Lane Etiquette

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Sep 13, 2007 12:19 AM GMT
    Do people here have problems with swimmers who have no idea how to use a lane?

    I was out in the gym tonight - going for 1500m without stopping to build up stamina. I got into the medium lane by myself - no fast lane open - only one in the lane and can easily say I was the fastest in the pool (not bragging - just crap swimmers in tonight). An empty unlabeled lane beside me.

    In pops a girl into my lane - and proceeds to crawl down the lane - breaststroke - head up. Not in a million years could she be classed medium. I would be coming up to a turn and she would start off in front of me - At one stage I was about to hit the wall to turn and she blocked it.

    I didn’t want to stop and break my rhythm to point this out to her - but as I passed her out for the umpteenth time I thought she may get a hint - I was looking out for her later to give her some lessons on how to use a lane - but no luck.

    To me: - 1. You swim in the lane you are most suited to. I would normally swim in fast lane - but there was none available. 2. Give way to the faster swimmer in a lane. 3. Never pull out in front of a swimmer at a turn unless you are sure you are faster then them. 4. Just have some common sense.

    What do others think?

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    Sep 13, 2007 4:10 AM GMT
    the lifeguard coulda helped out in this situation.
    swimming over top of her would have made a point too.
    any interest in joining the local masters or community? team-that'll keep your pace.

  • Gabriel

    Posts: 26

    Sep 13, 2007 4:23 AM GMT
    This happens to me all the time and is the worse part of open lane swimming at my local pools.

    I play water polo and do some additional training at the local pool in addition to our regular practice. The "fast" lane and i'm using the quotes here for a reason, is a real joke here as well, while doing side no hands eggbeater, i can pass most of the people in the lane. Arms only and i pass and swim over people. The worse thing i've seen was small kids in the fast lane.

    I'm not the fastest swimmer on my team nor do i have the best stamina but when i have to wait until the swimmers are 8-5m from the back wall to start my lap or i'll swim over them there's a problem!

    My rant on the pool issue!
  • MSUBioNerd

    Posts: 1813

    Sep 13, 2007 4:24 AM GMT
    I think it depends somewhat on the pool in question. I'm most used to one end being designated fast, the other end slow, and people falling where they feel is most reasonable based on their speed. But I have been to pools in the past where the assumption is that you enter whatever lane seems least crowded. Unfortunately, even the speed spectrum runs into the issues of things being relative. I've definitely had times where I pick a lane based on being faster than the people one lane slower, only to have them leave and be replaced by people faster than me.

    It seems to me that the bigger problem was her lack of awareness of the other swimmer in her lane. Let's be honest--no matter how slow she was in absolute terms, you've said that you were in a lane marked medium and that you were the fastest person in the pool while you were there. That means anyone in your lane would have been passed by you repeatedly.

    Out of curiosity, does your pool have a posting of basic guidelines about picking a lane and general pool courtesy? If not, you might consider asking them to post one.
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    Sep 13, 2007 4:26 AM GMT
    OH yeah this happens all the time.

    MOre often then not the lifeguards are too shy to intervene.

    Usually its an older gentleman, using the fast lane and swimming slow. So you try to politely ask him if he can move to a slower lane so you can do your workout.
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    Sep 13, 2007 7:57 AM GMT
    I couldn't agree more. I hate it right now that my gym hasn't put in lane ropes yet and people are just using it as a place to socialize. I saw this one couple really getting it on I was like uh... can you move that shit to the hot tub behind me? And then some people insist on swimming from one side of the pool to the other width-wise verses lenght... wtf?
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    Sep 13, 2007 7:59 AM GMT
    I should also mention that the markers on the floor of the pool so that you know you're getting close to the wall and can guage your flip are also RIGHT AT THE WALL! Whoever designed that pool should be backhanded by Vita B.
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    Sep 13, 2007 6:52 PM GMT
    ryan,

    sounds more like a bathhouse than a gym.
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    Sep 13, 2007 8:56 PM GMT
    hah! Maybe if thee were more gay guys I wouldn't mind but its all straight couples so its bah!
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    Sep 13, 2007 11:41 PM GMT
    Hi MsuBioNerd

    Normally in the pool i will hop into the fast lane - I am tall and have a good reach so with an OK techique i naturally fit the fast lane. In this situation there was no fast lane and when i got to the pool the most available lane was medium - with every other lane being slow to slow-medium. I hate taking a lane thats not appropriate to me - and will give way to faster swimmers. In this circumstance there was no choice.

    I have no problem saying to someone about using what is most appropriate - and actually suggested to the lifeguard and to managment afterwards to send out a notice just outlining basic manners in a pool. The most annoying thing was that at one point I saw the lifeguard watch me and laugh as she saw me having to do a flip turn just before the wall so i could get ahead of the slow swimmer.

    I accept that at times i wont have control of the pool or the lane - what i dont accept is the ignorant swimmer who has no idea how to use lanes. To me you should swim in a lane like you drive on a motorway - ie you dont pull out in front of someone doing 70 mph in the fast lane while you are at 40 - and not expect them to crash!

    I remember one time - i was swimming - aiming for 2000m non stop. at about 1500 i saw a bloke stand at the end of my lane (outside the pool) and each time i was about to hit the wall and turn - i saw him crouch down as if to talk to me. after 2 or 3 times of this i paused to ask "what?". He asked could he join my lane - i told him feel free, and in he gets into the fast lane, and proceds to pull off in a slow stroke right in front of me. The guy had been watching me - in the fast lane - swim non stop - and decided that at his slow pace he would most suit the slow lane - I just dont understand it!
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    Sep 14, 2007 12:33 AM GMT
    And for those very reasons I try to avoid circle swimming at all costs, unless the swimmier knows what they are doing, or I'm swimming with them and doing a work out with them. Most people just have no idea of what to do. Usually I manage to avoid it, and swim side by side someone when sharing with someone and they can do whatever they want. Also at my pool is seems the lifeguards see circle swim as just a way to avoid crowding, and make no attempt to regulate the lanes by ability.
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    Oct 27, 2007 2:59 AM GMT
    Lane etiquette seems to be something of an esoteric subject. Anyone who hasn't swam competitively, or at least in some sort of guided practice, usually has no idea that lane etiquette exists. They just want to get in the pool and swim around. They have no clue that some of us take our laps VERY serious. My advice: if an intolerably slow person invades my lane, I switch to butterfly. After 2-4 laps, most slugish swimmers will flee my lane for fear of bodily injury. Give it a shot.
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    Nov 16, 2007 1:41 AM GMT
    I dont get into the butterfly technique - but most people seem scared to stay in my lane for long - I dont know why icon_twisted.gif but thats the way i like it! icon_biggrin.gif
  • lifeat84

    Posts: 54

    Jul 24, 2008 5:32 PM GMT
    dont get angry, dont be upset, it is up to the pool owner to dictate how laps are to be swam. single sided swimming is just as effective as circle swimming, it just means that less people can use the pool at once. if you dont like how the pool is being managed, then find a new one. Old men, are old men and need to swim just as much as you do and you have no more right to the lane than they do, especially if they were there first.

    dont be angry at people for not knowing how to circle swim, unless you have been on a swim team, most people have no idea that there are rules, they just see people swimming.

    Lifeguards are rarely shy, they just have more important things to do than make people happy...like making sure everyone is still alive.

    If you want to avoid this issue, try finding another time to swim. From my 8 years as a guard, i can tell you, old men usually swim in the morning and are set in their ways no matter who talks to them. if you want an open pool don't go at noon...after schools get out are GREAT times to swim because pools generally have open swims during this time but are not very crowded. Try going swimming just before the pool closes, the lifeguards will hate you (trust me) but its usually pretty empty
  • lifeat84

    Posts: 54

    Jul 24, 2008 5:34 PM GMT
    oh, dont swim butterfly or breaststroke if there are a lot of lap swimmers...its just rude. ask first, if not, tough luck
  • Aquanerd

    Posts: 845

    Sep 16, 2008 3:28 AM GMT
    irish_kayaker saidDo people here have problems with swimmers who have no idea how to use a lane?

    I was out in the gym tonight - going for 1500m without stopping to build up stamina. I got into the medium lane by myself - no fast lane open - only one in the lane and can easily say I was the fastest in the pool (not bragging - just crap swimmers in tonight). An empty unlabeled lane beside me.

    In pops a girl into my lane - and proceeds to crawl down the lane - breaststroke - head up. Not in a million years could she be classed medium. I would be coming up to a turn and she would start off in front of me - At one stage I was about to hit the wall to turn and she blocked it.

    I didn’t want to stop and break my rhythm to point this out to her - but as I passed her out for the umpteenth time I thought she may get a hint - I was looking out for her later to give her some lessons on how to use a lane - but no luck.

    To me: - 1. You swim in the lane you are most suited to. I would normally swim in fast lane - but there was none available. 2. Give way to the faster swimmer in a lane. 3. Never pull out in front of a swimmer at a turn unless you are sure you are faster then them. 4. Just have some common sense.

    What do others think?



    It your lucky enough to have a pool with lanes assigned fastest to slowest, consider your self lucky. The pools at LA Fitness have 3, 4, or 5 lanes, and no lifeguards and it's first come first serve, and the lane lines are very slack so that the old fat hags in the aquaerobics classes can get them out on their own. Some times you get there and all the lanes are slow "wall huggers." I wait 5 minutes to try and get one of the slags to share a lane. If not I slip into the lane, and wait to get their attention. More often than not they get pissed when you try to share a lane, and have no interest in sharing another lane with a fellow wall hugger.

    One day I was in a pool with 5 lane swimming in the center lane. about have way through my workout, a group of three woman come in and take out the lane line between the two lane to one side of mine, so they can have a little coffee clatch in the middle of the pool. After a while I noticed that there were two people waiting to swim, that were to nice to ask them to put the lane line back in so they can swim in one.

    I decided it was time for a kicking set with fins. After my first "hard lap" the women had the audacity to take umbrage with me for getting their hair wet with my kicking splash. It took all of my Upstanding Southern Gentleman Upbringing not to tell them if they didn't want to get wet to get out of the f@#king pool. My next hard lap was really hard. They ended up getting out before I finished my kicking set. The two swimmers that had been waiting for a lane in the whirlpool were laughing as they put the lane line back in, saying that the women had bitched all the way into the woman's locker room. icon_cool.gif

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Sep 16, 2008 3:56 AM GMT
    Boy am I lucky. Where I swim, the lane is yours for the whole half hour or 45 minutes that you want it. We just sign up - the lanes are numbered. One person to a lane.
  • Tritimium

    Posts: 261

    Sep 16, 2008 12:22 PM GMT
    Full respect to others in the pool - they have every right to potter up and down if that's what they wanna do. But it's frustrating when they seem to have no consideration for folk who want to raise their pulse a bit (like us!). Some of the stuff I see in my pool is funny (there are some really wierd strokes out there), some annoying, some dangerous. No-one says anything.

    I'm often the fastest in the public sessions (I also do club swimming), but I move back and forth between the medium and fast lanes, depending on what I'm doing. I wouldn't dream of doing breastroke or legs only in the fast lane unless I was the only person in it, but so many others do (and they really don't move very fast). I go into the fast lane to do front crawl swimming, either full or single arm (which I like doing). I was hoping others (the regulars) might catch on with what I'm doing, but sadly, it seems not. icon_sad.gif

    I actually find it very difficult to swim as slowly as a lot of folk in the pool. I just sink. I mean...how DO they swim so slowly? They seem to disobey the laws of physics. A fly randomly thrashing its legs could do a length more quickly.

    Two other things I can't fathom: WHY do people have to blow their nose and/or grog in the showers? Or in the pool gutter (which gets pumped back into the pool)? Ugh. There are tissues and bins for that. Also, why can't they take their outdoor shoes off at the door and put them on the racks? The changing rooms are often a mud bath at my pool. icon_rolleyes.gif

    Anyway, I try to ignore it (it's not gonna harm me, just annoying) and get on with my sessions.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jul 21, 2010 7:10 PM GMT
    This happens to me too. Four lanes at the gym, I always take the furthest one. What I do to avoid disruption in my 500s is bring a laminated yellow piece of paper that says: "TIMING. Please meet my interval or ask to join lane after set. Thx."

    Works pretty well. It's also fun when someone joins the lane and meets my interval to keep me going. icon_smile.gif
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    Jul 21, 2010 7:39 PM GMT
    Its annoying as hell.. thats why Im glad I now live one an island and I can move where I want in the sea... I couldnt handle the pools anymore, since I hate the breaststroke, I only like butterflies anymore, and that is kinda anticsocial in lanes icon_sad.gif

    The same problem actually exists in surfing, rules to remember:

    1) If a person is more "uphill" to the wave than you, backdown

    2) If the surfer catching a wave is a better surfer than you and thus more likely to finish the line, you stay out of his/her way regardless,
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    Aug 03, 2010 5:14 PM GMT
    irish_kayaker saidI was...going for 1500m without stopping to build up stamina...

    I near-sprint for 40-60 minutes nonstop so I feel your pain. It's not easy being the pool outlier. In my case I'm too fast for the intermediate lane and too methodical for the fast one. This is a subject particularly near and dear to my heart so forgive this rant...

    It's not the swimmers who have no idea how to use a lane I have a problem with because the lanes where I swim are clearly marked "SLOW/WALK," "MEDIUM" and "FAST." It's those that know exactly what they're doing and flout the signs and rules anyway, though since I happen to be a certified lifeguard the real problem I have is with all the lifeguards who wait for accidents to nearly happen before they'll whistleblow, and even then won't regulate the lanes. Here's how it goes down during "open lap swim" at the Y I train at:

    Even when the entire pool nears maximum capacity the FAST lane lies fallow 4/5ths of the time when monopolized by teams who sprint intervals against the clock (which is against the rules in open swim even when they constitute a majority since there's no majority rule, it's not a democracy). This means that for every minute they swim they spend over 5 minutes coffee klatching at the end of the pool blocking the return lanes (which constitutes standing, also against the rules, and some stand clustered chatting for over 20 minutes in front of the "return cross" without even sidestepping to the side wall). Openly hostile towards those that try to follow their own faster regimes and make more measurable progress, these "teams," largely masters swimmers in pursuit of plastic trophies at the expense of everyone else, have among its members off-duty YMCA lifeguards. They think they're still on the high school swim team with the school pool reserved exclusively for their practice, forcing everyone else to crowd into the remaining lanes.

    The MEDIUM lane is the catch-all lane. Aside from the medium swimmers and those fast swimmers forced out of the FAST lane it positively brims with people who should really be in the SLOW/WALK lane but aren't because they don't want to be perceived as being "slow" or "old." These unpredictable slowpokes are never called out by the lifeguards when they do something dangerous and stupid like standing up and walking mid-lane without warning (I've risked serious neck injury by backstroking into a few of these wildcards).

    The SLOW/WALK lane is safe harbor to the morbidly obese, who when not competing for space with seniors typically walk lanes alongside one another chatting in pairs, which would be a beautiful thing as it is probably the only thing that motivates them to exercise except they block both lanes (against the rules) so a third person can't circle swim - and the lifeguards fail to ask them to follow the circle swim rules by walking in line instead of side by side.

    Given the blatant disregard for signs I've learned to follow suit using any free lane, and if I have to circle swim I use whichever lane is the safest (which might mean more heavily trafficked lanes but peopled with swimmers with predictable swim patterns) regardless of its label. If that means sprinting around people in the SLOW lanes so be it. As it happens I often find a free lane in the SLOW lanes while swimmers at all speeds are duking it out in the MEDIUM and FAST ones since people would rather trade a lane to themselves for a crowded lap lane with unevenly paced swimmers than be perceived as slow. Before I get chastised for my own behavior understand that I've observed myself to be the only one in the pool who has enough consideration for others to put my ego aside and switch to a slower lane whenever I switch to a slower stroke - you'll never find me warming up or cooling down in anything but the SLOW/WALK lane!

    By the way, you also suggested to never pull out in front of a swimmer at a turn unless you are sure you are faster then them. I tend to slow at the wall and look behind me because I simply don't trust - with good reason - other people's passing skills. Even though I very reliably slow only at the wall turn, I get passive-aggressive swimmers well aware of my swim pattern speed to pass me at the wall turn, then SLOW DOWN once they've turned to the point where I nearly slam into them when I finally do launch off the wall. So I might suggest that even if you're faster than the swimmer in front of you don't pull out in front at the turn unless you intend to maintain your speed!
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    Jan 30, 2011 4:19 AM GMT
    I didnt know "lane rules" exhist either..LOL..Ive never been to a gym with a pool. Of course the only time I would use it is dead of winter when the lake and weather is to cold. Since im not a professsional swimmer by all means. I was going to try a LAF down the road from my house, Guess I wont now. I was more worried about wearing a speedo and "offending" the females and kids and straight guys, since I live in "Yuppy land."
    That is why I just wait till warm weather, take my boat out to lake near my house to anchor over a sandbar about 100 yrds from shore in 6 ft of water, and swim laps between the boat and shore. I know...There is "no lanes" on bottom of lake to guide me to see where Im going, but it still works for me.
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    Jan 30, 2011 4:37 AM GMT
    This is why as a former competitive high-school, club, and collegiate swimmer, I have switched to running for cardio. No one in the fast lane even comes close to me, and it's filled with slow Asian people with no lane etiquette, and no, I have no interest in joining another swim team.
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    Jan 30, 2011 5:13 PM GMT
    bluey2223 said it's filled with slow Asian people



    Not Asians!!! icon_surprised.gif

    [/sarcasm]
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    Jan 30, 2011 5:29 PM GMT
    Who knew. I would assume one person in each lane and thats it. lol.