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aztimm
August 22nd, 2002, 01:11 AM
Hello,

I have heard people say that some pools are 'fast,' but never really thought too much about it before a recent meet I swam in.

Our AZ State Long Course (50m) meets had usually been held at the Phoenix Swim Club, and I competed in several meets there. This year, it was held at the ASU Mona Plummer facility.

I know that it is possible for improvement over a year, especially with the coaching staff I'm exposed to, but is it really possible to shed 2 seconds in a 50m breast? Or over 8 seconds in the 200m breast over a year? About 9 seconds in the 800m free...

No, I have not (yet) purchased a full-body suit, but have considered that for some time. I have heard that they can make a difference too.

I guess I'm just trying to see if I can take the credit as self improvements, or if the ASU pool is significantly 'faster' than the Phoenix Swim Club.

Any comments would be most appreciated. Thanks.


Tim Murphy

cinc3100
August 22nd, 2002, 02:15 AM
Pools don't make much of a different in time. I'm only swim one meet as a masters but in age group and school swimming in some fast pools I did great and others not. In your case it is probably conditioning.

Bert Bergen
August 22nd, 2002, 11:33 AM
Pool conditions and dimensions can make a HUGE difference (in addition to personal conditions and dimensions!) Water temperature, weather (outdoor), climate control (indoor), lane width, lane line buffering, gutter systems, pool depth; all can be factors in how "fast" a pool is considered. To top it all off, if you have swum well in one pool and poorly in another, you may mentally build up one facility while making a second an "uphill both ways, against the tide" type situation. That said, all of these factors may not lead to you swimming well at one and less so at another. As Cynthia said, conditioning, eating habits, a great heat, or simply being in "the zone" can contribute the same if not more. I have swum at both facilities in Phoenix/Tempe. I really like the ASU pool and swam VERY well there in competitions. I only practiced at Phoenix and thought it was a nice facility. It however felt like a country club and I'm not sure how "fast it would be." (See, I may have created something in my own mind). Enjoy your times, remember how you trained, warmed up and felt/though during the races and USE THAT for your next big meet REGARDLESS of the pool you swim in. Oh, and stay away from the cheater-suits. No fun shaving!

Steve
August 22nd, 2002, 05:56 PM
Fast pools do exist, do not believe otherwise. That is why folks get excited about racing at places like IUPUI, Federal Way,et al..:)

Brad Biddle
August 22nd, 2002, 06:36 PM
I think the Phoenix Swim Club pool would be considered a "fast" pool: it's wide, deep (7.5 ft everywhere), good gutters (not sure what it's called when the pool level goes right up to the gutter wall and then waterfalls into deep gutters), good lane lines including double lines at the walls, kept well cooled, etc. (See <http://www.phoenixswimclub.org/facility.html>)

Give yourself credit for some great improvements!

--Brad

valhallan
August 22nd, 2002, 08:42 PM
Fast pools do indeed exist. Some of the conditions that I've always associated with this have to do with pool depth. water temperature and gutter design.

During high school we used to have our AAU finals at The United States Military Academy located in West Point. And that pool was deep, had crisp water temperature, and very good overhead lighting. Could have been the end of the year taper and shave, but the every member of the team would come home with personal bests year after year.

I think the reality of the situation is that shallow pools, (25 yards), and less than eight lanes are more susceptible to wave action depending on the overflow capacity of the gutter system. And secondly there's something psychological about swimming in a deep, wide pool versus a 'bathtub' kind of facility. One of my teammates however, Bobby Hackett, went on to Olympic glory in 1976. And we were training in a six lane 'ghetto' pool. Go figure!

aztimm
August 22nd, 2002, 08:47 PM
Hello,

Gosh, I didn't realize I'd get such a response, especially so fast.

Just wanted to clarify a few points:

1. I had no intention of putting down one pool over another.

2. My main reason for posting was to see if others notice significant improvements from pool to pool.


I've been a masters swimmer for about 5 years now, and at first I was reaching new times with every meet I competed in. Lately, however, it seemed that I had reached a training 'plateau' where I stayed around the same.

There probably are MANY other factors at work that resulted in improved times, but I just wanted to see what you all thought of the pool issue.


Thanks.



Tim

cinc3100
August 22nd, 2002, 10:27 PM
I'm the opposite of many swimmers. I don't like the very cold pools. As a kid if I could not warm down during the meet, I could not breath if the winter temperature was under 80 degrees. As for hottubs, I did really well in them. Some deep pools like Belmont Shores in Long Beach I did medocre in. East Los Angeles which is in my book a better pool than Long Beach not as deep but about 15 years younger, I did my best 100 yard butterfly time in but I was tapered and in my best shape. In fact I swam in some pools that were under 80 degrees and were built in the 1940's.

Ian Smith
August 23rd, 2002, 12:36 PM
There certainly are pools faster than others. Just think back to the days (if you are old enough) when lane separators were thin ropes held afloat by cork rings spaced out every 4 feet or so. There have been many improvements since that time such as those mentioned in this thread.

However, even today, in our neck of the woods, you can still swim in short course pools with 6 narrow lanes that are barely deep enough to flip turn in the shallow end and have no gutters at the ends. Races in these pools (especially fly) remind me of swimming in the sea during the surfing days of my youth.

Anyway, enough digression, my question is: was the Cleveland SU pool fast? (faster than Federal Way?)

Prior to the Nationals someone reported the pool to be 'mythically fast' in its short course configuration. There were good times at the pool but were there any mythical ones?
Ian.

mdhammer
August 23rd, 2002, 02:20 PM
Ian,

Given the depth of the water all the way across for the short course configuration, I imagine the pool is faster for short course than for long course. It was a little shallow at the far end. But still, a very nice pool.

- Maria D

Philip Arcuni
August 23rd, 2002, 03:02 PM
At the latest US Swimming nationals, several swimmers complained about the shallowness of the pool. They said they kicked the bottom off of their turns. In that situation I would call it a slow pool.

I think it was the Hall of Fame pool in Fort Lauderdale. I know many at this site have swum there (so have I, back in . . . 1969? it probably isn't the same pool). Is it that shallow, or is it more about how deep the elite swimmers come off the wall (backstroke especially)?

cinc3100
August 23rd, 2002, 10:17 PM
Back in the 1970's the pools were made less deep because we all had flat dives and we didn't do more than two kicks of dolphin for the butterfly and backstokers flipped on their backs and did flatter kicks. I still prefer the East Los Angeles pool over Belmont Shores. I was surprise to find that the CIF meet in high school went back to Long Beach which is an older pool than East Los Angeles. I swam in even a 33 1/3 pool which they don't create anymore, when I was in a novice summer league back in 1969 at 12 years old, and it had some strange lane lines.

k_burkey
August 23rd, 2002, 10:43 PM
There are definitly some pools which have an advantage over others. At the Texas Age group open I had several of my swimmers compete there. The pool is the Texas Aquatics Center at the University of Texas, Austin Campus. IT is a multimillion dollar state of the art pool. It is an indoor 50, but it has a bulkhead in the ceiling. when it comes down it makes the pool into the worlds fastest 50 yard pool. It is the fastest because the newly created wall is only 4 feet high, under that is 5 feet of open water to the bottom of the 9'uniform depth pool. this causes the wake to not come back on any of the swimmers. Also the starting block are on raised platforms which make the deck at the permanant wall also flow through. State of the Art lane lines are used and the pool is absolutely amazing. If anyone out there ever has a chance to check out this amazing pool I greatly encouarge you to check it out
K. Robert Burkey :)

Slow Lane
August 24th, 2002, 12:59 AM
33 1/3? Was that the old Santa Monica Municipal Pool? I remember it being something like that.


Originally posted by cinc310
Back in the 1970's the pools were made less deep because we all had flat dives and we didn't do more than two kicks of dolphin for the butterfly and backstokers flipped on their backs and did flatter kicks. I still prefer the East Los Angeles pool over Belmont Shores. I was surprise to find that the CIF meet in high school went back to Long Beach which is an older pool than East Los Angeles. I swam in even a 33 1/3 pool which they don't create anymore, when I was in a novice summer league back in 1969 at 12 years old, and it had some strange lane lines.

cinc3100
August 24th, 2002, 01:32 AM
It was Bellflower. They use to have novice meets there in the late 1960's and early 1970.s. You would earn points and win a throphy worth so many points. I had to swim 66 2/3 races as a 12 year old there.

Fisch
August 26th, 2002, 10:49 PM
You got your fast pools, you got your slow pools.....

Circa 1970, Nyack, NY, YWCA pool, High school meet...

20 yards. Three lanes. But divided into four lanes
with those rope/cork float lane lines. Water temp 90+
degrees F. NO GUTTERS. No BLOCKS. Yikes.

I swam a 400 free. Thought I was gonna die from the heat.
What a toilet.

Pool design counts.

cinc3100
August 26th, 2002, 11:25 PM
I swam in a 20 yard pool and workout at a health club now probably between 15 to 20 yards. Anyway, the pool I swam as a kid in Tustin for a novice meet was a little on the warm side and I did 40 yard swims and 80 yard swims. I did pretty well at that meet. The first pool I swamwith electronic timing pads was Mission Viejo in some age group meet before that ,they had those old wand up watches and some small electronical hand watches. That dates me with a lot of other people that write here.