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  #1  
Old 10-14-2012
andyinnorway andyinnorway is offline
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andyinnorway
Default Lane Swimming Protocol A or B?

See picture attached.

When you have a busy double width lane is there an accepted protocol for where to swim to allow for good lane management?

Which of the figures in the picture look right? Green or Red
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File Type: jpg LANE SWIMMING PROTOCOL.jpg (18.1 KB, 77 views)
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  #2  
Old 10-14-2012
flychick flychick is offline
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Hi Andy,
I prefer the green. If someone needs to overtake other swimmers they will be swimming up the middle of the lane- at least, that is the protocol in the pool where I swim. If you angle yourself into the middle of the lane, as in the red diagram, you risk hitting an overtaking swimmer.
Of course in the real world it never quite works this smoothly!!
Nicki
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  #3  
Old 10-14-2012
ian mac ian mac is offline
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ian mac
Default Lots of options

Andy,
I am not sure how significant the difference is between the 2 diagrams, as everyone seems to essentially going in the same direction en masse. A lot can depend on the dynamic of the group you are swimming with and how co-operative they wish to be, as well as the relative swimming speeds.

Sometimes when there are slower and faster swimmers, it can be suggested that one group go up one side(say the far right), and the other group go up the other side (the far left), and everyone come back down the middle. Essentially the far left group swim clockwise and the far right group counter clockwise ( no intended political comment here).

When I train with a faster group of masters (those able to swim a sub 1:20, metres, consistently during practice) we will ask the lifeguards if we can bring in an additional lane line for safety reasons. Also it can be intimidating for slower swimmers constantly getting passed or overwhelmed. I believe that it is important for experienced lane swimmers to positively make sure that everyone in the lane feels safe and welcome.

Swimming etiquette is all about communication. Make sure that the rules are posted for everyone to see, and insist that the lifeguards maintain protocol in case squabbles occur. Sometimes it is a good thing to be able to change a workout on the fly when the lanes are crowded. However, I have usually found that someone in the lane who positively speaks to everyone in a collaborative way, will usually get positive results.

As always public lane swimming is about the dynamic of the group at any given time. Although I normally swim in the "fast" lane, if suddenly a group of older club swimmers came by,I would move to a slower lane so not to hinder them. Awareness, communication and good manners generally will triumph.
ian mac
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  #4  
Old 10-14-2012
CharlesCouturier CharlesCouturier is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by andyinnorway View Post
See picture attached.

When you have a busy double width lane is there an accepted protocol for where to swim to allow for good lane management?

Which of the figures in the picture look right? Green or Red
Maybe I'll surprise you a bit, but the green one is rarely an ideal way of handling turns. The difference between your two graphs is in regards to how we handle turns.

The general rule is to handle them in accordance to your red graph.

Now the fun thing to note is that when in case you have to pass people, the ideal scenario is neither of your 2 graphs. You should normally aim at flipping to the left of the swimmer that you're passing. In order words, the guy that is being passed normally should be given the middle of the lane to flip, and you, after having touched his foot to notify that you're about to pass him during the turn should flip *left* to the middle of the lane, not right.

That's because you want to push off the wall in a secure way.

The guy that just got passed should not have to get squeezed at the right of the center, as it could make it difficult for him to push off with no collision. And obviously, you as a faster swimmer don't want to end up at the right of the center neither.

So red for normal cases, none for when you need to pass. And when there are too many noddlers chatting and resting at the wall, then you do your best.

Normally noddlers should always leave the center of the lane free. And if they're waiting for there send off interval, they should obviously wait to the right of the lane, to leave both center and left side free.
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  #5  
Old 10-14-2012
andyinnorway andyinnorway is offline
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Well the 'norm' in Norway seems to be green. I swim red.

This is in public sessions where you typically have 6-12 people in the lane, swimming both front crawl and breast stroke at all speeds from 1.30 - 3.00 minutes per lap.

As one of the faster swimmers in that range this means for me I am overtaking at least 1 person per length and often 2.

When they swim the green pattern they appear to have no awareness of who is approaching them so if I am not a full half body length in front of them before the turn then they hit me as they push off as in the green diagram without looking whose coming down the lane.

You can't always go far left as there is approaching traffic in that half of the lane.

So, since they swim far right and then push off diagonally against the whole lane if you aren't ahead by stroke 13 or 14 you need to wait (to be polite and to avoid being smashed). You are then delayed on your turn and they get ahead again.

The next length you need to be 7 metres or so faster than them to be a half body length ahead by the turn?

To my mind if you swim the red pattern in these situations and overtake on the inside, the slower swimmer will be aware of you as they start to come in for the wall and can then swim straight allow you to turn and carry on at their own pace?

I have expressed my opinion on this to the local life guards as politely as possible but in Norway the view is that all swimmers have an equal right to use the pool and turn whichever way they choose.

Luckily they don't share the same view with regards to road traffic control.
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  #6  
Old 10-14-2012
CharlesCouturier CharlesCouturier is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by andyinnorway View Post
Well the 'norm' in Norway seems to be green. I swim red.
that's the 'norm' in most public pool sessions, as very few swimmers visiting these actually know how it 'should' work in a lane. But I repeat, just like you realized yourself, that the green pattern is a bad one, for the reasons you mentioned.

Unfortunately, I sincerely think that this will never change, as you just can not expect those who have never swam to know how to behave in a lane. As a former lifeguard, I can tell you that it's their job to manage what's occurring in the lanes to a certain extent. But teaching swimmers how to behave in a lane having in mind to bring them to par with good swimmers, is way way outside their mandate.

But yes, you should always be at the inside when passing someone, especially during a turn.

But that implies that you use the very well known code which is touching the foot of the person prior passing her. Now already there we have a major issue: Most people will see this as a sign of impatience and will feel very bad when you start touching them. Often, they speed up to avoid the contact, which makes passing even more difficult. So you touch them again, and now in their mind all of a sudden you become a public enemy, etc....

So no Andy. You can not turn a public pool session lane into a club swimming lane, that's impossible.

I too swim relatively fast compared to public pool swimmers. When the lane is too busy, I pick up a kick board, and kick 2 kilos, trying to pass people anyway, which is easier when kicking. Or I work on technique etc...
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  #7  
Old 10-14-2012
ian mac ian mac is offline
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ian mac
Default Public swimming isn't club swimming

Andy,
I agree with Charles that there will always be obstacles when trying to swim with a group of swimmers of varying speeds, experience and objectives. There are many articles dedicated to swimming etiquette.
Awareness to me is the most important factor in having a pleasant swim regardless of the circumstances. Knowing where your lane mates are and what they are doing is critical. I have been in lanes where I have been either the fastest swimmer or the slowest. If everyone understands pool etiquette, very seldom is there an issue.
In a friendly way to those who seem oblivious of their surroundings, a comradely comment or two while explaining about passing can be a eureka type moment for those not aware of the correct form for passing or being passed.
As a devil's advocate,ever think of joining a masters club?
ian mac
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  #8  
Old 10-15-2012
Scotty Scotty is offline
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Andy:

My goodness, 6-12 people in a lane during a public session? The masters classes have 6 swimmers per lane at our facility, but lanes are assigned by swimmer speed so passing is not an issue.

I've been swimming in this community center for 20 years, and I have never seen more than 2 people per lane during open swim. The unspoken protocol is that if lanes have two swimmers you wait until one person gets out. If there is only one person in a lane when you arrive, you politely ask if you can share the lane. No one just jumps in.

How can you possibly enjoy a swim or focus on technique with 6-12 in a lane? It's the difference between driving on the interstate during the peak of rush hour compared to a nice Sunday drive in the country.

Andy, fly to Kansas for the weekend and I will gladly pay for your guest pass. You deserve it, dude.

Scotty
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  #9  
Old 10-15-2012
tomoy tomoy is offline
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1st) I vote RED as the cool thing to do. But if not all the players are aware it will make for a frustrating swim. We can all decide the right thing, but we are what, .005% of the swimming population? :-)

2nd) Sigh, I do feel badly for you too. My standard pool in the L.A. area (Valley College) is a community college where I rarely have another person in the lane, and these lanes are wide enough to take 2 easily. I lived in Paris for a year, and was depressed at the pool swimming etiquette. Kinda like picking up a scooter in Rome.

If I head into Santa Monica, their community college pool is pretty packed with tri-athletes. On one hand that means that 3 in a lane is common. On the other, they're all super-aware and hit the middle on a turn and pass or allow passing in a teamwork like way.

Also think that the best place to rest is on the right corner, facing out into the water. As more of your 'green' turners will collide if you hang out on that left side.
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  #10  
Old 10-15-2012
stratcat stratcat is offline
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I really like the “double-lane” arrangement that Andy mentions – I have one pool here where they do this for the medium pace swimmers (i.e. 50-70 seconds / 50m). It allows you to always swim over the black line and as there’s a missing lane rope it provides lots of room for overtaking in both directions. Generally, people swapping to drills will move further to the left which provides even more room for others to overtake. You can swap from full-stroke to drill without stressing about your speed.

For turns, most people will swim the red pattern above, although anyone overtaking towards the wall will normally hold that line and end up in the green pattern.

In practice it works very, very well even with 10-15 people in the (double) lane. You still get the occasional person who rests in the turning zone, or decides to do half a lap and then starts walking. Most people only make that mistake once :)

Chris
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