Nation's Tri blog

Lyle_Swimming in a Group_picsmall

Now that the season has officially started, when you head to the pool there seems to always be a crowd.  Whether you are a seasoned swimmer or a newbie to the water, there are a few things to keep in mind when swimming in groups. Follow these few tips for better workouts and a more pleasurable experience with your fellow athletes.

  1. Come with your workout written out.  By showing up with a training plan you will spend more time swimming and less time on the wall.
  2. Pick the proper lane.  Popular pools will have cones up designating the speed of the lane (slow, medium, fast, very fast).  Swimming in the proper lane will allow you and your fellow swimmers to swim more steadily and consistently without constantly passing or being passed by other swimmers.
  3. Be courteous to other swimmers in your lane.  This starts by announcing to the other swimmers that you wish to join them.  Don’t just jump in and start swimming. Announce your intention and ask if they mind circle swimming.  Most people will nod and let you in, sometimes someone is finishing a set and then they are done, courtesy will go a long way.
  4. Don’t stand at the wall.  There is a need to stop at the wall.  You may be doing intervals, resting between sets or taking a break.  If you need to wait at the wall, stand to the side so others can swim by and continue their workout.
  5. Don’t start to swim right in front of another swimmer.  Even if you are trying to go on the clock, pay attention to the swimmers around you.  Going right before another swimmer (and potentially being slower than them) is annoying.  You disrupt their stroke and they pass you anyway.  Waiting 5 seconds won’t hurt you or your workout.
  6. Finally, when passing, try to let the swimmer ahead of you know.  To do this, tap their feet a few times so they know your intention, and pass on the left quickly and safely.  This means make sure you can pass without disrupting an oncoming swimmer and without disrupting the other swimmer before you both reach the wall.

If you follow these six suggestions, you increase your chances of having a better workout when training in a crowded pool.


Lyle Ganz

Lyle’s racing career started back high school where he was a multiple sport athlete. He was an all-conference track and cross-country runner, and did swimming and diving in the off-season to stay fit. He participated in his first triathlon back in the summer of 1996. Since then, he has competed in events from sprint triathlons through Ironman competitions; and currently is looking forward to competing at USA Triathlon Age Group Nationals in Milwaukee in 2015.