There’s a code of conduct when sharing a lane

By Ea Francisco | Photo by dylan nolte/Unsplash

For some people, pools are for fun and games, but don’t think the same rules apply when you’re training. There’s a certain set of order you have to follow in the pool. If it’s your first time, they might make you feel like a loner, but these exist so you won’t distract people who are training. Here are some things you need to remember when you train in a lap pool.

Don’t Hog the Lane

More often than not, you’re not going to be only person in your lane. The general rule is to always swim counterclockwise when there’s more than two people in your lane. Don’t be that person who swims dead center when there’s clearly other people in the lane. What’s worse? They aren’t even swimming straight. Not only are you making it difficult for people to pass you, but you’re also blocking the way for the person swimming opposite your direction.

Take Other People’s Gear

Most places have fins, paddles, kickboards, and pull buoys everyone can use. People who borrow them are likely to place them at the end of the lane, so don’t just go around taking whatever you see lying around. If you see there’s someone swimming in the lane where their gear are placed, the least you can do is ask if they’re using it. 

Block the Wall

Resting is fine. No one’s judging you for taking a break after a lap or set, but don’t block the wall while you’re at it. For people who can do continuous laps, they’ll be doing tumble turns or touch and go, and it’s just inconvenient when someone is blocking the way.

Trail Behind Someone

It’s annoying when you feel someone at the tip of your toes and you’ve made more than enough space for them to pass, and they just don’t. If you’re going to overtake, just do it. There’s really no point in hanging around, and they won’t be responsible if you accidentally get kicked in the face. Leave them some space when they’re about to turn and push off. The general rule if the other has just pushed off is to have at least a five-second interval before you go. Unless you’re purposely chasing that person, you’re likely not going to run into each other for the rest of the lap.

Stop Mid-Lap

This is especially important when there are a lot of you in the lane like during warm-ups in competitions. As much as possible, you shouldn’t stop in the middle of a lap. This is so you won’t bump into or disrupt other swimmers. If you’re getting tired, slow down and let other people pass.

Overestimate Your Speed

This is really more on just being honest with yourself. Look and analyze the pace and speed of the people swimming in the lane before you pick a lane. While letting yourself be passed is fine, being passed three to four times by the same person within the same set is too much. Pick a lane based on how fast or slow you swim so you won’t be an inconvenience to others.