View Full Version : Song in your head during practice?

jim thornton
February 11th, 2002, 05:36 PM
Does anyone else ever mentally hum a tune during swim practices and/or races? My personal favorite, when I am trying to summon energy from my exhausted body, is the 1812 Overture--I try to time it so the cannons start firing towards the latter part of the race.

I'd be interested to hear what goes through other peoples' minds as they swim, musical or otherwise.

February 11th, 2002, 06:42 PM
Hey Jim

That's a great question. The last time I sang to myself was probably during a workout some years ago, since these days I concentrate on only one thing each lap, an element of my stroke or breathing technique. However, I remember that I, too, searched for a long time. My Heart at Thy Sweet Voice from the opera Samson and Delilah was the last song I remember singing in my mind as I swam. In years past Sousa marches were my choices, much as with you and the 1812 Overture.

jean sterling
February 11th, 2002, 07:43 PM
I don't hum to myself while I swim, but I do have a special tape I made for myself that I call "Rousers". I will play this tape when I am driving to a swim meet. The selections include things like the Grand March from Aida, the finale section of Saint Saen's Organ Symphony, Beethoven's Egmont Overture, the theme from Rocky, the theme from Chariots of Fire, something rousing from Phantom of the Opera (the one where the Phantom sings to Christine) etc. I don't think I have "War of 1812" on there, and that is a real oversight on my part. That is a real rousing piece of music.

jim thornton
February 11th, 2002, 08:35 PM

Your tape is a great idea. Maybe you and USMS should make a CD entitled Rousers #1 and sell it as a fund raiser. If it proves successful, you could follow up with Rousers #2, etc. Who knows? Maybe someday it will become standard to pipe Rousers #417, etc. into the underwater PA system at masters workouts nationwide.

Doug--(Mr. Strong440--for some reason, I have in mind your name is Doug; forgive me if this isn't the case):

You make an excellent point, too, about concentrating on some aspect of technique. I just got back from a brutal (for me) workout--5 x 100 on 1:25 warm up, followed by 6 x 500 on 6:30, followed by 1 x 200 sprint, a slow 100, and 6 x 50 on :40. I get so exhausted during this kind of thing that I find myself murmuring the word "peace" to myself as I plod back and forth, almost an attempt to induce a little transcendental-ly meditative state of mind to distance my self from the pain of distance...

I think that for me the best thing to think about during swimming is pretty much nothing at all--I actually swim to silence my mind. Tchaikovsky's (spelling?) booming cannons are better than words.

February 11th, 2002, 10:37 PM
I do usually sing during workouts ... but fall quickly into some one line rhythmic repeater.

I just read The Waterproof Coach (by Thomas Denes). He advocates using a personal "Song-O-Meter" to determine your swimming pace. He writes,

When you swim easy you should be able to sing your favorite song in your head without any problem. (That is, provided you have a favorite song to which you know the words.) When you swim at a moderate pace, you'll find yourself either forgetting some of the words or repeating the same refrain over and over like a broken record. When you swim fast, songs are out of the question. You'll be working too hard.

He goes on to joke about the Carpenters and the Osmonds ... :eek: (all on p.7)

I like it as a method of determining pace, especially for workouts when I don't want to be too obsessed with the clock.

February 12th, 2002, 12:02 AM
I tend to count while I swim - keeps me in a nice pace.


February 12th, 2002, 07:25 AM
-anything by Led Zeppelin......

February 12th, 2002, 08:51 AM
I'm with Loreta. I don't know how you guys can be singing. I chant that's 200, 200, 200, next will be 250, left elbow up, oops is this 200 or 250??? No time for singing.

February 12th, 2002, 09:13 AM
My little ditty goes something like this...

First stanza:
"reach, reach, breathe..reach, reach, breathe..."
second stanza:
"get ready to flip; tuck, push, don't breathe"
third stanza:
"reach, breathe..reach, breathe..reach, breathe.."
"kick, kick, rotate...kick, kick, rotate"

A little different version for breast and back.


February 12th, 2002, 09:10 PM
I swim without a cap or ear plugs. I find swimming to be an
intensely aural experience (unless I get swamped and get
a mouthful of water--then it becomes suddenly oral). I can
barely count strokes. No way I could carry a tune!

February 12th, 2002, 09:42 PM
My tune is a little less classical than most of the previous listings.
For anything over 200 yds, I'm singing "Bat out of Hell" - MeatLoaf. (Don't laugh, I'm serious)

Bert Petersen
February 13th, 2002, 01:16 AM
Does it count if you suddenly start rehearsing a catchy commercial that you cannot get rid of ? eg: " plop, plop, fizz,fizz, etc............ Seriously, I like the theme out of Crocodile Dundee, you know the one where he, Walter and the lady are starting out in that old beater of a land-rover. Way cool guitar ! On the way to a meet, I like to play Queen's " It's a kind of magic ". So I'm weird; sue me ! :p

jean sterling
February 13th, 2002, 08:54 AM
You know how you are supposed to roll when you do the backstroke? Well, I know somebody who sings that Walmart commercial to herself - the one where they play "rolling, rolling, rolling......" and the little happy face goes zipping around the store rolling back prices.

February 13th, 2002, 10:29 AM
Originally posted by Randy Nutt
-anything by Led Zeppelin......

Thank God, Randy! I was beginning to think there was something wrong with me because I didn't hear classical music when I swam!

I don't think I think of anything when I'm competing (in fact, my coach swears I forget EVERYTHING she's told me as soon as I dive off the blocks), but when I'm just working out, I usually hear in my head whatever song is currently stuck there after driving in that morning. Sometimes that's unfortunate, if it's a real turkey like "Last Kiss" (I really hate that song), but some days I get lucky, and it's something good, like "Johnny B. Goode," by Chuck Berry!


February 13th, 2002, 10:49 AM
I'm glad I'm not the only one who uses music in the head to get through practice. Although, having just learned flip turns, if I'm practicing flip turns I'm only thinking about the mechanics of getting in a turn as I swim down the lane. Otherwise, I find music in the head as a great motivator. I listen to music on my drive to the pool to get the process started. I'm with Randy on his selection as a start. However, usually towards the end of practice when I need increased motivation I switch to something with a strong cadence, such as Battle Hymm (sp?) of the Republic.

Tom Ellison
February 13th, 2002, 11:58 AM
Gosh, most of the posts here swim to classical music...I better get in step ....because I mostly hear "Dark Side of the Moon" while I swim...:confused:

laura wright
February 13th, 2002, 12:48 PM
When I was growing up in AAU, everyone in the lane would pick the same song to think of during repeats. During the intervals, we'd check to see if we were on the same stanza... :p

February 13th, 2002, 12:54 PM
Meg, could you imagine working out together with Zoomer, dcarson, and Tom -our lane would ROCK!!!!
Jim -if we were next to your lane you would not be able to do your silent swimming! :)

February 13th, 2002, 01:00 PM
This subject reminds me of a something funny back in college. Moments before our team was to start on a 3000y for time a comedian on our team was running around singing an annoying song. His sole purpose, of course, was to put the song in our heads for the entire swim. Needless to say, and unfortunately, he was successful!

Rob Copeland
February 13th, 2002, 01:57 PM
When I’m trying to get my timing back , I normally fall back on Queen’s “We Will Rock You” .

My most annoying song in the head – was during a long open water swim, when miles from shore with only my support boat in sight, The Gilligan’s Island theme kept running through my mind. Needless to say, after 6+ hours of this I eagerly looked forward to finishing the swim, just to turn off the music.

Tom Ellison
February 13th, 2002, 02:31 PM
Rob...someday...you have to tell me how to turn of the music...
Gee, at least it isn't voices..."Is too", Is not, Is to...

February 13th, 2002, 05:30 PM
Anyone else have favorites for the pre-race psych??
Mine is an easy choice - Queen's "Don't Stop Me Now".
Gee, between Queen and MeatLoaf you'd think I would go faster than I do...........

Mark in MD
February 13th, 2002, 09:50 PM
I resisted the urge to respond to this one until I read Jean's reference to Saint-Saens' Symphony #3 (The Organ). I often find myself in the pool at Saturday morning's workout/practice thinking over what I will be doing at my Church the next day. One problem ... I have to go home and practice AGAIN, but at the organ! Water and music mixes well for me, too. Maybe we should get togther and do a list called Swimmers' Favorites. Oh yes! We forgot an obvious one: Handel's Water Music Suite.

February 13th, 2002, 10:09 PM
Pre Race -Talking Heads
During Race -already noted :Zeppelin; Golden Earing's "Radar Love" is good; so is Free's "Allright Now" and stuff by Bachman Turner Overdrive.
Right After Race -Jimmy Buffett
Really late after the race: Barry White or Al Green
Sleeping as I recover from race: classical

Bob Boder
February 14th, 2002, 08:07 AM
During practice I am a counter. I even count lengths not laps. Odd numbers up and even numbers back. This helps me when I lose track.

I competetion I just go. No time to think of anything but fast.

My problem is in open water swims. There is nothing to count, the distance in long enough that it is not sprint pace, so I have time to think. I usually just think -one-two-one-two- how boring. I need to learn a song

February 14th, 2002, 08:48 AM
I'm half surprised not to see mention of Deep Purple's "Smoke on the Water".


February 14th, 2002, 09:40 AM
You're right Randy -- Jimmy Buffett is a great choice! Especially "Fins"! If that doesn't get you moving, nothing will!

I need rock & roll to get me moving. Classical turns me to spaghetti. But classical for winding down is perfect. One of my favorites is St.-Saen's Carnival of the Animals. My swim club used it as the basis for a water ballet twice when I was a kid. One year I was a fossil, and the other time I was a fish. We also did a water ballet one year called "West Meade Swim Club Presents a Love-In" (can you guess this was circa the late 60s?), and I was in a number to "In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida"! It was truly bizarre!


jean sterling
February 14th, 2002, 12:16 PM
[QUOTE]Originally posted by Bob Boder
[B]During practice I am a counter. I even count lengths not laps. Odd numbers up and even numbers back. This helps me when I lose track.

I do that too, and I still manage to get confused sometimes. :)

laura wright
February 14th, 2002, 01:04 PM
Can anyone top this? We were doing 75's, and our lane leader lost count - stopped after a 50!


Frank Thompson
February 14th, 2002, 02:21 PM
The other day I was reading Dan Frost's interesting post The Losers. Then on the radio I heard Tom Petty song "Even the Losers" on the way to practice and that song just kept replaying in my head. I was thinking of all the people from Oregon and Virginia that had there times not count for the recently published 2001 SCM Top Ten for some sort of reason. I remember when that song came out from the album "Dam the Torpedoes" which broke Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers nationally. It had other good songs on there as well like Refugee, Here Comes My Girl, and Don't Do Me Like That.

Also about a month ago I was doing a workout at the pool and the music that was playing out on to the pool deck was the reissue from Rhino Records of Iron Butterfly "In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida" CD reissue that came out in 1995. I remember when this came out as a record in 1968 and it was one of the most popular albums off all time. That CD is 58:08 long so when I started I used the first 21 minutes to do a pre-set and then followed with a main set of 28 X 100 on the 1:20. The first part of that CD has all the other songs like Most Anything that You Want Girl, Flowers and Beads, My Mirage, Termination, and Are You Happy. When those songs were done is when I finished the pre-set and started the main set.

The next 3 songs on the CD are In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida, the original uncut album version with drum solo at 17:10, then the live version from a concert at 18:51, then the single AM radio version without solos at 2:59 totalling 37 minutes. That song is all I heard during those 28 100's which took 37:20 to do. Sounds boring, maybe, but that song can get you thru stuff like that. Young people that weren't around can't believe that original 1968 release was Atlantic Records biggest selling record of all time up until that time (1968-1969).

February 14th, 2002, 03:16 PM
[B]Can anyone top this? We were doing 75's, and our lane leader lost count - stopped after a 50!

Many years ago, I was watching New England Division I Champs (Boston College, Umass Amherst, etc.). It was evening finals of the 200 free. BC had a freshman who was 1:39 or so in the morning, seeded first at night by a bunch. He went out hard, and came into the wall at the finish and finished hard, and started the fist-pumping for his victory. Unfortunately, everyone else just flipped, since it was only the 150.


Ion Beza
February 14th, 2002, 03:58 PM
Sometimes to get energized for a strong practice or race, I listen to these songs from CDs I juggle with:

1) "Thirteen Days" by J. J. Cale;

2) "Dear Mister Fantasy" or "Hole in my shoe" by Traffic;

3) "We Used To Know" by Jethro Tull;

4) "Tales" by Uriah Heep;

5) "Dream On" by Aerosmith;

6) "Conquistador" and "Repent Walpurgis" by Procol Harum; this is a combo of Beethoven-like organ by Matthew Fisher and monster-guitar by Robin Trower;

7) "Feelin' Bad" by Spooky Tooth;

8) "Special Care" by Buffalo Springfield;

9) "Born On The Bayou" by Creedence Clearwater Revival;

10) "The One I Love" by R.E.M..

These are within a style, and I am looking to add:

11) "Star Again" by Billy Idol;

12) "I am on the outside" by ...(?)... and Lewis;

13) one melody by Pink Floyd I heard but still have to identify, and some Moody Blues.

In general many kinds of flowing music trigger my imagination, however the above mentioned ones have a quiet aggressive quality in them that patiently raise my adrenaline.

Ion Beza
February 14th, 2002, 05:32 PM

I am a little nosy to ask if Rick Osterberg who posted in www.usswim.org, under 'Best race of your life' and 'I MET OLYMPIANS!!!!', is yourself.

February 15th, 2002, 12:15 AM
Geesh guys!

And I thought I was the only one who did this. I never know just how far I have swum on distance because I get lost with some song in my head. I have to rely on the clock now.

The favorite? "Daybreak"- that Barry Manilow song from that Kathleen Turner movie Serial Mom." Annoying perhaps, but catchy and I never seem to get tired of it.

Otherwise, for some strange reason, it will be Rachmaninoff- usually Concerto 3 or 4.

Nice to know I am not alone :)


Mark in MD
February 15th, 2002, 03:41 PM
Wonder if there are any Mp3 players out there that are truly waterproof? It would be a great way to listen to tunes while in the water. Any ideas out there?

February 16th, 2002, 10:55 AM
Hey Skip,

Between your story about In-a-Gada-da-Vida and mine, from now on whenever I hear that song I will have a mental picture of you and I doing a water ballet together, and you'll be costumed as you were in the infamous Smedley Relay skit at convention a few years ago!

(BTW, I know "water ballet" is not the correct term--synchronized swimming is--but what we were doing at West Meade Swim Club back in the 60s was not a competition, just a sort of pageant the kids put on every year over Labor Day weekend. We were not good, and we were not competing, and it's a wonder none of us drowned! Mary Lee Watson was always standing on the deck during practice, hollering at us to point our toes!)


February 20th, 2002, 02:51 PM
I usually sing songs in my head when I am in a meet swimming 200 backstroke. If I don't I have thoughts of never swimming the event again because it is so painful. 200 back is way to painful.

Tom Ellison
February 20th, 2002, 03:20 PM
Meet 200's are ALL painful!:)

February 22nd, 2002, 11:34 AM
This is a tremendous subject! :cool:

Back in age groups, I would memorize Spanish lessons by replaying the lab tapes in my head during distance workouts. Because I'm an intractable "numbers guy" and knee-jerk split-watcher, there was never a problem getting lost in a distance set.

Swimming distance free as a Master, I found myself using the rhythm from certain songs as a tool for keeping my turnover at a desired pace. At the Woodlands long course and LA short course nationals (1990-91), I psyched up listening to a repeating tape of "Rain in the Summertime" by the Alarm. Those 800m and 1000yd times are still the best of my life. In retrospect, I'd have to classify my 1000 at LA as an utterly perfect swim.

In 2000, I was literally singing "Country Grammar" out loud behind the blocks as I visualized before the 200 fly at Long Course Nationals, and ended up with another incredible swim.

I've been looking for a CD of the extended (12'' vinyl) version of the song for like 4 years, to no avail! If I find it ... watch out for me in the 800 in Cleveland! :D

March 12th, 2003, 05:26 AM
Mostly I try to get pick a longer song with a good beat, like Fleetwood Mac's "Sara" or The The's "Uncertain Smile". Anything that lets me get into a zen state, where I can't feel the lactic acid burn so much. :D Most recently, I try to remember "Cherry Blossom", from Kiyoshi Yoshida's Asian Drums CD.

Before a particular high school meet, I heard some awful '80s song that I couldn't get out of my head. Think the title was "You Gotta Slow It Down". I made the mistake of mentioning it to my teammates, who took every opportunity to sing it to me. I had my slowest 500 time of the season by 10 seconds. :mad: At a recent Master's meet, I found out the hard way that the jingle for Goldfish is also a poor choice. ("...the snack, that smiles back, Goldfish!")

Bill Volckening
March 12th, 2003, 04:19 PM
Definitely the DJ Euro House Mix version of the Human League's "Don't You Want Me"


Leonard Jansen
March 13th, 2003, 09:03 AM
I usually do equations based on either the distance to go, the number of laps left or the time. Factoring things into prime numbers is a favorite as is looking for patterns of relative primes. The bad side effect is that I sometimes get lost in the numbers, miscount laps and keep going past the end. For that reason, I prefer not to lead the lane unless the person in the lane next to me is of about equal ability and I can just watch what they do.

"Help I'm a Rock" - Frank Zappa
"Sweet Jane" inc guitar intro - Lou Reed
"Deus Irae" - from Mozart's D-minor Requiem
"Our House" - Madness
Cuts from "Rubber Soul" - Beatles

The two song you don't want to get in your head are the Theme from the Beverly Hillbillies and Avil Lavigne's "Skater Boy." Harder to get rid of than a crack addiction.


March 13th, 2003, 09:03 AM
AC/DC usually does the trick for me...

For Those About to Rock is an excellent choice.

kiwi surfer
March 18th, 2003, 04:18 AM
Anything by The Beach Boys.:D

March 18th, 2003, 05:17 AM
Usually I'm stuck with whatever the last song I heard as I was driving to the pool. Lately I've been trying to go with stuff that was a little more "angy"... a little Eminem (Lose Yourself) or maybe some Alanis Morisette. The fast pounding beat helps me keep a pretty consistent rhythm in the water.

March 20th, 2003, 12:38 PM
Hey, that's a really interesting question...
i usually start playing songs through my head if i'm swimming anything more than 200 metres, i start to completely loose focus, usually just playing the last song i heard. Thats y i hate long distance swimming, i'm much more of a sprinter, so i only keep very well focused for the 50m, 100m, and 200m max! anything longer than that for me is just a waste of time. but then again, i'm good at wat i do.. :)

March 21st, 2003, 06:00 PM
When I used to swim by myself, plodding along, lap after lap, I had songs going through my mind all the time. I could even pray the rosary while I was swimming:)

Now that I've started Masters swimming, I don't ever sing songs in my head. It is so much nicer having a coach and not boring in the least.

Another thing I've noticed is I hardly ever miss a practice and when I was lap swimming by myself it was very easy to talk myself out of showing up.

March 22nd, 2003, 02:26 PM
No songs, but if I am the lane leader and we swim anything longer than a 200, I have to recite "the poem"

Per length:

1 is fun
2 is for you
3 is for me
4 I adore
5 comes alive
6 is a fix
7 is heaven
8 is great (really great? oh yeah, great. 8 is great)
9 is fine, simply divine
10 I win (10 pronounced with Texas accent "tin")
11 is heaven again
12 I delve (all I can come up with???)

(repeat as needed)

jean sterling
March 23rd, 2003, 09:06 PM
There was an interesting segment on NPR this afternoon about what they called "stuck songs" - songs that keep going round and round in your head. They had a top ten list of stuck songs. One of them was "It's a Small World" and another was "YMCA". They said that one way to get rid of a stuck song was to replace it with another. After listening to the list I found that "Small World" seemed to be getting entrenched in my head, so I quickly replaced it with YMCA.

#1 on the list was your own personal stuck song. I sing in a church choir and will often find that something we sing on Sunday morning will get stuck in my head.

March 24th, 2003, 10:35 AM
I heard that the best stuck song eraser song is "Guitarzan" by Ray Stevens, because if you know any of it (must be at least 40 years old, I imagine) you probabaly only know these lines: "Guitarzan! He's a guitar man!" Voila! Stuck song erased, eraser song won't stick!

Tom Ellison
March 24th, 2003, 10:38 AM
Gosh, in my case, after being out of the pool for the past months...I am hearing Handles Death March....SMILE...

Mark in MD
March 24th, 2003, 01:29 PM
I don't recall old Georg Friederich [Handel] composing a Death March in music history but he did compose The Water Music Suite. Perhaps that would be more appropriate? :D

March 24th, 2003, 01:57 PM
Originally posted by Kim Tarnower
you probabaly only know these lines: "Guitarzan! He's a guitar man!"

Oh, I can remember more of it than that: "On Saturday night they need some excitement/Jane gets right and the monkey gets tight and their voices unite in the pale moonlight and it sounds all right/Yeah, it's dynamite/Let's hear it/Right n-n-n-n-n-ow!"

Then Jane starts wailing "Bay-bay" while Tarzan yodels and the monkey makes, well, monkey sounds.

I am embarrassed to admit that this song is permanently embedded in my brain. Along with the lyrics to another Ray Stevens classic, "The Streak" ("Don't look Ethel!").

March 24th, 2003, 01:58 PM
I tend to start in my head, Sir Mix Alot's "Baby got back".
You know,
"... so Cosmo say yo fat, I aint down wit dat, cause your legs are long and your curves are kickin, I'm thinkin about ...."

March 24th, 2003, 03:16 PM
Meg -- well then, I guess it won't work for you. I am sorry. Permanently embedded sounds much worse than stuck!


March 24th, 2003, 05:59 PM
I have such an eclectic taste that just about anything could permeate my consciousness during workout. Often it will be a song that I've listened to recently but not necessarily. But I definitely do find myself experiencing music during workouts and sometimes even in the meets.

March 24th, 2003, 11:07 PM
Meg, do you remember these silly songs. I told the witch doctor I was in love with you. Ooh,Ya,Ooh,Ya, ding-ding,O Yeah. Also, on top of old smoky.y.

January 9th, 2004, 01:44 PM
I don't know if Tom saw this, so I wanted to bring this thread back up to the top.

There is nothing wrong with thinking of songs or conversations during swimming. Only wrong song selections (like Barney... blech! :D )

Mark in MD
January 9th, 2004, 01:57 PM
Good God ... the music "critics" are at it ... again.

Only kidding. Only kidding. :eek:

Tom Ellison
January 9th, 2004, 02:17 PM
Ok, I'll come clean, I hear the Herman Munster song....

January 9th, 2004, 05:25 PM
Eye of the tiger....but i try not to!!!!!!

June 2nd, 2004, 07:25 AM
Tunes from "Rent". As age groupers in Cleve we used to joke about putting the Stones song "Angie" in our heads to slow us down at the end of a workout.

June 2nd, 2004, 03:32 PM
OOOOOOOOOOOklahoma where the wind comes whippin down the plain. Now, thats a workout song;)

June 2nd, 2004, 05:13 PM
I can't believe all these posts and no one has come up with Billy Squier's "Stroke me". Gotta be a swimming song, right?

June 3rd, 2004, 10:54 PM
Recently I have had an Iron Maiden song in my head. It's called "The Lonliness of the Long Distance Runner." I substitute swimmer in my mind though!:cool:

June 4th, 2004, 03:01 AM
Dirty deeds - Done Dirt Cheap

June 4th, 2004, 10:29 PM
Swimming and thinking of Savannah, the song which keeps playing in my head is country song Sweet Southern Comfort by Buddy Jewel...

From Carolina, down to Georgia
Smell the jasmine and magnolia
Sleepy, sweet home, Alabama, Roll Tide Roll
Muddy water, Mississippi, blessed Graceland whispers to me
Carry on, carry on, sweet southern comfort, carry on

June 5th, 2004, 09:07 AM
For open water: Happy Birthday (over and over) and the alphabet(same) and U2 "stuck in a moment you can't get out of" substitute "current" for "moment" . In the pool one song per thousand in a 5000 straight i.e. I can't wait to get to that new usher song at 3000 (but I want to sing that one now - no, you can't even THINK that one til 3000 - creates quite an interesting internal dialogue, but what else is there to do?) Interval workouts I just hope for the best!

June 7th, 2004, 11:15 PM
Shamma Lamma, Shamma Lamma Lamma Ding Dong. You Got the Umau Mau...

June 10th, 2004, 12:11 AM
Swimmers DO talk and sing to themselves. My concern is what the effects will be from years of watching and following a black line painted on the pool bottom. Will our great-grandchildren need to paint a line on the floor for us to follow to the bathroom, car, kitchen, etc.? Will scenery deprivation have a negative impact on how we view the world? These are things I talk to myself about when I swim and I'm starting to get some pretty good answers from the person I'm talking with!

June 10th, 2004, 08:59 AM
This morning it was "Drops of Juptier" Yeah, can you believe it I got out of bed and went swimming this MORNING... afternoon thundershower pattern setting up. I'm still not, and never will be a morning person though.

June 10th, 2004, 09:13 AM
The Bug brings up something I'd like input on. Three times recently, at all times of the day, I've had my workout stopped by lightning nearby (visible but no rain). This has all been indoors. Does anyone know if it is a real threat to swim indoors in a grounded facility during a storm? There is one pool locally here that only closes if the lightning strikes in the parking lot - again, it's an indoor pool.

Also, why close only the pool? Would it not also make sense that anyone indoors would be at risk? I mean if you are sitting on an all metal nautilus machine, are you at less risk than being in the pool?

I'd like someone to provide information on this topic.

June 10th, 2004, 10:02 AM
When I was a kid and swimming outside, "Blinded by the Light" always came into my head as I was doing backstroke.

Rob Copeland
June 10th, 2004, 10:34 AM
I would have thought a swimshark would be swimming to Bobby Darin’s Mack the Knife;)

June 10th, 2004, 12:45 PM
Geek, our Y has a lightening detector set for 5 miles, if it goes off, the pools, both indoors and outdoors, close and stays closed until 30 minutes after the last lightening is detected... Sometimes it goes off when there isn't even a hint of rain. I'd like some input on this too.


Rob Copeland
June 10th, 2004, 01:03 PM
I’m not sure how “Songs in Your Head” digressed into a discussion on Lightning, but for your reading pleasure, I have attached the National Athletic Trainers’ Association Position Statement: Lightning Safety for Athletics and Recreation.

But back to song’s about lightning –
John Travolta & Olivia Newton-John - Greased Lightning
Waylon Jennings’- White Lightning
The Who - Call me the Lightning
Chi Coltrane - Thunder And Lightning
38 Special - Chain Lightning

June 10th, 2004, 01:10 PM

THANKS! That was exactly what I was looking for and the article addresses indoor pools specifically. Very interesting.

June 10th, 2004, 01:40 PM
Originally posted by Rob Copeland
I would have thought a swimshark would be swimming to Bobby Darin’s Mack the Knife;)

Sorry, but I'm a bit young for Bobby Darin. What does the song say?

The shark part is from my husband's former Navy squadron, the VP-6 Blue Sharks and I'm the swim part.

June 10th, 2004, 01:42 PM
Rob, that is a good article. I didn't know that about indoor pools. Ours never closes during a storm but then again, we don't get many thunder stroms up here. Now when I lived in Atanta, that was a different story.

June 10th, 2004, 02:09 PM
Originally posted by laineybug
Geek, our Y has a lightening detector set for 5 miles

It detects people dieting within five miles? :)

I can't imagine why an indoor pool would need to close due to lightning, but I'm not an expert either!

June 10th, 2004, 02:17 PM
I wouldn't see a need in detecting very pregnant women within five miles of the pool either, but lightening means to give off lightning.:D

June 11th, 2004, 10:04 AM
The relevant part of the article Rob posted was:

Avoid taking showers and using plumbing facilities (including indoor and outdoor pools)

Presumably the idea is that electrical current from the lightening could flow through the plumbing and the water it contains. That said, we get a fair bit of afternoon and evening lightening here and I have never had the pool closed while I was in it. Perhaps the danger depends on the pool construction and lightening protection features of the building.

Bob McAdams
June 12th, 2004, 03:51 AM
Originally posted by LindsayNB
Presumably the idea is that electrical current from the lightening could flow through the plumbing and the water it contains. That said, we get a fair bit of afternoon and evening lightening here and I have never had the pool closed while I was in it. Perhaps the danger depends on the pool construction and lightening protection features of the building.

Well, if you look at some of the "risks" the article talks about, they are pretty far fetched.

How many people hang up the telephone every time there's a thunderstorm? If they don't, they're living dangerously, according to the article! For every year they don't hang up the phone during thunderstorms, there's 1 chance in 300,000,000 that they'll be killed!

The article, unfortunately, doesn't provide any figures on the risks of swimming in an indoor pool during a thunderstorm. And it appears to base its statements about indoor pool risks on a single reference. The numbers are essential, because we also need to consider such questions as:

Which risk is greater: Being electrocuted because you keep swimming in an indoor pool during thunderstorms? Or dying of a heart attack because you weren't able to exercise regularly as a result of your indoor pool closing every time there's a thunderstorm? I'd be surprised if the second risk isn't greater!

All of this reminds me of an article I read a number of years ago on keeping yourself from being struck by lightening. First, it noted that you shouldn't stand under a tree. But then it noted that you also shouldn't stand out in an open field. Its final recommendation was that you lie down in a ditch, and if you are wearing a raincoat, take it off and put it under you for insulation. I think (hope?) the author was being facetious.