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Lane Etiquette

  • Category: Uncategorised
  • Published: Saturday, 15 February 2014 11:09
  • Written by Claremont Admin
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As we have started to have more swimmers at our training sessions – sometimes approaching 10 swimmers per lane or more – it has become more important to clarify some of the finer points of “lane etiquette” so that everyone gets the maximum benefit and enjoyment out of their training!!

Please note and abide by the following “rules”:

Session Start / Warm Up

If you get in the water AFTER the session start time – and some people in your lane have already done some of the warm-up – do not expect to do the whole warm up and leave the punctual people waiting for you to finish!

Once the first person to finish the warm-up is waiting at the wall, everyone else must only complete the 100m they are currently on – do not turn and keep going. Then everyone is ready to start the first set together, without anyone having to wait (and get cold!)

If you feel you need more warm-up, just take the first couple of repetitions of the first set slowly, and move back up to your usual spot in the lane when you are ready.

Getting In Order

Be realistic!  You know if you are faster than the next person, so please swim ahead of them.  OK – sometimes you might feel better than others – but it is most frustrating to other swimmers in the lane if someone regularly says “oh no, you go ahead of me” when everyone knows that person will end up catching the person ahead.

The lane moves much more freely if everyone is swimming in the correct order and there is much less chance anyone will need to interrupt their swimming to stop and let someone pass.

Leaving Five Seconds – the most important of all!

It is accepted lane etiquette all over the world that swimmers leave 5 seconds between each other before pushing off the wall.

In everything we do, if the first person leaves on the 00, the next must leave on the 05, the next on the 10… etc.  Nobody likes people “swimming up their bum” or (WORSE) touching their toes, just because they’ve pushed off right behind them.  This is the most heinous breach of lane etiquette that can result in much disgruntlement between swimmers.

Many squads over the world actually leave 10 seconds between swimmers… no “drag” allowed at all!  (So count yourself lucky.)

And also – please don’t negate the 5-second gap by sprinting the first lap so you catch up to the person in front and THEN hang off their toes… that’s almost as bad.

If you are capable of catching the person in front, time and time again, then you must move ahead of them in the lane order.  Sometimes you’ll find that they then catch you.  You are probably, in reality, both the same speed but the second person is always getting the “free ride” from the ‘’drag”. When that happens, it is that person’s duty to “share the workload” and take their turn in front.


Letting Everyone Finish Into the Wall

This is a little hard to manage in short rest repeats, but definitely achievable in long swims or longer rest intervals.

When you lead a lane, and finish into the wall at the end of a swim within a set (e.g., a 100 swim within a set of 100s), please move to the right hand side of the lane (as you face the end) to allow the remainder of the lane to finish into the wall and not have to stop a metre or two out from the wall.

When the second person touches, they are to move to the right-hand lane rope.  The third person is to do the same, and possibly the next person too.  Depending on how many people are in the lane (say, up to 6 or 7), it may be that only three or four swimmers need to do this, as the remainder of the swimmers can find a space of wall to finish into.

You need to be careful however – if the swims are on a short-ish rest interval, make sure you don’t move in front of the leader pushing off when you are moving over to the right-hand lane rope.  If that happens, you have moved there unnecessarily.  The shorter the rest interval, the less need there is to move (because people at the front of the lane have already pushed off before the back people have finished – so everyone gets to finish into the wall anyway).

Happy Swimming!