View Full Version : Lane Etiquette (question on moving lanes)

November 25th, 2008, 12:17 PM
I was wondering whether anyone had problems moving up a lane. I find myself frequently leading the lane; not by choice, but because I have slowly become a bit faster than my usual lane mates. (In fact, today I think they were getting a little annoyed because I was trying to keep us moving along quickly to the next set.) I would move into the next lane, but I am usually reluctant to because often I am not familiar with the pace of the people in the next lane and I'm afraid I won't be able to keep up and they'll laugh me right out of the pool!

I suppose I also have a bit of a complex because last week a woman who is only slightly faster than me, whom I have successfully swum with before, moved out of my lane during warm up and into the next lane with two other men. I ended up swimming by myself when there were three swimmers in the next lane! Not sure what that was all about, but it sort of hurt my feelings. :badday:

(Of note, I pretty much kept up with that lane during the entire workout, so it's not like I am dreadfully slow.)

Of course, it's possible I am being overly-sensitive, but I am relatively new to this team and I truly don't want to offend or annoy anyone.

Any tips to resolving that conflict in your head as you decide which lane to dive into right before you start your warm up?

November 25th, 2008, 12:27 PM
Yes, you are being overly sensitive. My only suggestion is to talk to your coach and ask his/her opinion on where you belong. I can't imagine anyone getting bent out of shape by you moving up.

As we frequently say, it's just Masters swimming, feel the love.

I also see you live in Austin. This does change my tune a little bit. gull could be in the pool at the same time as you. He's notoriously mean and requires his own lane. Bribe him with coffee or just taser him, either works.

Redbird Alum
November 25th, 2008, 12:30 PM
Salty -

Unless you would leave an empty lane behind... take the plunge! There's no better way to meet new friends and figure out what goes on "over the lanerope". (Gee, that sounds like a song Ande could work up!)

Have fun!

November 25th, 2008, 02:21 PM
One of the positives of swimming is that it's time-based, which is objective. Just ask what the lane base next door is for 100 free and IM. Can you hold it? (Be honest, of course. Holding base means being able to hold it, over just about any distance the coach may assign).

At least on our team, we rarely do whole sets at base. We'll do some speed work with some additional rest, some recovery swims at base+, and some sets at base. But you should be able to hit your lane base at pretty much any point in workout.

If you can hold it, you're in. If it gets too crowded in Lane x because you're in, perhaps that will force someone who needs a kick in the rumpus to move up, or perhaps the coach will decide that there are now 2 or more lanes on that base. Either way, it's all good.

November 25th, 2008, 06:55 PM
If I had my own lane during workout I'd be a happy camper. No annoying people who can't count to five and leave on your feet. No sally save ups waiting for that last 100 in the workout to beat you down. No let's sprint during warm up and get out 1/2 way during the workout but refuse to leave people. ahhh....Masters swim heaven.

As for moving up a lane I do feel your pain. Sometimes at workout I waffle between staying in my lane or move up. Honestly I'd prefer to move down and have 20 seconds rest after each 100 but I know that is unrealistic. Last night for example for this set SCY:
4x100 Free
1x200 IM
3x100 Free
1x200 IM
2x200 Free
1x200 IM
1x100 Free
1x200 IM
Our lane was at 1:20 for the 100's and 3:15 for the 200's. The next lane up was a 1:15 for the 100's and 3:00's for the 200's. I was getting about 10 secs rest for each 100 and about 30 for the each 200. The rest of my lane was really just making the 100's and about 10 seconds rest for the 200's. I could move up and make the intervals but I've gotten use to the extra rest.

I told myself after last night that I'll move up after the Holidays and when on nights to even the lanes out. If 4 people are already in the faster lane and only 3 in the slower I'll stick to the slower. I can always slow down and work on technique.

Blackbeard's Peg
November 26th, 2008, 12:19 AM
It doesn't hurt to challenge yourself every once in a while. If you think you can hang with the next lane up, go for it. Unless your current lanemates suck at math and can't figure out intervals, they'll quickly move on to life without you.

Asking your coach for their opinion is a good idea too. They may have something insane planned for your target lane (say you're usually at 1:25 base, and they usually go on the 1:20 base, and coach has them doing stuff on 1:10 today), and if that is indeed the case, it is not something I'd want to get mixed up in on my first day out of my comfort zone. Then again, as I started, it doesn't hurt to challenge yourself every once in a while.

December 2nd, 2008, 09:13 PM

You have the same question as I. I am in the tweener phase which could put me in the faster lane or leading the slower lane. I find myself needing to slow up the intervals so that my lane mates can make it in the slower lane. No one is there to get blown out or be humiliated.

On our IM days, I usually hang in the slower lane because my backstroke is horrific. But on other days, I have gone over and hung out near the end of the line in the faster lane. It is actually easier for me to do 10 100s on an interval that is 10 seconds faster because I am behind a bunch of people who are pushing all of that water out of my way.

I find it harder to lead a lane at a slower interval then to be behind a few people on a faster interval. Leading forces me to know my own pace and duplicates the calm smooth water of race conditions. It makes me nervous but is a good test for me every time I do it.

But swimming in a faster lane decreases rest between sets and builds confidence that you can hang with the faster swimmers.

So, just try it and see how you like it. Both have their benefits.

Of course, there are those fast swimmers who just move so fast that there is never a lane fast enough for them. I am not a member of that club and never will be.