habits into my swimming – it seems that some have sunk in. After the initial assessment we swam few drills (I’ve never used a pull buoy before, so that was interesting) and continued to receive hints and advice from the coach.

It wasn’t a particularly intense session, although the different drills helped me work on different aspects, but I really enjoyed it and got a lot from it. I’m going again tonight 🙂

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Stats 30/09

Went to the gym tonight, loved it. For the first time in ages it didn’t feel easy, but it felt as if I could push it and I actually enjoyed pushing it. Some quick stats (more for my benefit):

Bike: 11:60kms in 20 minutes on Random setting, level 12 – will move to level 13 next time
Weights: various arms and shoulder exercises
Run: 1.6kms in 9:15
Swim: 1.6kms in 35 minutes (approx, I wasn’t timing)


Filed under Cycling, Motivation, Running, Swimming

Fantastic half

Tonight I decided to get into the pool first before the gym, just to see how I could get on without being knackered from the weights.

Normally I like to go to the pool after a weights workout as I like to swim tired. I only get an hour in the pool, so it’s good to swim it as if it’s mile 3 or 4.

But tonight I thought I’d swim half a mile as fresh as possible. The result – 14mins 28seconds. Pretty pleased with that.


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