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ensignada
January 17th, 2007, 11:32 PM
I need some help here folks.

Those of you who "know" me know that I am a beginning "serious" swimmer. I've been slowly but steadily working my way up to swimming a mile as my first goal I'm pleased with the progress I've made, feel stronger, dropped some pounds, added some muscle - all good stuff.

Because I am a slower swimmer, I've tried to be careful not to get in the way of stronger swimmers' workouts. I try to enter lanes where I can match the pace and let people pass me if I get overtaken.

Usually, if I share with just one other person, we split the lane down the middle rather than circle swim. This works out great. If we add another swimmer, we circle. I thought this was the norm for two people.

This evening, though, I asked to share a wall lane with a man who was a faster swimmer. All the other lanes had 2 people. No one was circling. I suggested we split the lane, and he said, no - circle swim only. I warned him that I swim slowly, but no dice. Circle swim only.

So we circle swam - no, he circle swam, and I got out of his way every 50-75 yards. I'm mad at myself because I messed my own workout up as I was pushing myself to swim faster and exhausted myself far short of my goal.

So, please help me out here: is it wrong to split a lane with just 2 people? What is the "right" way to handle this situation? As I develop into a stronger swimmer, I feel I have a place at the pool. I'm just not just where that is.

Many thanks - Barb

Warren
January 18th, 2007, 12:10 AM
no, you shouldn't have had to stop if there was only two people in your lane. just swim like normal and let him pass you on your left. There is no that he can't do that.

Speedo Racer
January 18th, 2007, 02:15 AM
most pools post lap swimming etiquette rules somewhere...if you are talking about swimming during open rec swim that is. I've found, for the most part, that most rec swim participants don't follow the rules, such as swimming in the lane that is marked "Fast" when one is fast or "Medium" when one is not so fast etc. It is usually whatever lane is empty you take until all the lanes are full and then you start spliting the lanes until more people arrive etc. I've also found that it is generally up to the person that was there first to decide if the two people are going to split or circle.

ensignada
January 18th, 2007, 07:49 AM
Thanks to you both. One of the challenges of joining a new community is figuring out what the group norms are. I don't think it occurred to the fellow last night that he could flip on a turn signal and pass me mid-lane. I didn't think of it either.

knelson
January 18th, 2007, 10:23 AM
I agree with Kevin. The second person entering the lane should ask the first person whether they'd like to split the lane or circle swim. If he wants to circle it's not going to bother him (or shouldn't) that he's got to pass you regularly. You shouldn't alter your workout to try to avoid him. Just swim how you normally would and let him do his thing.

Muppet
January 18th, 2007, 10:54 AM
Count your blessings he asked to swim with you - and hopefully he was gentleman enough to thank you when whichever one of you got out first got out. I agree with Professor Nelson - first person there has squatters rights over circles vs. splits, even though most pool rules specifically mention "CIRCLE SWIM ONLY!!!"

When I am swimming during a rec swim and get a lanemate, I generally see them approaching during turns, etc., and will start taking a side and I finish whatever I am working on. When I stop and they ask to join, I welcome them to the lane, and tell them I will take *this side, and then push off at the closest :05/:10 on the clock to avoid any further interaction, such as you describe. If they don't like the arrangement, they're going to have to deal with it at least until my next interval is up.

To further discourage lanemates, warn them you are doing an interval workout that may include some fly. The massive splashage and wakeage could help to move a quasi-noodler to another lane.

SwimStud
January 18th, 2007, 11:21 AM
Count your blessings he asked to swim with you - and hopefully he was gentleman enough to thank you when whichever one of you got out first got out. I agree with Professor Nelson - first person there has squatters rights over circles vs. splits, even though most pool rules specifically mention "CIRCLE SWIM ONLY!!!"

When I am swimming during a rec swim and get a lanemate, I generally see them approaching during turns, etc., and will start taking a side and I finish whatever I am working on. When I stop and they ask to join, I welcome them to the lane, and tell them I will take *this side, and then push off at the closest :05/:10 on the clock to avoid any further interaction, such as you describe. If they don't like the arrangement, they're going to have to deal with it at least until my next interval is up.

To further discourage lanemates, warn them you are doing an interval workout that may include some fly. The massive splashage and wakeage could help to move a quasi-noodler to another lane.

Oooooooooooooooooh i'm gonna travel to DC, disguise myself as paddler and join the lane with the fuzzy haired guy. The do a really bad, not getting hair wet breaststroke down the cneter and then blame you when we collide... :rofl:

...did I mention that's what I got the other day. I virtually take toenails off on the lane line trying to stay out of the way, why do others not feel they need to? Obviously a bump here or there will happen...but lane hogging...GRRR.

ensignada
January 18th, 2007, 11:34 AM
To further discourage lanemates, warn them you are doing an interval workout that may include some fly. The massive splashage and wakeage could help to move a quasi-noodler to another lane.

Thanks for your perspective. This fellow was in the lane first and didn't discouraging from sharing. He insisted on circle swimming, which from what all of you say, is certainly his right. I've circle swam before, but usually with someone whom I'm fairly pace-matched with. This fellow wasn't a quasi-noodler, but a fast and solid swimmer. If he had passed me like Warren was suggesting, I wouldn't have had any problems, but I kept getting my ankle grabbed so I moved aside at turns for him.

I'm not upset at him (now, at least ;)), but was more upset that I didn't know how to handle or resolve the situation. I've read plently here from elite swimmers frustrated with novices who don't know the rules of the road, so I've tried hard to be considerate. Perhaps I won't be so meek (not usually a term applied to me) the next time it's just not working out.

SwimStud
January 18th, 2007, 11:46 AM
Thanks for your perspective. This fellow was in the lane first and didn't discouraging from sharing. He insisted on circle swimming, which from what all of you say, is certainly his right. I've circle swam before, but usually with someone whom I'm fairly pace-matched with. This fellow wasn't a quasi-noodler, but a fast and solid swimmer. If he had passed me like Warren was suggesting, I wouldn't have had any problems, but I kept getting my ankle grabbed so I moved aside at turns for him.

I'm not upset at him (now, at least ;)), but was more upset that I didn't know how to handle or resolve the situation. I've read plently here from elite swimmers frustrated with novices who don't know the rules of the road, so I've tried hard to be considerate. Perhaps I won't be so meek (not usually a term applied to me) the next time it's just not working out.

I know what etiquette should be but he should have gone side by side. His right or not, social etiquette would also include being accomadative where possible--it overules pool etiqutte IMHO. I think he was trying to passively "bully" you into another lane so he could be on his own. Was everyone else in the appropriate lane for their speed and ability?

Next time say "OK if you insist on circle but don't be touching my legs I find it offensive..."
If he remonstrates let him know side by side will remedy the situation. If he tries to point you into a slower lane. Politely ask him if he feels it neccessary to make you share a lane with 2 other so he can swim alone. if he replies yes then tell him to get the guard to sort out all the lanes into appropriate speeds.

aquageek
January 18th, 2007, 11:56 AM
To further discourage lanemates, warn them you are doing an interval workout that may include some fly. The massive splashage and wakeage could help to move a quasi-noodler to another lane.

There is nothing that quite annoys me more than this selfish attitude. I don't care what you are doing, you don't hog your lane cause you are doing some interval work or causing a lot of splash. Share the dang pool. When I can't find my own lane and have to share the first thing I look for is some blowhard who thinks he/she owns the lane and I jump right in with them.

Most people who come into a pool will first look for the empty lane. If you know there aren't empty lanes, you should go to one side of the lane you are in and leave room for other swimmers, regardless of their ability.

As to this situation, some swimmers, especially those who swam competitively for a long time, seem to prefer circle swimming. I have to constantly remind my daughter to not circle swim in meets. It could just be a habit and nothing insidious, although it is more fun to speculate about sinister motives!

scyfreestyler
January 18th, 2007, 11:59 AM
I made a few people downright irate by refusing to circle swim when there was only two people in a lane. What is the point? Three or more I would have no problem but some people feel the need to circle swim all the time, like it somehow justifies their existence.

SwimStud
January 18th, 2007, 12:04 PM
There is nothing that quite annoys me more than this selfish attitude. I don't care what you are doing, you don't hog your lane cause you are doing some interval work or causing a lot of splash. Share the dang pool. When I can't find my own lane and have to share the first thing I look for is some blowhard who thinks he/she owns the lane and I jump right in with them.

Most people who come into a pool will first look for the empty lane. If you know there aren't empty lanes, you should go to one side of the lane you are in and leave room for other swimmers, regardless of their ability.

As to this situation, some swimmers, especially those who swam competitively for a long time, seem to prefer circle swimming. I have to constantly remind my daughter to not circle swim in meets. It could just be a habit and nothing insidious, although it is more fun to speculate about sinister motives!

Geek I think Muppet got a little confused as to who was there first, and thought the guy came after and acted unreasonably.
I think his response was a bit light hearted though.
Just trying to prevent a scrap.

The Fortress
January 18th, 2007, 12:11 PM
I made a few people downright irate by refusing to circle swim when there was only two people in a lane. What is the point? Three or more I would have no problem but some people feel the need to circle swim all the time, like it somehow justifies their existence.

I likewise refuse to circle swim when I'm swimming alone in my rec pool and there's 2 people per lane. There is no point. That way, if you are different speeds, you swim unimpeded. In my experience, people seem pretty content with splitting the lane.

I have no problem sharing a lane with a slower swimmer. No one should have to wait for a lane. And I'm happy to dodge them on fly. But I don't want to circle swim with them. If I were you, Barb, I would be pissed at having my ankle repeatedly grabbed.

Besides, circle swimming just reinforces circle swimming. Don't want to be circle swimming in meets. (Just watched my daughter do this big time her last 200 free.) Nice to have a chance to swim straight when you're not practicing with the team.

Don't worry, Barb, Muppet won't think it's a "scrap." More likely to laugh and give a :dedhorse: .

aquageek
January 18th, 2007, 12:12 PM
I shouldn't pick on the muppet. I was more directing my soap box speech towards the lane hoggers, most of whom will never swim Masters, or own anything other than baggy trunks.

knelson
January 18th, 2007, 12:12 PM
I've actually found the worst situation is to have someone slightly slower than you (or slightly faster). Say one or the other is lapping the other guy every few hundred yards. Your speeds are close enough that it will be fairly difficult to pass other than if someone stops at the wall. If one person is way faster than the other passing is easy and shouldn't really mess up either the slow or the fast swimmer.

ensignada
January 18th, 2007, 12:12 PM
I know what etiquette should be but he should have gone side by side. His right or not, social etiquette would also include being accomadative where possible--it overules pool etiqutte IMHO. I think he was trying to passively "bully" you into another lane so he could be on his own. Was everyone else in the appropriate lane for their speed and ability?

Next time say "OK if you insist on circle but don't be touching my legs I find it offensive..."
If he remonstrates let him know side by side will remedy the situation. If he tries to point you into a slower lane. Politely ask him if he feels it neccessary to make you share a lane with 2 other so he can swim alone. if he replies yes then tell him to get the guard to sort out all the lanes into appropriate speeds.

Well, he did succeed in getting me into another lane. As soon as the aerobicizers were out, I was in. Unfortunately, I was pretty worn out by then and didn't get much accomplished.

I'm trying not be be all "sour grapes" about this. I feel we both could have had a nice, unfrustrating swim if he had been more accomodating. Who knows, maybe he did want a lane to himself (don't we all?) and was purposely pushing the novice around. Or, maybe he was so wrapped up in what he was doing that he didn't notice or care how I was being impacted. Maybe he's just a Class A Jerk? I will handle the situation better next time. As I tell my daughter all the time, we can't make choices for other people, we can just make choices for ourselves. (Rolling eyes like she does, out the door...)

some_girl
January 18th, 2007, 12:15 PM
I made a few people downright irate by refusing to circle swim when there was only two people in a lane. What is the point? Three or more I would have no problem but some people feel the need to circle swim all the time, like it somehow justifies their existence.

I prefer it because it is less time spent side by side, which means I am less likely to whack you. I also like having the whole wall for my turns. To some people that is more important than being passed (though I agree he should have just gone around). So way to be a bully and insist that your wholly irrational preference trumps someone else's wholly irrational preference.

SwimStud
January 18th, 2007, 12:18 PM
I shouldn't pick on the muppet. I was more directing my soap box speech towards the lane hoggers, most of whom will never swim Masters, or own anything other than baggy trunks.

Hey I used to wear baggy shorts...:(


Well, he did succeed in getting me into another lane. As soon as the aerobicizers were out, I was in. Unfortunately, I was pretty worn out by then and didn't get much accomplished.



Barb...I think he acted a little selfish. If you can breaststroke a good "mis-kick" for each ankle grab seems a fair trade
:rofl:
We all hop into the empty lane when it's there...it's better for all...especially those flyers and the divine breaststrokers among us.

I am grateful to all who I swim with at my Y that they are gracious and encouraging and helpful. Even if the odd rec swimmer gets in my way now and then I know they don't intend it and I can usally work around them until they're done. I was a rec swimmer too 3 months ago.

scyfreestyler
January 18th, 2007, 12:20 PM
I prefer it because it is less time spent side by side, which means I am less likely to whack you. I also like having the whole wall for my turns. To some people that is more important than being passed (though I agree he should have just gone around). So way to be a bully and insist that your wholly irrational preference trumps someone else's wholly irrational preference.

Bully? Nah. Just being reasonable as opposed to irrational.

ensignada
January 18th, 2007, 12:28 PM
Barb...I think he acted a little selfish. If you can breaststroke a good "mis-kick" for each ankle grab seems a fair trade
:rofl:


Ok, it did occur to me after a couple hundred yards, that if I stopped dead in the water when he grabbed my ankle and make him swim over half of me, I could restart my flutter kick at a really inconvenient time for him. Just kidding!!

aqualech
January 18th, 2007, 12:31 PM
The guy was obviously silly-wrong to insist on circling. Did he forget how to swim straight? Worried that some cute guy might show up and be afraid to get in with the two of you? Who knows, but maybe he had some weird reason that you'd rather not know! Next time either don't stop for him to pass as it sounds like he was plenty fast enough to get around, or don't stress out about having to stop and instead have some fun with it - do some speed work trying to stay on his feet for 25 each time he passes you, something like that. It's boring and unimaginative for you to swim without stopping every time you get in the pool anyway. Get some fins, swim underwater, go off the blocks and do a sprint, try one-arm fly. Be a wild thing - risk partial disregard for your lane mate.

bud
January 18th, 2007, 12:34 PM
....I wouldn't have had any problems, but I kept getting my ankle grabbed so I moved aside at turns for him....

It is fairly common practice to tap someone’s foot to indicate the intention to pass, but if you were being grabbed I’d consider that unacceptably rude behavior that should be corrected (either by you or the pool staff). It does indeed seem like this person was trying to bully you out of “their” lane. No one wants to split a wall lane and get the wall side, but there is no good excuse (IMHO) for how this person was treating you. At the very least you should inquire about the situation with the pool staff so they are aware that there is a potential problem.

I’ve done quite a bit of research on lane sharing etiquette and there is no clear cut universal “right” policy, so your best bet is to check with the resident lifeguard or pool staff for the policy there in these situations. I believe the USMS web has some articles on lane sharing rules, as do a few other webs (try Googling the subject, or searching the archives here if you want to know more). A fairly recent copy of the USMS magazine had an article on the subject, but the following issue had to publish a correction, which is pretty indicative of the various (sometimes-vague) schools of thought on the process. So some confusion should be expected, especially when frequently sharing lanes with strangers, since there is more than one idea out there regarding what is correct.

http://www.usms.org/articles/
http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&q=pool+lane+etiquette
http://forums.usms.org/search.php
(There are also Forum and Thread search links near the top of each message page.)

Howard
January 18th, 2007, 12:50 PM
I'll take the contrary view here. All pools should require circle swimming all the time. What you do by insisting to swim side by side, or down the center, is make the next person entering the lane stop you and ask for permission and work out a plan you can accept. Circle swimming is the most efficient use of a finite space. Assuming this is public pool space so whether you develop a bad habit of circle swimming in races shouldn't be the concern of the owner of the pool. Their concern should be to fit as many people in the space as they can.

The Fortress
January 18th, 2007, 01:14 PM
I'll take the contrary view here. All pools should require circle swimming all the time. What you do by insisting to swim side by side, or down the center, is make the next person entering the lane stop you and ask for permission and work out a plan you can accept. Circle swimming is the most efficient use of a finite space. Assuming this is public pool space so whether you develop a bad habit of circle swimming in races shouldn't be the concern of the owner of the pool. Their concern should be to fit as many people in the space as they can.

But what if no one is waiting for a lane and it's uncrowded? I believe that is the situation mentioned by some side-by-side swimming posters, including myself and scyfreestyler. Do I have to circle swim all by myself in an unoccupied lane? No one wants to be a lane hog, but if there's only 1 or 2 people per lane and no one is waiting, exactly what is the problem? If more people come, you can always adjust, but I haven't had that happen yet. (I try to swim at off times, if possible.)

I'm also not overly troubled by stopping someone at the wall briefly (especialy if they're doing an open turn) to ask if they mind me taking a side of the lane. Or, I'll hop right in like Geek. Likewise, if I have a lane to myself and see someone waiting, I stop what I'm doing and ask if they would like a side. What's it going to take? A few seconds. Doesn't seem like a big deal. I've never had to sit down and negotiate a lane truce at great length.

I guess some people get their knickers in a twist over every little thing. Pretty soon we'll need mother hens at pools. I'm sure if there's a problem the lifeguard can step in. But if everyone's doing fine without intervention and no one's waiting, why do we "always" have to do it your way?

SwimStud
January 18th, 2007, 01:14 PM
I'll take the contrary view here. All pools should require circle swimming all the time. What you do by insisting to swim side by side, or down the center, is make the next person entering the lane stop you and ask for permission and work out a plan you can accept. Circle swimming is the most efficient use of a finite space. Assuming this is public pool space so whether you develop a bad habit of circle swimming in races shouldn't be the concern of the owner of the pool. Their concern should be to fit as many people in the space as they can.

This is valid.
A simple tap (as a heads up) and pass should be the modus operandi if only 2 are swimming. No need to grab, and hound someone to stop. Just tap and pass.
This would mean having to insist that all lanes are swimming at the relavant speed for the lane, which is neccessary to implement the mandatory circle swim rule.
It's just my opinion but otherwise well have "tap and pass" going on in every lane.

knelson
January 18th, 2007, 01:44 PM
I think Howard has a point. When you split the lane you're sending a message to anyone else coming along that your lane is taken and they aren't welcome there.

swimmieAvsFan
January 18th, 2007, 01:53 PM
This is valid.
A simple tap (as a heads up) and pass should be the modus operandi if only 2 are swimming. No need to grab, and hound someone to stop. Just tap and pass.
This would mean having to insist that all lanes are swimming at the relavant speed for the lane, which is neccessary to implement the mandatory circle swim rule.
It's just my opinion but otherwise well have "tap and pass" going on in every lane.

and therein lies the problem. how many times have you gone to swim during rec swim hours, and no one is obeying the slow, medium, and fast signs posted??? or better yet, how many pools don't have the signs at all? i think this is why if there's only 2 people in a lane, splitting it is a much better idea.
just my :2cents:

Muppet
January 18th, 2007, 01:57 PM
Rich and Leslie, yes, you are correct :banana: :dedhorse:

I always jump into the "fast" lanes as marked at rec swims. To geek's point, though, if I am in a lane by myself and there is ample lane space (ie lots of lanes w/ one person and the person chooses my lane), I am definetely discriminatory about who I will let join in. I think that is a fair thing to do, esp. if the facility has a history if patrons ignorant of the lane speed cones.

When Rich shows up with his baggy trunks and water-running belt and tries to get into my lane, he's going to be glad I know who he is :wave: . Once he is done using his belt, we can work on strategery for our 200 breast relay with Heather and Geek!

SwimStud
January 18th, 2007, 02:05 PM
and therein lies the problem. how many times have you gone to swim during rec swim hours, and no one is obeying the slow, medium, and fast signs posted??? or better yet, how many pools don't have the signs at all? i think this is why if there's only 2 people in a lane, splitting it is a much better idea.
just my :2cents:

Mollie, I'm very open minded on the whole circle vs side by side thing. I didn't mean to sound preachy. I was supporting howard as having a valid point, with the caveat that lane discipline has to be enforced for it to work--I would not be the "pool mother" organising the lanes at rec time though.

So I agree with you that in the unperfect world we get the person in the fast lane (even if designated) swimming a :60 25yd without getting their hair wet etc. So until perfection has been establsihed, yes Virginia, I agree that side by side is better until >3 swimmers come along. ;)

Muppet
January 18th, 2007, 02:07 PM
And to continue, when it all comes down to it, this is all about common courtesy. I don't think any of us are at all trying to discourage anyone from actually getting in the pool, as we all love the sport. But I understand Barb's experience, and that it probably happens way too much and has discouraged way too many people from getting into a pool again. Hopefully we can all be good ambassadors and work with facilities to help set good, enforced policies to get everyone into the water that wants to.

knelson
January 18th, 2007, 02:08 PM
The slow, medium, fast lanes could be a topic unto itself. I've had experiences where I start swimming in the fast lane of a pool that I'm not a frequent swimmer and sort of get the skunk eye from the other swimmers. They usually don't say much, but you just get the "how dare you come to my pool and swim faster than me?" vibe. I'm sure others have had this experience!

aquageek
January 18th, 2007, 02:08 PM
I think that is a fair thing to do, esp. if the facility has a history if patrons ignorant of the lane speed cones.

It is certainly fair - to you only. I guess if they are ignorant on lane speed choice, you can be ignorant on lane sharing etiquette. It all must even out somewhere down the line and who wouldn't want to swim in a club full of ignorant swimmers?

I don't even ask when I join a lane. I just say "are we cirlcing or side-to-side." I figure if they are already there, they can choose. I NEVER ask permission to join a lane

SwimStud
January 18th, 2007, 02:09 PM
The slow, medium, fast lanes could be a topic unto itself. I've had experiences where I start swimming in the fast lane of a pool where I'm not a frequent swimmer and sort of get the skunk eye from the other swimmers. They usually don't say much, but you just get the "how dare you come to my pool and swim faster than me?" vibe. I'm sure others have had this experience!

Nobody likes a show off Kirk ;)

j/k hehehe

SwimStud
January 18th, 2007, 02:11 PM
Rich and Leslie, yes, you are correct :banana: :dedhorse:

I always jump into the "fast" lanes as marked at rec swims. To geek's point, though, if I am in a lane by myself and there is ample lane space (ie lots of lanes w/ one person and the person chooses my lane), I am definetely discriminatory about who I will let join in. I think that is a fair thing to do, esp. if the facility has a history if patrons ignorant of the lane speed cones.

When Rich shows up with his baggy trunks and water-running belt and tries to get into my lane, he's going to be glad I know who he is :wave: . Once he is done using his belt, we can work on strategery for our 200 breast relay with Heather and Geek!

hehe could definitely happen...it's only a few hours drive down the Devil's Highway...

Muppet
January 18th, 2007, 02:17 PM
It is certainly fair - to you only. I guess if they are ignorant on lane speed choice, you can be ignorant on lane sharing etiquette. It all must even out somewhere down the line and who wouldn't want to swim in a club full of ignorant swimmers?

I don't even ask when I join a lane. I just say "are we cirlcing or side-to-side." I figure if they are already there, they can choose. I NEVER ask permission to join a lane

You know, this brings up a good point and made me think of something that I think may make me change my tune next time I rec swim... Perhaps the rec swimmers have had issues with lanehogs previously, and see my lane as a great place to be. I obviously know what I am doing and swim a lot, and therefore probably have good lane ettiquite, right? Maybe all they need is a friendly lanemate, regardless of speed, who is courteous about sharing!

poolraat
January 18th, 2007, 02:31 PM
Our pool does not get full very often and there is a one swimmer - one lane mindset here. I have often seen people come out of the dressing rooms, look around and see all lanes occupied with one person and turn around and leave. Or they will sit on a bench and wait for someone to get out. I will always make it a point to invite the waiting swimmer to join me and then ask their preference for circle or side by side. I will never wait. I look to see who might be swimming the fastest with the least splash/wave and get in that lane and ask their preference. If I plan on swimming fly I'll warn them and then watch out for them. If I'm doing back, in addition to trying to keep track of where they are, I ask them to watch out for me as I will move away from the lane line at the ends to make my turns.

aztimm
January 18th, 2007, 02:38 PM
While reading through this thread, the whole thing I was thinking is that we know one side of the story....what about the guy's version?? Maybe he was planning to do some fly and didn't want to be hitting the lane lines--or you? Maybe he was expecting some other folks to join, or they had just left? The possibilities are nearly limitless on why he preferred to circle.

This is one--of many--nice things I like about swimming with a team. 95% (or more) of the time, we have 3+ swimmers per lane, and we circle, no questions. But, the past few weeks we've had a light crowd, due to the holidays and more recently unusually cool weather (we swim outside). Before we begin a set with just 2 per lane, I'll discuss with my lanemate if we're going side-by-side or circling. If the other lanes only have 1-2 swimmers, then side-by-side is OK. But if they have 2+, then I'd rather circle from the beginning, just in case someone else joins, rather than screw up my workout to switch. Even if we're side-by-side, I'll sometimes go 5 sec back, especially if any stroke work is involved...not just arms flapping for fly, but I don't swim back especially straight either.

Someone had mentioned that they have a hard time NOT circling in meets. I'm still that way...I have to really think to swim down the middle.

But as I began with, I think it is a bit premature to pass judgement on this unknown swimmer since we don't know how he perceived the situation.

SwimStud
January 18th, 2007, 02:46 PM
But as I began with, I think it is a bit premature to pass judgement on this unknown swimmer since we don't know how he perceived the situation.

Awww...I gotta put away the pitch fork now??

ensignada
January 18th, 2007, 03:06 PM
While reading through this thread, the whole thing I was thinking is that we know one side of the story....what about the guy's version?? Maybe he was planning to do some fly and didn't want to be hitting the lane lines--or you? Maybe he was expecting some other folks to join, or they had just left? The possibilities are nearly limitless on why he preferred to circle.

I started this thread to find out what the "norms" are for swimming 2 or 2+ per lane, not to vilify the my lanemate. I wanted to find out how to handle this situation, and through all your replies, I have some ideas on what's ok to do and what's not and what's a coin toss.

In hindsight, I could have done a couple of things differently. For one, even though he was in the slow lane, I saw that he was a fast swimmer, so when he requested that we circle, I should have waited until I could either have split with another swimmer (where speed doesn't matter) or waited for a lane to slow up enough that we all could circle comfortably. I would never intentionally insert myself into a fast circle. Last week, I got invited to circle with two solid swimmers who were starting their cool-down (they had seen me swim previously): I swam a little quicker than usual, they swam a little slower. It worked out great. I also should have exited the situation quicker once I realized that he and I were not meant to share a lane, rather than wearing myself out and getting frustrated.

3degree
January 18th, 2007, 03:59 PM
At least the guy asked to share and worked out some sort of plan (even though he insisted on "his" way).....

When I was one of the "more serious rec swimmers" at the local Y, I learned that I always had to swim with my head up, looking forward as I would have people just get in the lane and swim at me, not bothering to work out sides or circling or whatever!!! And I had to get on the Y directors as the lifeguard did nothing to keep me from getting clunked in the head (such as stop the other swimmer who she was supposed to be watching from running right into me).


I seemed to remember another topic and set of posts here somewhere--where there were a few swimmers who were very protective of "THEIR" Lane and would work to get people to move out of it......

FindingMyInnerFish
January 18th, 2007, 04:09 PM
I'm pretty flexible about circling/splitting lanes and have no problem going with the other person's choice. And possibly this fellow had some legit reasons for wanting to circle, but grabbing Barb's ankles seems a little over the top, esp'y if standard procedure is a simple tap on the foot.

One incident that came up for me involved a lifeguard who INSISTED on everyone circle swimming. The other woman in my lane wanted to split it, and I was okay with that but the lifeguard came over to me (not the other lady) and said, "you have to circle." I told him the other swimmer wanted to split. "well, you have to tell her it's circle only." I did, and she said, "nope, I'm not circling." So I had to get out of the pool and explain to the lifeguard what was going on before he approached the other person.

I'd had issues with him already because in a pool divided into three sections, one of the three sections was reserved for water walking. I had understood from other swim periods that half of the section was for water walking and the other half for slower paced swimming, so I entered what I thought was the swimming half and the water walkers said that I wasn't allowed to swim there; they told the guard I was splashing them. So he told me that I had to find another lane--it was a crowded day, and one man was walking in a swimming lane, so I pointed that out. "Oh well, he's on the Board."

Finally, I found my way to the above-mentioned lane and the guard by then saw me as nothing but trouble, I suppose. :rolleyes:

p.s. Barb, I see you're from the Philly area... so am I!

3degree
January 18th, 2007, 04:16 PM
I think after having my ankle grabbed more than once, I would have had to return the favor as he passed..... but would have had to hold on firmly for, ...Oh, ....a good 1/2 length or so (veritably skiing behind him, or acting as the lead weight anchor)...:joker:

aquageek
January 18th, 2007, 04:24 PM
I missed the part about ankle grabbing. I think that is bizarre. Someone grabs my ankle, it better be one of my kids. You don't have to put up with that crap again.

The Fortress
January 18th, 2007, 04:24 PM
I don't even ask when I join a lane. I just say "are we cirlcing or side-to-side." I figure if they are already there, they can choose. I NEVER ask permission to join a lane

Interesting. You NEVER ask permission to join and purposefully jump in what you perceive to be the lane-hogger lane, but ALWAYS give them the choice of circling or swimming side by side. You obviously have the right to hop in. But is it necessarily better to have a "first come first serve" mindset? Maybe they would choose differently if they knew how fast you are. Or, maybe if they're hogging the lane, they're faster than you and don't mind circle swimming? Seems doubtful.

I must admit I never really "ask" to join a lane either; I just try to make my presence known in a courteous manner and ask for a "side." My own experience, just my own of course, is that pure lap swimmers generally don't like to be constantly swum over and around. I guess if someone really objected to my request for a "side," I'd just swim circles and, if it was a problem, hope another lane opens up. It just wouldn't be my preference because I would likely be going a different speed, doing different strokes and doing a much different interval-based workout.

I spend a lot of time at my rec center and health club pool during the school year when I can't get to my team practices as much. I think people have gotten used to me. Courtesy generally helps. I'm even buddies with one of the elderly "walkers." I shared a lane with her once.

As to Kirk's point, no one at my rec pool EVER follows the slow, medium, fast signs that are prominently posted. They might as well not exist. (Just like the starting blocks.) Everyone just hops in an open lane or asks to join. So far, it seems to all work out and I haven't seen the need for a "pool mother."

But, Barb, I'm happy to villify the guy who grabbed your ankles repeatedly. As Bud commented, that is just rude. A little courtesy or communication would have been nice. I'm not feeling really bad for the guy just because he had to swim against a wall. It's a rec pool. He doesn't have the right to "perfect" practice conditions. We're all just trying to get some exercise and maybe a good workout. OMG, Geek actually agreed with me on something, ankle grabbing.

Speedo Racer
January 18th, 2007, 04:39 PM
I started this thread to find out what the "norms" are for swimming 2 or 2+ per lane, not to vilify the my lanemate. I wanted to find out how to handle this situation, and through all your replies, I have some ideas on what's ok to do and what's not and what's a coin toss.

In hindsight, I could have done a couple of things differently. For one, even though he was in the slow lane, I saw that he was a fast swimmer, so when he requested that we circle, I should have....

If he was swimming fast in the slow lane and tapping your feet every 75 yards, you can point out to him that he is in the slow lane. If he does not move and continues to be a jerk, you have every right to get the lifeguard to move him out of the slow lane. Lifeguards are supposed to monitor that kind of stuff so tensions don't escalate during what is meant to be leisure time.

These kinds of things are why I advocate organized masters programs and think one should avoid open rec swim at all costs. There are still tiffs that happen at masters, but nothing like open rec swim. It's worse than the LA freeway.

aquageek
January 18th, 2007, 04:46 PM
I'm courteous about my entry - I don't just plunge in. Also, I did not say ALWAYS. Sometimes it's obvious the person should be sides only. It's a judgment call. We are fotunate to have courteous swimmers at our pool. Considering I swim with 4-6/lane folks at practice, getting a half lane to myself from time to time is quite a luxury.

Peter Cruise
January 18th, 2007, 04:49 PM
The club I once swam with in North Vancouver was great, but since we were actually part of the city's recreation program anybody could join in and were hard to turf out for bad behavior. There was this one triathlete who started swimming in our second fastest lane, always wore huge paddles and more often than not swam over people trying to do stroke sets etc. Until I spotted him swimming over my future wife who was doing breastroke at the time (we had commenced dating). Flames shot out of my nostrils as I donned my paddles, ducked under the ropes, and 'passed' him several times in the same manner. Never saw him again, but future wife was briefly angry as she had planned to launch him with a well-placed breastroke kick.

Peter Cruise
January 18th, 2007, 04:51 PM
Geek, if you would loudly proclaim "I am the AquaGeek- fear me!", before you enter the water, I am sure you would always have an empty lane.

ande
January 18th, 2007, 04:53 PM
sometimes I favor
jumping off the block right in front of my lane mate
to properly announce my arrival
I often prefer to go with the
preacher-seat-massive-wave-scare-the-crap-out-of-'em approach

but be careful you want to land inches infront of them and not on them and this might start off a prank war

ande