PDA

View Full Version : Normal Swimming Protocol?



cantwait4bike
April 14th, 2009, 07:07 PM
i swim in the medium to slower lanes at a very competitive masters team workouts in san diego, and am usually asked to slide down to slower lanes when the equal ability swimmers (vs triathletes) show up.

the funny thing is most of these swimmers use a pull bouy or fins for the WHOLE workout. i think it's a ego thing in la-la land.

i would like to swim with people who can push me harder, instead of down in the last slowest lane. should i just chalk it up to normal swimmers protocal? or find another team? :confused:

Paul Smith
April 14th, 2009, 07:36 PM
i swim in the medium to slower lanes at a very competitive masters team workouts in san diego, and am usually asked to slide down to slower lanes when the equal ability swimmers (vs triathletes) show up.

the funny thing is most of these swimmers use a pull bouy or fins for the WHOLE workout. i think it's a ego thing in la-la land.

i would like to swim with people who can push me harder, instead of down in the last slowest lane. should i just chalk it up to normal swimmers protocal? or find another team? :confused:

Sadly I think you'll find this at most masters teams. Talk to the coach and see if he is willing to impose "equipment free" lanes.

aquageek
April 14th, 2009, 07:42 PM
If you can keep up with them, tell them to beat it when they ask you to move. Also, like Pueblo says, request that equipment only be used when designated on the set.

elise526
April 14th, 2009, 08:07 PM
If you can keep up with them, tell them to beat it when they ask you to move. Also, like Pueblo says, request that equipment only be used when designated on the set.

Ditto.

What I would love to see is for you to stay put in your lane, let all these swimmers that tell you to move go ahead, and then pick them off during the set one-by-one (draft as much as you can in the beginning of the set).

If the coach is asking you to move, insist to him/her that you can keep up and do what I suggested above - let everybody in the lane go ahead and then pass them as you go through the set. The goal is not to get passed. Getting passed makes it look like you can't keep up. Passing others, even if you start out last, makes you look better.

qbrain
April 14th, 2009, 09:07 PM
The response "Bite Me" comes to mind, but then I am not always on my best behavior.

If you want to remain on friendly terms, there are many strategies on getting faster.

If you truly belong in the slowest lane, work to become the lane leader. All the time, every set, without equipment, unless equipment is specified. Once you can do this, you are already in better shape then the guy in the next faster lane that never leads a set and is always using equipment.

Move up for a set, then move back. If you know the workout in advance, you can pick a set you know you will do well at, kill yourself doing a great job, then move back down and recover.

Cut kick sets short. If you are doing kick sets without fins and everyone else is using fins, then move down, do the kick set until everyone else is done, and move back up. When you are bouncing around lanes, you do the set the lane you are moving to is on. You might end up repeating and missing different parts of the work out, but who cares, you are getting a better workout that is going to make you faster.

Push the intervals in your lane. If you are doing 100s on 2:00, start doing them on 1:50, then 1:45, then 1:40, then you will likely get kicked out of the lane up to a faster lane.

I believe I have used most of those strategies in my swimming career, and I can promise you, I was never the most popular swimmer on the team, ever. But I always got faster.

hofffam
April 14th, 2009, 09:13 PM
Do these swimmers know you are just as fast?

If so - and it is just an ego thing for them - I'd say something like: "sorry guys but I can swim these intervals and want to stay in this lane. The other lane is slower than I want to swim."

ourswimmer
April 14th, 2009, 11:04 PM
Normal swimmer protocol (by my definition) for organizing people into lanes for a workout would be to make sure that all lanes have people of similar speeds in them and that no lane is too crowded. If the lane really is too crowded when these other people are also there, and if you are really the slowest, then you should be the one to move. (Regardless of the righteousness of your position, you will never win the argument that "X should take off her fins and move down," so just let that one roll away.)

But some lanes are going to be more crowded than others, if you have a bunch of similar-speed people in the workout and only a few who are way faster or way slower. So even if you are the slowest, if you can keep up with the lane and it isn't too crowded, then stand your ground. Has your swimming improved a lot but these others don't realize it?

In cases of a toss-up, I would say that the regular should get priority over the drop-in.

Allen Stark
April 14th, 2009, 11:36 PM
This may not be helpful,but if I was in a lane with slower swimmers I'd use it as an opportunity to do speed work(which there often is not enough of in my opinion.)Be the lane leader and do hard 50s,let your lane catch up and start again.

swoomer
April 14th, 2009, 11:48 PM
You can always get inspired by these people by racing them from the next lane. You and only you can push you - not other people. I really think that masters swimming is what you choose to make of it.

It's frustrating to see people using equipment to swim faster when you know they are your equals when they swim "naked." But that has nothing to do with you. (I've even heard this called cheating!)

Decide what you want to get out of the workout and go for it. Don't worry about other people. The only protocol is that you're in a lane that suits your abilities and needs while respecting the needs of others. If it doesn't work out, be accepting of adjustments to make it fair to everyone. It's not a put down, it's just the nature of a swimming workout.

SaltySwimmer
April 15th, 2009, 10:12 AM
If you truly belong in the slowest lane, work to become the lane leader. All the time, every set, without equipment, unless equipment is specified. Once you can do this, you are already in better shape then the guy in the next faster lane that never leads a set and is always using equipment.

Move up for a set, then move back. If you know the workout in advance, you can pick a set you know you will do well at, kill yourself doing a great job, then move back down and recover.

Cut kick sets short. If you are doing kick sets without fins and everyone else is using fins, then move down, do the kick set until everyone else is done, and move back up. When you are bouncing around lanes, you do the set the lane you are moving to is on. You might end up repeating and missing different parts of the work out, but who cares, you are getting a better workout that is going to make you faster.

Push the intervals in your lane. If you are doing 100s on 2:00, start doing them on 1:50, then 1:45, then 1:40, then you will likely get kicked out of the lane up to a faster lane.

I believe I have used most of those strategies in my swimming career, and I can promise you, I was never the most popular swimmer on the team, ever. But I always got faster.

Wonderful tips! I will try some of these myself! Thanks.

I myself continually struggle with this problem, as I am continually trying to move to the next faster lane. I refuse, however, to use equipment to do so. I've been able to get faster and so far I've been able to move up 3 or 4 times.

I say go with the flow for now, and try to get faster (as qbrain suggest) on your own abilities (versus getting help from the equipment). You'll be much better off in the end.

knelson
April 15th, 2009, 10:57 AM
So if these people are of equal ability does that mean they are swimming faster than you are when they don equipment? If so, and you can't keep up, I'd agree you should move down. If you CAN keep up then you should stay in their lane.

orca1946
April 15th, 2009, 02:13 PM
Do they show up all the time? If not , then it's your lane !! Let them be in a triathlete lane for distance & toys - let them go off into the far distance!

aquageek
April 15th, 2009, 03:08 PM
If speed isn't the issue it's probably about familiarity. I know that I typically always swim with the same 3 or 4 lane mates. Maybe they are territorial like that. I personally don't care who I swim with as long as we are roughly equal in ability but I do know some swimmers who are a bit goofy on the territoriality.

ddunbar
April 16th, 2009, 04:02 PM
This fat man is one of those using the toys to keep up. I have been wearing fins to take some of the stress off the old shoulders. I swim with the fast for us lanes thanks to technique but still have a long way to go build the endurance up. Short distance interval work & IMs are good but I drop back in the mid distance repeats and or what become survival swims.

The guys make me lead periodically and I take the ribbing about the fins but I am only one of two in our practice group that AARP cards and so far I have avoided shoulder surgery.

I would like to have the fins off for breast stroke but when we get to stroke work it is usually coupled with something else in the set and there is limited transition time.

SLOmmafan
April 16th, 2009, 04:15 PM
This is master's, not age group club swim team. If people want to wear fins, paddles, snorkel and a wetsuit - more power to them.

osterber
April 16th, 2009, 04:25 PM
Speed is determined using whatever toys you are or aren't using. If you're keeping up with people, then you're keeping up with people. That's regardless of whether you, or they, are using toys. If you're keeping up with them, then stay. If you're not, then move down.

I mostly get frustrated when people try to move up a lane, but then clearly can't keep up. For example, if we're doing a set of 200's, and someone is swimming above their level, not keeping up, and doing 150's, and sitting on the wall for the last 50... that's supremely annoying.

However, if you're moving up a lane, and are keeping up, I'm happy for you to stay. Heck, I'm happy to have you jump on my feet for some drag to help get you through the set.

(By "you", I'm referring to a general "you"... not necessarily you in particular.)

-Rick

nkfrench
April 16th, 2009, 04:59 PM
Lanes differ in more ways than just speed. The workouts for those in slower lanes can be geared towards beginning swimmers who aren't in good shape and have no concept of lane etiquette. Sets can be more oriented towards easy drills and less towards conditioning. There may be no sets with butterfly or IM or if it's assigned, the novices will swim free or breast instead. There's a lack of predictability and consistency.

With limited lane space, there will be some widely diverse abilities in any given lane. Going first in the lane doesn't really work when people are not on the same page. At least it's better than public lap swim. :)

So, yes, I'd be pretty tempted to put on the equipment to try to keep up with a lane of faster swimmers that actually do the sets, communicate any differences, place themselves in the correct order of swimmers, and won't interfere with the other swimmers.

cantwait4bike
April 16th, 2009, 06:32 PM
So if these people are of equal ability does that mean they are swimming faster than you are when they don equipment? If so, and you can't keep up, I'd agree you should move down. If you CAN keep up then you should stay in their lane.


yes when they wear fins and i swim w/o any toys they are faster. so i should just move down? guess you might be one of them...........i like the equipment free lane idea the best. will tell the coach to see what he thinks.

CreamPuff
April 16th, 2009, 07:08 PM
If it's the "anything goes" mentality (wearing fins, wet suit, paddles, etc.) I feel you should be able to stay and do what you want in that lane as well.

I actually had someone in my lane recently who was too slow to be there. I only got annoyed when he pushed off right in front of me (and this was LC and I was lapping him). But in retrospect, if he wants to stay there even after being almost run over when I passed him, good for him (and for me - great OW practice.) So. . . I say anything goes.

Why would that mentality work only one way? Your teammates get to have that mindset and you don't?

It's strange to me in masters as to what is accepted as the norm. I personally find most master workouts as semi-organized chaos b/c most everyone is doing something very different and everyone has very different goals - different equipment; strokes; different sets; stopping; getting in or out; resting for a 50; resting and then jumping in on your feet and drafting off of you (ha! men tend to do this to me more than women); jumping right in front of you. I actually make up my own sets on occasion and swim at the back of the lane simply to not feel like a chump for following directions all the time.

At least with the kids it's less chaotic and yelling is allowed and often appreciated when people try and pull crap.

ourswimmer
April 16th, 2009, 10:17 PM
If it's the "anything goes" mentality (wearing fins, wet suit, paddles, etc.) I feel you should be able to stay and do what you want in that lane as well.

Well, no. If four other people in the lane are doing a set of 100s on (say) a 1:15 per 100 interval, and Person #5 can't repeat them on faster than 1:25, Person #5 needs to move to another lane if one is available, even if Person #5 knows that Persons #2 and #3 couldn't make 1:25 either if they took off their fins. Person #5 is not the fin police. Person #5 might try exercising some charm to get the rest of the people to lose their fins so they can all work out together and go on 1:25, or even as suggested above enlisting the coach in this persuasive effort. But if charm and coaching fail then Person #5, not the fin-wearers, is out of sync and is being rude if s/he insists on staying and getting lapped halfway through the set.

Same principle applies if Person #5 is the one who wants to go on 1:15 and Persons #1 to #4 want to go on 1:25. In that case, if Person #5 can't move s/he needs to figure out another strategy to avoid messing up the lane-mates' workout, like swimming harder and getting more rest, or (my personal fave) substituting backstroke for freestyle.


It's strange to me in masters as to what is accepted as the norm. I personally find most master workouts as semi-organized chaos b/c most everyone is doing something very different and everyone has very different goals - different equipment; strokes; different sets; stopping; getting in or out; resting for a 50; resting and then jumping in on your feet and drafting off of you (ha! men tend to do this to me more than women); jumping right in front of you. I actually make up my own sets on occasion and swim at the back of the lane simply to not feel like a chump for following directions all the time.

I think you are just describing a difference in coaching style, between the age-group coach who is very bossy and the masters coach who is maybe not bossy enough. But really, those of us who go to masters-only workouts are not just farting around. Even in groups where space was so limited that people of pretty different speeds had to share, I have never been to an organized workout where it was culturally acceptable to change the set or to choose your own interval without consulting with your lane-mates. Instead, I have heard many conversations criticizing people for doing exactly that. I prefer when the conversations are polite but to those people's faces, although sadly I do hear them in the locker room too. So I don't think your description is the "norm" at all.

osterber
April 17th, 2009, 09:34 AM
yes when they wear fins and i swim w/o any toys they are faster. so i should just move down? guess you might be one of them...........i like the equipment free lane idea the best. will tell the coach to see what he thinks.

If you're not keeping up with the other people in the lane, regardless of what equipment you or they are using, then you should move down.

Let me flip the argument around for you. Say there is someone on your team who, all equipment being equal, is the exact same speed as you. However, when they use one particular piece of equipment, they are much slower. "Today", they want to use that piece of equipment, to focus on some technique, etc. But because they're doing that, they are much slower. Do you want them to stay in your lane and get in your way? Remember - without toys, they are just as fast as you. But with toys, they're slow and in your way. But with toys, they are the perfect speed for the next slower lane.

I'll take it to another extreme example. You normally swim in the fast lane. But you injured your shoulder (for example), so you need to swim a lot slower. Now, if your shoulder wasn't hurting, you'd be just as fast as everyone else. Do you stay in the fast lane, but swim slower, because all things being equal, that's where you'd be? Of course not.

Do I get a bit competitive and annoyed when other people use toys to get faster and move up a lane where they normally wouldn't? Sure. But if they're keeping up with the speed, they're keeping up with the speed.

-Rick

CreamPuff
April 17th, 2009, 09:59 AM
If you're not keeping up with the other people in the lane, regardless of what equipment you or they are using, then you should move down.
My question is what is "keeping up?" I think different people have different definitions of this. . .
Is it going last and just getting behind and making interval - barely?
Missing interval but not getting lapped?
Getting lapped only once by a lane leader (they are really fast) in a set and still making the interval?
Getting lapped by half the lane (only once in a set) and still making the interval?
Making the interval, not getting lapped, but needing to rest for a 50 once or twice during a set?

Seems silly to try and go through all the scenarios. I see why people have such trouble with this.



I'll take it to another extreme example. You normally swim in the fast lane. But you injured your shoulder (for example), so you need to swim a lot slower. Now, if your shoulder wasn't hurting, you'd be just as fast as everyone else. Do you stay in the fast lane, but swim slower, because all things being equal, that's where you'd be? Of course not.

Interestingly, I've seen top masters swimmers (national and world) still stay in the fast lane injured and just do their own thing. And on the flip side, I've been injured or was getting over an illness and I tried to get in a slower lane and was not allowed to do so by the coach. I'm starting to think there are no rules b/c it all depends. . .

knelson
April 17th, 2009, 10:04 AM
My question is what is "keeping up?"

In my opinion it means staying out of the other swimmers' way. I don't mind if someone in the lane has to skip a 50 now and then or stop at the wall and let others pass, but if they make you pass them constantly then it's time for them to find a different lane.

CreamPuff
April 17th, 2009, 10:12 AM
Ourswimmer, I think you bring up some really interesting points. And for the most part, at least in theory, I agree. As to what actually happens and how things play out. . . that's another story.


Well, no. If four other people in the lane are doing a set of 100s on (say) a 1:15 per 100 interval, and Person #5 can't repeat them on faster than 1:25, Person #5 needs to move to another lane if one is available, even if Person #5 knows that Persons #2 and #3 couldn't make 1:25 either if they took off their fins. Person #5 is not the fin police.


I just have to wonder why Person #5 cannot be the fin police yet persons #1-4 can be the speed police. Are #1-4 not messing up the #5 person's workout? Why would fins be accepted and missing the interval not be accepted? In my opinion, fins can be very challenging to swim around/ with due to all of the excess wake created just as swimming around someone you are lapping can be challenging. Or are we just going on majority rules in this scenario? That makes sense to me but then what if you have an even 3 to 3 split of fins vs. interval and no extra lanes?



But if charm and coaching fail then Person #5, not the fin-wearers, is out of sync and is being rude if s/he insists on staying and getting lapped halfway through the set.

I'm really feeling for poor little #5er right about now. He's in a lane where everyone has fins and is creating a lot of wake and turbulence and he's only been lapped once or twice at most by the completion of the set. I've been on both sides of this situation (lapping and being lapped) and as the person doing the lapping I don't find it any more inconvenient to lap someone once in a set than to swim in a lane with a bunch of finners all of whom I can actually outswim or keep up with; however, it's like swimming in a washing machine during spin cycle at best. Why do the finners get priority over someone a bit slower?

And what if you are in a lane where you can perform 80 to 90% of the set at interval but because of varying intervals within the set, you fail to make the other 10 to 20% and end up being lapped in that portion of the set? I think that's pretty accepted across the board as being appropriate to stay in that lane. So why not be able to be lapped once or twice in the other scenario?



I think you are just describing a difference in coaching style, between the age-group coach who is very bossy and the masters coach who is maybe not bossy enough.
Agreed. Coach sets the tone directly and indirectly (by not saying anything re: culturally unacceptable behaviors).



But really, those of us who go to masters-only workouts are not just farting around.
Not sure what compelled you to state this or what it has to do with the conversation. Uh yeah. I've had some masters swimmers die two lanes down from me when swimming @ practice.



So I don't think your description is the "norm" at all.
In my personal experience it's the norm as these behaviors are what occur at my practices, not occasionally, but daily. And in retrospect, it's dang fascinating to watch scenarios play out. I'm never bored.

All this being said, I think if anyone wants to try and hang with a lane that's fast for them, that they should go for it. I don't see how this is any different than someone throwing on paddles or fins or a wet suit. If they end up being lapped too frequently, they'll move on their own. I guess this is not a popular view, but I know I for one will be much more welcoming of swimmers who want to give it a try. If the kids can welcome me, an old fart, who wants to try to swim in a super fast lane (and sometimes I succeed and sometimes I fail), then I can sure return the favor to others.

CreamPuff
April 17th, 2009, 10:21 AM
In my opinion it means staying out of the other swimmers' way. I don't mind if someone in the lane has to skip a 50 now and then or stop at the wall and let others pass, but if they make you pass them constantly then it's time for them to find a different lane.

It's a good day for me if I'm lapping people constantly. :)

Great job on your 500 BTW! Sub 5:00??!!

An experienced coach can work it so that people will be minimally lapped. I've seen sets be created to prevent excessive lapping (short distances) and to ensure success for certain swimmers. Makes sense to keep the peace so to speak.

some_girl
April 17th, 2009, 10:24 AM
In my opinion it means staying out of the other swimmers' way. I don't mind if someone in the lane has to skip a 50 now and then or stop at the wall and let others pass, but if they make you pass them constantly then it's time for them to find a different lane.

This, I think, is pretty dependent on the team's setup and pool space. In our workouts, you shouldn't be getting lapped on say a 200, but people will get lapped on longer sets and it is understood that if you are passing someone, it is your job to pass them, assuming they are making the interval. But that may be because due to a range of speeds but only 5 lanes, the lapped in one lane would be the lapper if they moved down, where there may not even be room for them in any case.

More generally, I have to agree with CreamPuff: the chaos at most Masters practices is a little ridiculous. On our team, using equipment when it is uncalled for or changing the sets or the intervals is not okay (lobbying for a different interval is possible, but if the coach says no, it is no). However, most teams I have dropped in with are "whatever goes" and it is beyond irritating.

knelson
April 17th, 2009, 10:32 AM
My team, for the most part, does the sets as written. We have one guy who uses paddles for everything, but for the most part people aren't switching things up--at least not in the lanes I swim in. That said, I don't have a problem with people doing their own thing. But I do think the onus is on them to stay out of the way of the swimmers who ARE doing the written workout.

CreamPuff
April 17th, 2009, 10:38 AM
My team, for the most part, does the sets as written. We have one guy who uses paddles for everything, but for the most part people aren't switching things up--at least not in the lanes I swim in. That said, I don't have a problem with people doing their own thing. But I do think the onus is on them to stay out of the way of the swimmers who ARE doing the written workout.

I'm starting to think that there are some pretty significant differences between west coast and east coast swimming. . .
I think that in general the west coast has a larger number of faster swimmers - just look at the records.
I'm lobbying my husband to move out there.

swimmj
April 17th, 2009, 10:43 AM
My team, for the most part, does the sets as written. We have one guy who uses paddles for everything, but for the most part people aren't switching things up--at least not in the lanes I swim in. That said, I don't have a problem with people doing their own thing. But I do think the onus is on them to stay out of the way of the swimmers who ARE doing the written workout.

This describes our team pretty well. Sometimes someone has a shoulder issue and is either kicking the whole workout or swimming with fins, emphasis legs. They might move down a lane if need be. If you are the one in the lane doing something different, then it's really important to be aware of others and stay out of the way.

I've actually had a coach assign 2 different intervals to 1 lane, when the speed difference was big. The pool was too crowded to give someone a single lane, so 2 of us where on a slower interval and 1 was on a faster interval. It was a set of 100's and 200's free and we made it work - sometimes the superfast guy flipped before the wall to avoid passing us. And I am sure that the coach put superfast guy with 2 chicks who were smaller to make that work more easily. Not common, but with common sense you can make things work many different ways.

Chris Stevenson
April 17th, 2009, 10:48 AM
In our workouts, you shouldn't be getting lapped on say a 200, but people will get lapped on longer sets and it is understood that if you are passing someone, it is your job to pass them, assuming they are making the interval.

Interesting. What you describe is what I have always believed, and I always feel a little guilty if someone stops to let me by. (Unless I'm doing backstroke, it is hard to pass people then without breaking stroke.)

But there was a "passing etiquette" thread awhile back and I seem to recall that most people felt that the person being passed should stop or slow down to let the faster person by. (Again, I don't agree...but I DO get a little peeved if the passee decides to pick up the pace just as you're passing.)


More generally, I have to agree with CreamPuff: the chaos at most Masters practices is a little ridiculous. On our team, using equipment when it is uncalled for or changing the sets or the intervals is not okay (lobbying for a different interval is possible, but if the coach says no, it is no). However, most teams I have dropped in with are "whatever goes" and it is beyond irritating.

I think that a person has an obligation not to impede his/her teammates and their practice. If someone constantly wears paddles and can't control his arms, hitting people, that's a problem.

Other than that, I don't see why someone else's decisions about equipment should be my business. I'm not the person's coach or parent. And even if I were, masters swimmers are adults, not children; they are perfectly able to decide whether their use of equipment is excessive or not without hearing my voice on the matter. The coach can offer his/her opinion, or suggest less dependence on equipment, but most masters coaches I know won't press the matter. I think that's great, it is one of the charms of masters swimming.

Creampuff, I believe age group coaches would act the same way if they coached masters. When I swim with the age groupers in practice or go to their meets, I am given much more lattitude than the kids are. For example, I don't do their meet warmup because (a) I can use the extra sleep during a multiday trials/finals meet, and (b) I don't need to do nearly as much in warmup. Of course I cleared this with the coaches long ago, but there is no resentment at all from the kids or coaches.

The Fortress
April 17th, 2009, 11:09 AM
I think that a person has an obligation not to impede his/her teammates and their practice.

Other than that, I don't see why someone else's decisions about equipment should be my business. I'm not the person's coach or parent. And even if I were, masters swimmers are adults, not children; they are perfectly able to decide whether their use of equipment is excessive or not without hearing my voice on the matter. The coach can offer his/her opinion, or suggest less dependence on equipment, but most masters coaches I know won't press the matter. I think that's great, it is one of the charms of masters swimming.


I agree with Chris' comment and Osterber's comments above. Speed is speed.

I don't understand why people get so irritated/judgmental over equipment use. We're all adults. And we do all have different goals, agendas, meet focuses, injury issues, etc. Can't we live and let live?

When I swim with my team, I try to pick the correct lane and and never get in anyone's way. However, I frequently change things up and do backstroke during free sets, kick during free sets (yes, I can keep up), use fins when others aren't. As long as I'm swimming the same distance, making the lane intervals and not getting in anyone's way, I don't see how this is a major problem. There's some natural chaos built into masters' practices because of our diversity. But we're masters; we don't need strict rules and scoldings like age groupers, do we?

Sometimes when I read this stuff, I'm glad I practice solo most of the time ...

CreamPuff
April 17th, 2009, 11:12 AM
I think that a person has an obligation not to impede his/her teammates and their practice. If someone constantly wears paddles and can't control his arms, hitting people, that's a problem.

Other than that, I don't see why someone else's decisions about equipment should be my business. I'm not the person's coach or parent. And even if I were, masters swimmers are adults, not children; they are perfectly able to decide whether their use of equipment is excessive or not without hearing my voice on the matter. The coach can offer his/her opinion, or suggest less dependence on equipment, but most masters coaches I know won't press the matter. I think that's great, it is one of the charms of masters swimming.



Always the voice of reason. What I'm getting out of this thread is that I think we are all in agreement that equipment will be used when people want to use it.

What is fascinating to me is that some of these equipment lovers seem to have a problem if someone who chooses to not use equipment wants to stay in their lane and they are a bit slow for the lane. God forbid if a an equipment lover has to pass someone once or even twice during a set. If I'm leading a lane (and I'm not wearing equipment) and I've got to deal with two paddlers (and needing to avoid their windmill arms and drafting) and two finners (wake and drafting), adding in a slightly slower person (that I may have to pass) will not make a difference to me. But all of a sudden, the finners and paddlers are annoyed if they have to pass this person on occasion. Sounds to me like they can't deal with their own medicine.

aquageek
April 17th, 2009, 11:30 AM
Since we have a large pool we rarely have more than 2 per lane and it is very well organized. People tend to migrate towards the lane with the right speed. Equipment users on non equipment sets are very courteous and typically use equip to keep up. I've only ever known of one problem and it was a doozy and pretty uncomfortable, an equipment user who basically lost his cool and went all noodly on a fellow swimmer.

BillS
April 17th, 2009, 11:40 AM
What I am taking from this discussion is that I am very lucky to swim where I do. We have 10 lanes available 5 mornings a week, and we rarely have any irresolvable speed differentials. I think the only time we had any lapping in recent memory was during a 500 for time, and the day swimmj referred to with super fast dude in with the chicks.

We also don't have any equipment abusers on the team. The folks who fin or paddle up are usually injured or easing back into shape after a layoff, and no one begrudges them their lane space. If anything, we're more guilty of not using equipment when the coach calls for it. I don't own paddles, so don't use them for pull sets, and quit fins altogether for a while when I thought they might be hurting my knees. My teammates are used to me cluttering up the lane on kick sets anyway, and I just stay out of the way and cut the set short as necessary.

Our coaches are particularly good at choosing lane intervals, and are aggressive about placing people in the appropriate lanes for the days workout, depending on what is planned. If it's a really crowded day, we will sometimes do "last man" intervals (lead swimmers go on last touch, or last +5, or whatever), which generally rewards the faster swimmers with more rest and makes the last man work his or her tail off. I've also heard the coaches ask swimmers "what's up with the fins/buoy?" and the like, so they are pretty on it.

Puff, you'd love Oregon. We have loads of really fast swimmers, and an [almost] complete lack of ego and attitude issues. And it's a great place to live -- except, of course for the constant drizzle (that's our story, and we're sticking to it. Any photos you have seen of Oregon in which the sun appears to be shining or the sky is anything other than a leaden gray have been Photoshopped.)

osterber
April 17th, 2009, 11:49 AM
Is it going last and just getting behind and making interval - barely?


If you're making the interval, then you at least have an argument to stay. IMHO, whether you should move or not may depend on some other details.

For example, if it's a set of 20 x 100, and there are lanes going on 1:10, 1:15, 1:20, etc. The 1:10 lane has 5 people in it who are going 1:02-ish on each swim. The 1:15 lane has 2 people in it. If you're at the speed where you'd be going 1:09's in the 1:10 lane and touch-and-go on each one, or you could lead the 1:15 lane and make it by more, and perhaps go faster. You'd be the 6th person in the 1:10 lane or the 3rd person in the 1:15 lane. If it were me, I'd jump in the 1:15 lane and lead. You'd have an argument to stay in the 1:10 lane (since you're making the set)... but you're probably getting in the way of the others.

On the other hand, if you'd be the 4th person in the 1:10 lane, and going at the back of the lane gives you some drag and allows you to keep up... by all means!



Missing interval but not getting lapped?


If you're missing the interval, then you're in the wrong lane. To take the same set example... if you're swimming 1:09, 1:09, 1:09, 1:11, then you're in the wrong lane and you should move down. However, if you're doing the 20 x 100 on 1:10, and holding 1:05's most of the way, tighten up near the end and swim 1:08's and 1:09's on #17, 18, 19, and crash and burn and miss on the last one... then I think you're just fine. You took a shot at the faster interval, kept up with the lane for the vast majority of the set, and ran out of gas at the end. That happens!



Getting lapped only once by a lane leader (they are really fast) in a set and still making the interval?


May depend on the specific scenarios. If this is the fastest lane, then there is sometimes the problem with a lane leader who is "too fast", i.e,. would move up to a faster lane if there were one. If you're making the interval, then I think you're probably fine. Especially if you're making the interval to the same degree as everyone else in the lane.

It comes down to some mutual etiquette for both you and the fast lane leader to try to stay out of each other's way as best you can. I.e,. don't make it hard for the lane leader to pass you... but for example when the lane leader finishes, he/she needs to make sure they move to the side so you can flip and finish up your repeat. You're both in the right lane.



Getting lapped by half the lane (only once in a set) and still making the interval?


Sounds like you're probably still in the right lane.



Making the interval, not getting lapped, but needing to rest for a 50 once or twice during a set?


Depends. Some of this will depend on your history with your lane-mates. To some extent, there is a need to build up "lane credibility". If you've been in the lane for a long time (like months or years, etc.), and everyone knows that you can cut it... but you have a lousy day, or didn't get enough sleep, or your shoulder hurts... then you'll be fine. If you're trying to break into a new lane as the newbie, and nobody knows you... then sitting out in order to keep up won't earn a lot of respect from others in the lane.

-Rick

some_girl
April 17th, 2009, 12:03 PM
I agree with Chris' comment and Osterber's comments above. Speed is speed.

I don't understand why people get so irritated/judgmental over equipment use. We're all adults. And we do all have different goals, agendas, meet focuses, injury issues, etc. Can't we live and let live?

When I swim with my team, I try to pick the correct lane and and never get in anyone's way. However, I frequently change things up and do backstroke during free sets, kick during free sets (yes, I can keep up), use fins when others aren't. As long as I'm swimming the same distance, making the lane intervals and not getting in anyone's way, I don't see how this is a major problem. There's some natural chaos built into masters' practices because of our diversity. But we're masters; we don't need strict rules and scoldings like age groupers, do we?

Sometimes when I read this stuff, I'm glad I practice solo most of the time ...

I guess it is a few things. For one, I feel like if you aren't interested in doing the workout, you should swim alone. Why are you taking up precious space if you are just going to ignore the sets and coaching? (General you.) Then again, like I've said, it is possible I'd find it less irritating if we had more room.

More broadly, one of the things I like about my team is that it feels like a team, not just a collection of people splitting pool rental fees. We do hard work together and suffer together and I value that. Everyone gets their chance to lead and their chance to suck and doesn't cop out. I think the fact that most of our 400 relays wind up in the Top Ten every year is a result of that focus, as much as anything else. Same reason I detest the concept of "superteams." And the whole feeling begins with doing the same work.

In the end though, that's why I swim for the team I swim for. The city has plenty of other teams where you can wear fins and ignore sets to your hearts content, and that is awesome for people who want that.

scyfreestyler
April 17th, 2009, 12:04 PM
Sometimes when I read this stuff, I'm glad I practice solo most of the time ...

No kidding. I've got enough battles going on throughout the day, I don't need them in the pool as well.

The Fortress
April 17th, 2009, 12:13 PM
And the whole feeling begins with doing the same work.

You don't necessarily have to do "the same work" to feel like a team. (And I don't even see how distance swimmers, strokers, and sprinters can always do the same workout?!) My team is still a "team" (and not a superteam), and we have Top Ten relays as well. But I feel like there is some respect for diversity. I often swim with someone who does only freestyle. It doesn't bother me -- the other strokes hurt his shoulders. I wonder if it's an age thing? We have quite a few 40+ competitors. Maybe we're more tolerant, because we're always breaking down? lol

I think lane space is a big factor in the whole anaysis too. If you have crowded lanes, it's easier to get annoyed by perceived "bad" behavior.

On the whole, though, I think the key is to just be courteous. If you are, no one should get on your case. And, as Matt said, who needs censure and battles and disapproval at swim practice?!

Tim L
April 17th, 2009, 12:15 PM
All this being said, I think if anyone wants to try and hang with a lane that's fast for them, that they should go for it. If they end up being lapped too frequently, they'll move on their own. I guess this is not a popular view, but I know I for one will be much more welcoming of swimmers who want to give it a try. If the kids can welcome me, an old fart, who wants to try to swim in a super fast lane (and sometimes I succeed and sometimes I fail), then I can sure return the favor to others.

Creampuff's statement is generally what I would consider normal with our team. That and first come, first serve (stand your ground). If someone comes late and wants to bump another out of a lane and that other person is keeping up with the other lane mates, then there is no way they are going to move over. They would be welcome to join the lane, but not bump someone from it that was keeping up and not interfering with others.

You should just stand your ground, scowl at them if needed, and proceed with your workout. Late arrivers in our pool have no or little standing on lane selection.

Tim

CreamPuff
April 17th, 2009, 12:50 PM
I don't understand why people get so irritated/judgmental over equipment use. We're all adults. And we do all have different goals, agendas, meet focuses, injury issues, etc. Can't we live and let live?

Sometimes when I read this stuff, I'm glad I practice solo most of the time ...

Very true Leslie. It's masters which is why I stated that "anything goes" short of mooning your teammate (which now that I think about it, could be fun) and diving in on their head. And speaking of mooning and anything goes, I will never forget the time when one of my male masters teammates pushed me in with both his hands via my butt! I opted to not be irritated or judgmental! Who's going to place judgment on a Kona #1 age group finisher?

I can say that I've seen swimmers don equipment and then draft the entire practice off the lane leader. So I think that's where people may get a bit annoyed as it certainly affects their workout. And when you look to the coach, they shrug their shoulders. . .

I do, however, still feel a tiny bit sorry for the hard lesson that a newbie or tri swimmer may learn (Can'tWait4Bike will be itching to go to his bike after this thread) after they have worked so hard to learn the basics and then they come into masters to see everyone swimming with paddles and fins. I can see the shock registering on their face as they realize that now they are very slow compared to the rest of the group and they need to learn to swim with paddles ASAP. Don't know about others but it took me quite a while to learn how to swim fast with paddles. Still have yet to learn to swim with fins! ;)

some_girl
April 17th, 2009, 12:52 PM
You don't necessarily have to do "the same work" to feel like a team. (And I don't even see how distance swimmers, strokers, and sprinters can always do the same workout?!) My team is still a "team" (and not a superteam), and we have Top Ten relays as well. But I feel like there is some respect for diversity.

Diversity, sure. Slacking or being a wuss? Not so much. I think there is respect for working hard, and if you seem like you aren't, then you aren't going to get anyone's respect. And over-reliance on equipment or changing sets is going to be interpreted, correctly in most circumstances, as not working hard.

If you show up to a distance practice, you should swim the distance set, and if you don't want to, there are sprint days or open swim just waiting for you. And I know all the folks who decide to do something else claim they are courteous and staying out of the way, yet I can count the number of times it hasn't been disruptive on one hand.


I wonder if it's an age thing? We have quite a few 40+ competitors. Maybe we're more tolerant, because we're always breaking down? lol

Maybe -- my team is pretty young compared to a lot of others. But we have some 40+ folks and it basically breaks down by lane: the faster the lane, the less likely someone is to opt-out, and that's across all ages.


On the whole, though, I think the key is to just be courteous. If you are, no one should get on your case. And, as Matt said, who needs censure and battles and disapproval at swim practice?!

One could just as easily say though, I spend all day navigating chaos. Why should I have to do it at practice too? But honestly, I think it breaks down to liking being on a serious (in the pool) team and not enjoying ones that feel less so. Good thing we can mostly find clubs that suit us.

The Fortress
April 17th, 2009, 01:04 PM
Diversity, sure. Slacking or being a wuss? Not so much.

Equipment use or modifying a set is not always synonymous with slacking or opting out or being a wuss though. I'm sure it's true some of the time, but not always. For myself, I feel I work hard.

To be simultaneously courteous and selfish, I almost never go to distance day or freestyle night. But, if I am by some chance free from kid duty on freestyle night (a rare occurrence, it seems), I will go and do backstroke when I want. I can't really remember when I've disrupted teammates doing that ... In any event, I'm paying dues too. :angel:

Some people are just very "rules" oriented and are cranky whenever "rules" are violated. I think tolerance beats intolerance any day.

Puff:

Not everyone uses paddles. I've never learned how to swim with them, much less fast.

richwaldis
April 17th, 2009, 01:47 PM
I really don't see what being a triathlete or not has to do with anything and if people use equipment or not. Personally I'm a purist when it comes to practice eschewing pull buoys and fins unless they are for a specific purpose or set, but if someone feels the need to wear them, that's there business.

Lane choice should be nothing more than a speed issue. Those of like speed should be able to share a lane while of course having somewhat even lane traffic (5 in one lone and only 1 in another doesn't make a whole lot of sense either).

Even though I'm 43, I prefer a strict coach, but most of the people in our group were not competitive swimmers in their early years. And even those that were may be dealing with pain or injury issues. We as masters swimmers just need to be more flexible in accepting a wider set of differences, BUT if you want to swim 200s while the coach's set is 10 x 100s why are you even on the team???

I love my "team". We're just glad to get a work out in and happy when it's over!!:)

osterber
April 17th, 2009, 02:56 PM
For one, I feel like if you aren't interested in doing the workout, you should swim alone. Why are you taking up precious space if you are just going to ignore the sets and coaching?

I think you're absolutely right. My standard has always been that the workout, as written, is the focus. If you want to modify that workout in any way, it's your job to stay out of the way of people who are doing the workout, as written.

We're adults, and have lots of different issues and restrictions in the pool.

Going back to my example set... 20 x 100 on some sendoff. If the set it swim, and you're doing it pull, I don't have a big problem with that. If you put in fins, I don't have a big problem with that if you're matching the speed/pace of the lane.

If, for example, it's a set of 200 IMs... if you decide you don't like IMs, and you do them all freestyle, then it's your job to 100% stay out of the way of the people doing the set correctly. If you can lead the lane, and there are few enough people so you're not lapping, then fine. The problem with "free instead of IM" is that the IM is a highly variable speed swim, especially on the breaststroke. So the freestyler tends to either lap people or otherwise get in the way. In a long course lane, you might have more space to get away with this.

But in the end... the set, as written, gets priority. If you're doing a modification, it's up to you to stay out of our way.

(All personal pronouns are of course not directed at anyone in particular.)

-Rick

aquageek
April 17th, 2009, 03:16 PM
I will admit two things annoy me - early leavers drive me crazy (we go 10 seconds back) and people who wear fins to make the interval. We do a lot of complicated sets with interval changes. It is comical to see 10-15 guys/gals all trying frantically to figure out when to leave next when everyone is gassed and can't think straight or do simple math.

david.margrave
April 17th, 2009, 10:00 PM
This is why I like going last. So I can opt-out whenever I want and not have other people get irritated that I'm bumping their intervals back and forth by 5 seconds.

some_girl
April 17th, 2009, 10:32 PM
Some people are just very "rules" oriented and are cranky whenever "rules" are violated. I think tolerance beats intolerance any day.

It is funny you say that. I am not a big "rule" person in general, but in my lane I do like it orderly and together.

Fresnoid
April 17th, 2009, 10:39 PM
In my limited masters experience, people sort themselves and lanes out just fine. In our program, everyone does the coached workout with intervals and distances or reps adjusted by the coach to suit each lane. People populate each lane based on similar speed/conditioning.

Intervals dictate who stays in a lane or has to move elsewhere.

Regarding toys, If they slow you down enough to miss that lane's intervals, you better move. If they enable you to go faster, that's great, step up and work with some faster people.

One guy can use fins to do 100's at around my speed. The last 2 days he's jumped in and paced right next to me for much of the workout (while wearing fins). He worked harder and longer than he normally would, so more power to him. I probably went faster too because he was there. No problem there.

Another guy is one of those who can go faster with paddles (I never understood that). He's the same speed I am in practice, but tends to mentally fade towards the end of longer challenging sets. He'll throw on the paddles and keep going. It lets him finish the set at high intensity and keeps pushing me too.

Regarding the early leavers, that is annoying, especially when Coach is calling out finishing times. Use that as an incentive to always, always catch them and go past the last 25. Even if you have the same finishing time, they know you started out behind.

ourswimmer
April 18th, 2009, 12:04 AM
I just have to wonder why Person #5 cannot be the fin police yet persons #1-4 can be the speed police. Are #1-4 not messing up the #5 person's workout? Why would fins be accepted and missing the interval not be accepted?

Because one of the assumptions I stated was that another lane is available that is not too crowded already and in which Person #5 would fit in better speed-wise. If another lane isn't open--if all the other lanes are already overcrowded, or if Person #5 would be just as out-of-sync with them (or more so) as with Persons #1 to #4--then Persons #1 to #5 need to work together to figure out some compromise so that everybody can get at least a decent workout under imperfect conditions.

The other thing to think about is that in addition to Person #5 in my scenario there may also be a Person #4.5--someone who would be better able than Person #5 to hang with Persons #1 to #4, but who doesn't really want to be Person #6 in the lane in a 25-yard pool. I was a Person #4.5 on my team for a while and it pissed me off, which may be why I have so much to say on this topic.

I don't know if cantwait4bike is Person #5 or Person #4.5 or even Person #4, because his original post focused on fins and triathletes rather than on speed and available lanes. I think that fins and triathletes are red herrings, and what I take away from this thread is that most others agree.

CreamPuff
April 18th, 2009, 08:52 AM
Osterber,

Thanks for all the responses including the "it depends." I think that for the several questions I had on different scenarios, I could list 30 more situations. The point is how on earth is a newer swimmer to know what is appropriate or not? Even with years of swimming practices under my belt, it's not always clear cut as to what is appropriate or *best* for yourself and the others in your lane. Actually, let me change that last statement and say it's often very clear what would be best for me. One funny situation that comes to mind is when the entire lane misses the intervals. And yes, the coach did have a purpose for that.

Just the other day I was told by my coach to "be more aggressive and run them over." Given the situation which I will not get into, I would agree with him. Now how does this fit into the desired kumbaya goal that we masters at least say we want to strive for?

What I see in practices is people looking out for #1 (and I don't have a problem with this as it's called life and competition), whether it be via putting on equipment to be faster or to cover up a stroke flaw or get through an injury; rest a repeat; get out early; get in late; draft; just swim free; just swim stroke; do their own set; etc. I find it confusing when in the same breath those swimmers tell other swimmers to follow other rules like this lane may be too fast for you if you are lapped once in a set. Just seems almost humorous to me . . .

Ourswimmer, I too have been swimmer 1 through 5 on various occasions. I hear you.



If you're making the interval, then you at least have an argument to stay. IMHO, whether you should move or not may depend on some other details.

For example, if it's a set of 20 x 100, and there are lanes going on 1:10, 1:15, 1:20, etc. The 1:10 lane has 5 people in it who are going 1:02-ish on each swim. The 1:15 lane has 2 people in it. If you're at the speed where you'd be going 1:09's in the 1:10 lane and touch-and-go on each one, or you could lead the 1:15 lane and make it by more, and perhaps go faster. You'd be the 6th person in the 1:10 lane or the 3rd person in the 1:15 lane. If it were me, I'd jump in the 1:15 lane and lead. You'd have an argument to stay in the 1:10 lane (since you're making the set)... but you're probably getting in the way of the others.

On the other hand, if you'd be the 4th person in the 1:10 lane, and going at the back of the lane gives you some drag and allows you to keep up... by all means!



If you're missing the interval, then you're in the wrong lane. To take the same set example... if you're swimming 1:09, 1:09, 1:09, 1:11, then you're in the wrong lane and you should move down. However, if you're doing the 20 x 100 on 1:10, and holding 1:05's most of the way, tighten up near the end and swim 1:08's and 1:09's on #17, 18, 19, and crash and burn and miss on the last one... then I think you're just fine. You took a shot at the faster interval, kept up with the lane for the vast majority of the set, and ran out of gas at the end. That happens!



May depend on the specific scenarios. If this is the fastest lane, then there is sometimes the problem with a lane leader who is "too fast", i.e,. would move up to a faster lane if there were one. If you're making the interval, then I think you're probably fine. Especially if you're making the interval to the same degree as everyone else in the lane.

It comes down to some mutual etiquette for both you and the fast lane leader to try to stay out of each other's way as best you can. I.e,. don't make it hard for the lane leader to pass you... but for example when the lane leader finishes, he/she needs to make sure they move to the side so you can flip and finish up your repeat. You're both in the right lane.



Sounds like you're probably still in the right lane.



Depends. Some of this will depend on your history with your lane-mates. To some extent, there is a need to build up "lane credibility". If you've been in the lane for a long time (like months or years, etc.), and everyone knows that you can cut it... but you have a lousy day, or didn't get enough sleep, or your shoulder hurts... then you'll be fine. If you're trying to break into a new lane as the newbie, and nobody knows you... then sitting out in order to keep up won't earn a lot of respect from others in the lane.

-Rick

aztimm
April 18th, 2009, 05:31 PM
I get annoyed when we're doing non-free sets, the coach gives an appropriate interval for the set, but there's 1-2 swimmers who decide to do free and adjust the intervals on their own. My choices are usually--
* move to a slower lane that is usually way too slow, that I'm nearly lapping those swimmers
* stay in my current lane, and struggle with the shorter intervals
* stay in my current lane, and do the intervals assigned...which will cause problems eventually

Now I don't mind if someone wants to do free instead of stroke, but move to an appropriate lane for it. I'm not a fast swimmer; I can do sets of 200 SCY free on 3 min easily, with 30 sec rest. Change that to stroke, and I'm struggling. Which is why the coach will usually give us 3:30 for a non-free set.

We've had cases where some feel that since they're the first in the lane for the day that others should move, not them. We've had cases where people go in 'their' lane regardless of how many others are already in that lane. A lane could have 6 people, while those on either side have 2-3. We have some people who know they'll be doing the sprint set (on one side of the pool), yet get in the fastest lane for warm-up anyway, and have to cross over 4 lanes once warm-up is complete. We have some people who used to be fast, but haven't worked out for a few months, come back and get in the same lane they used to swim in.

As someone else said, I swim mostly to reduce stress in my life, not create more from it. I'll usually go with the flow. If others are doing free for a 200, I may do a combination of 100 fr/100 non so I can still make their intervals, or make other adjustments to make things work. If I've been away or am feeling rusty, I'll move to a slower lane. Occasionally, I'll move to a faster lane, especially if few fast folks show up one day. Of course when doing longer swims (500+), we'll have lapping. A few weeks ago we had 5-6 people in a lane for a timed mile...I think I lapped one gal every 250, but she was excellent with pulling to the side at a wall when I got remotely close.

Overall, the benefits of swimming with the team outweigh the negatives.

pwb
April 18th, 2009, 05:49 PM
Man, there's a lot of testiness out there. Why can't we each show up and follow our bliss while generally sticking to the workout the coach gives? Maybe I'm obtuse, but we don't seem to have these problems where I swim. People seem to self-organize into the right lanes, do what the coach says and, if they make modifications, coordinate with their lane mates.

Paul Smith
April 18th, 2009, 06:25 PM
Man, there's a lot of testiness out there. Why can't we each show up and follow our bliss while generally sticking to the workout the coach gives? Maybe I'm obtuse, but we don't seem to have these problems where I swim. People seem to self-organize into the right lanes, do what the coach says and, if they make modifications, coordinate with their lane mates.

patrick, I love ya man but let me clarify a few things:

1) you are always in the fast lane
2) you are always going 1st in that lane
3) people are afraid of you and stay out of your way (to be fair folks PW is a great guy...other than that Texas Longhorn thing)

The reality was VERY evident today at Cactus where the switch was made to LC and the masters only had 3 lanes....which meant 8-10 swimmers per lane.

Lane 6 (Patricks) was very orderly...he led, everyone else followed. People made room for swimmers coming in behind him, there was minimal gear abuse and no on got near anyones feet

Lane 7 is the "interesting" lane as a lot of folks who could have been in Patricks lane went here to "cruise" and others who should have been in lane 8 were using wetsuits, pull gear, fins...and every other possible thing they could find to "hang" with the lane...an all out yelling match actually took place when the coach took one guys paddles away and refused to give them back.

Lane 8 has some of the nicest people...and usually ould be orderly because they would have 2-3 lanes instead of one...so there was overflow from Lane 7...and me. In spite of my best efforts to explain some basic lane etiqutte (leave 10 apart, move over for swimmers coming in, go first if you want to wear fins on everything)...it was all ignord and we had absolute carnage...which is exactly why I was there having fun!!

CreamPuff
April 18th, 2009, 07:05 PM
Man, there's a lot of testiness out there. Why can't we each show up and follow our bliss while generally sticking to the workout the coach gives? Maybe I'm obtuse, but we don't seem to have these problems where I swim. People seem to self-organize into the right lanes, do what the coach says and, if they make modifications, coordinate with their lane mates.

No, not obtuse. Just fast enough to not have to deal with anything.

I'd be in la la land as well if I had your times.

CreamPuff
April 18th, 2009, 07:12 PM
it was all ignord and we had absolute carnage...which is exactly why I was there having fun!!

LOL! :applaud: I'm so there! I really need to make out that way. I agree, for all the banter this kind of thing can be terribly delicious!

Fresnoid
April 18th, 2009, 07:20 PM
I'd be in la la land as well if I had your times.


I dunno about that. I admit always being part of the fastest lane, but self-regulation with lane mates seems to work pretty well everywhere I've worked out. Although I only started last May after a 14 year break, I have worked out with masters teams this year at:

South Bay Hawthorne, CA
Menlo Park CA
SCAQ -Santa Monica College
SCAQ - Loyola Marymount
SCAQ -Century City
SCAQ - Echo Park
Conroe School, Woodland, TX
JJ Pearce, Dallas, Texas
SMU - Dallas TX.
Woodhead Pool -Riverside, CA
Las Vegas Masters - Henderson, NV

In every time while traveling, no one knew me or what speed I might be. I knew nobody there, or how fast they might be, but in each case things sorted out just fine quite quickly.

Ahelee Sue Osborn
April 18th, 2009, 08:08 PM
I recently started coaching some practices at a masters program where the coach writes a practice on a wipe-off board and then heads off to sit down or chat with someone on deck. :(

Intervals and rest between sets are a free for all in each lane.
Survival of the fittest and the strongest swimmer often decides the rest.

The first day I coached, I swear swimmers were jumping out of their skin when I called out their times and eyes were opened wide to hear a stroke correction.
But the best of all, was the subtle look of gratitude that came from swimmers in the back of the lanes.
For organization of the lanes. They could actually make the send off for the presented set - and understood how to swim it correctly.

The coach on the deck drives everything in the practice.
Thats' not to say there is no flexibility, but masters swimmers need a conductor.

A word or two about a little extra rest, a higher quality swim - or a bit less rest knowing there is a break at the end of the set can keep a lane pretty harmonious.

Ande and Paul made some pretty good comments in regard to coaching not long ago that can apply here.
#1 Swimmer - ASK the coach questions
#2 Coach - get very active and involved in the practice

I would venture to say that we loose many swimmers from masters because of perceived rudeness and lack of attention to varied needs in the lanes.

Personally, I really dislike watching swimmers struggle with lane disorganization when I am on deck.
And I can almost feel a swimmer's future pain when I watch poor technique.
I figure besides being a lifeguard for the practice sometimes, this is the reason they pay me to be on deck.

pwolf66
April 18th, 2009, 08:54 PM
I get annoyed when we're doing non-free sets, the coach gives an appropriate interval for the set, but there's 1-2 swimmers who decide to do free and adjust the intervals on their own.

I frequently do this but when I do, I make sure that my lanemates know I am swimming free (and I move to lead the lane) and I also pick up the pace by swimming a pace much closer to a sprint and just deal witht he extra rest.

Swimming free on stroke sets and decreasing the interval and affecting the whole lane is just something that I would never consider doing. I'm the one who's going off the page, so I'm the one who should have to adjust. Not the whole lane. That's just completely selfish behavoir.

pwolf66
April 18th, 2009, 08:57 PM
i recently started coaching some practices at a masters program where the coach writes a practice on a wipe-off board and then heads off to sit down or chat with someone on deck. :(

aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah

pwb
April 18th, 2009, 09:27 PM
...it was all ignord and we had absolute carnage...which is exactly why I was there having fun!!

... so I missed all of the fun!

I do, though, agree with the fundamental point that things get a lot more interesting the more crowded the lanes.


I dunno about that. I admit always being part of the fastest lane, but self-regulation with lane mates seems to work pretty well everywhere I've worked out
...
In every time while traveling, no one knew me or what speed I might be. I knew nobody there, or how fast they might be, but in each case things sorted out just fine quite quickly.

I, too, have found this. I've worked out with a number of teams over the last 6 to 9 months while traveling and have not had problems. People are welcoming and it seems pretty quick to figure out the lane order.


...
The coach on the deck drives everything in the practice.
Thats' not to say there is no flexibility, but masters swimmers need a conductor.
...

I do agree with that wholeheartedly ... maybe part of the reason my "traveling" workout experiences have also been so good is that I've tried to pick strong masters' teams/strong coaches to train with.

3strokes
April 18th, 2009, 09:27 PM
I actually had someone in my lane recently who was too slow to be there. I only got annoyed when he pushed off right in front of me (and this was LC and I was lapping him). But in retrospect, if he wants to stay there even after being almost run over when I passed him, good for him (and for me - great OW practice.) So. . . I say anything goes.


That's one way of dealing with the over-inflated egos who swim in a specific (public swims, not team or Masters) lane only because this lane is marked as the fast lane (even though the other lanes—to flatter egos, I guess— are medium fast and medium. There's no slow lane. The trick when overtaking them is cutting in in front of them (and even if you're really only doing arm pulls) flutter-kick furiously right under their nose (literally). When this is repeated a few times, most of them get the message and move down.

CreamPuff
April 18th, 2009, 09:36 PM
That's one way of dealing with the over-inflated egos who swim in a specific (public swims, not team or Masters) lane only because this lane is marked as the fast lane (even though the other lanes—to flatter egos, I guess— are medium fast and medium. There's no slow lane. The trick when overtaking them is cutting in in front of them (and even if you're really only doing arm pulls) flutter-kick furiously right under their nose (literally). When this is repeated a few times, most of them get the message and move down.

There's no science to it really. Slower boy was not hugging the lane line and was swimming almost in the middle of the lane. Add to that two big boys with fins coming the other direction. And there I am right in the middle passing as the part of the set was *fast* so I was not planning on slowing down. I avoided a collision by some stroke of luck. Anyway, great OW practice. The slower swimmer got out of the lane right after that.

swimcat
April 19th, 2009, 08:37 AM
pass under them. it really freaks them out:)

That Guy
April 19th, 2009, 10:16 AM
also you can push off the wall underneath the lane line and do your SDK's there. In a crowded situation, that can really come in handy.

qbrain
April 19th, 2009, 10:48 AM
What I have learned from this thread is that normal protocol is that the lanes are in absolute havoc, and some swimmers actually like it that way.

CreamPuff
April 19th, 2009, 11:09 AM
also you can push off the wall underneath the lane line and do your SDK's there. In a crowded situation, that can really come in handy.

Best advice ever particularly when you've got 5 to 6 flyers in a lane SCY doing repeats for time going 5 seconds apart. You will be screwed by flailing arms and turbulence if you don't use some major SDK off the walls.

That Guy
April 19th, 2009, 11:57 AM
What I have learned from this thread is that normal protocol is that the lanes are in absolute havoc, and some swimmers actually like it that way.

I don't like havoc, that's why I train alone. But learning to deal with havoc does have its uses. In open water & triathlon swim starts, it can get really violent. The first time I found myself in that situation, I realized that spending my younger years in crowded lanes had prepared me perfectly for it. I fended off fools without breaking stroke. Someone swam on top of my legs so I automatically switched to a 6 beat kick; problem solved. I did struggle to ignore the mental signal to yield that fires when someone pointedly taps on my feet. In open water, it just means that whoever is behind me sucks at drafting.