Triathlon Training Resources
So you’ve never swam during lap swim in your life? Well, Pool Etiquette 101will give you the confidence to start training.
- Swim Items: Pack a swim suit, goggles, cap, towel, flip-flops, safety pin and a lock in a bag with a waterproof pocket.
- The Facility: Most facilities require that you enter through the locker room, but you can always ask the receptionist if you’re not sure.
- Locker Rooms: Find a locker, change into your suit, take out your cap and goggles and LOCK your locker. Safety pin your key to the inside of your swim suit. Wear your flip-flops from the point you take your street shoes off until you get into the pool water.
- To Shower or To Not Shower: Some facilities don’t require it, some do and some require it but don’t enforce it. Our advice is to follow the rule the first time, watch to see what really happens and then go with the flow. (be sure that you wear your flip-flops)
- Acknowledge the Lifeguard: Give a little wave or head nod so that you know that the lifeguard has seen you.
- The Pool: Depending on the facility, they may require you to take a swim test (deep end swim test). Most pools do NOT do this. The lifeguard will let you know.
- Pick a Lane: While you are stretching, putting on your goggles and cap, watch the different lanes. You’ll find that swimmers tend to sort themselves very well. The fast swim with the fast, the intermediate with the intermediate and the beginners with the beginners. Find a group that moves at your pace and sit or stand in front of the lane for a couple of minutes to ensure that the occupants know you’re on your way in. (you can leave your flip-flops right there at the edge of the pool)NEVER JUMP IN OR DIVE IN A LANE WHERE PEOPLE ARE SWIMMING. Diving in the shallow end of a pool is always against the rules anyways, but jumping or diving can injure yourself or a swimmer in the lane. Plus, your neighbors will give you dirty looks and the Lifeguard will yell at you. Do everybody a favor and slide your body into the lane. Be sure to stay to the right or left so that others can use the middle of the wall for flip-turns.Just a side story: Growing up as a U.S. Swimmer, I was a spectator in a training session where hundreds of kids were warming up in a very important meet. The lanes were packed with kids and one decided to jump in, on what he thought was, a gap between two people. He ended up jumping on someone who was transported to the hospital for neck injuries. It’s an honest mistake, but sometimes honest mistakes can be very costly.If you find that you are in the wrong lane (people are passing you or you are passing people), then simply wait until you get to the end of the pool, climb out, find another lane and enter it.
- The Swim: Swimmers swim counter-clock-wise (always stay so your right hand is next to the laneline or wall). Be sure to stay on your side or you might get an unintentional kick.If you are doing backstroke, be sure to follow a line on the ceiling to ensure that you are swimming in a straight line (backstrokers look like drunk-drivers when they have no line to follow and crash into everyone).If the lane has only two people and you’re there during a low traffic time, you can split the lane in half and stay on your own side. Just be sure to let the other person know to avoid a crash.
- Flags in the Deep End and in the Shallow End: Backstrokers should count how many strokes it takes them to get from the flags to the wall to avoid bumping their heads. The flags on both ends are the same distance away from the wall.
- Leaving the Pool: Climb out of one of the ends, put on your flip flops and head up to the locker room. Say “thanks” to the lifeguard on the way out. After you’ve changed, put all of your wet stuff into the waterproof pocket in your bag. Make sure you have all of the rest of your gear and exit the locker room through the building — not the pool.
- At Home: Be sure to take the wet stuff out of your bag when you get home or your clothes will stink.
That should get you started. Email us if you have any questions!
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