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Thread: Thunderstorms, indoor pools and workouts interrupted

  1. #1
    Very Active Member FindingMyInnerFish's Avatar
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    Thunderstorms, indoor pools and workouts interrupted

    Hey gang,

    I'm being watchful of the weather (and a free-lance deadline)--so I'm hoping that I don't run into the same problem as I did about a week ago.

    At that time, I had set out to do a pretty long workout (need the yards for my open water swim!). Unfortunately, the lifeguards chased us out of the pool b/c of hearing thunder. They told me that they'd wait a half hour, but that the clock would be reset if there was more thunder.

    Won't even get started on why this should be the case, but more important for my purposes is to get a sense of what you do if your schedule is tight and the time you set up for swimming a specific workout is thrown out due to something like this (heck, you can substitute other events that close pools, if you want, as the t-storm is just one way such a thing can happen).

    Do you wait until who knows how long and hope the pool will reopen? Do something dry-land that will at least use the swimming muscles? Bag it and decide it's not your day? (As it happened, it was last Friday and although I'm not superstitious, mostly, it seemed as if that day was full of things that went wrong. Won't go into all that.)

    I want--no, NEED, to make sure I'm staying abreast of the training and I hate missing time for something like that--and probably just need to plan better to go early in the morning when there are fewer thunderstorms--but that said, stuff happens (even early in the morning), so I want to have a good back-up plan--or be all Zen about it and know that over the long haul, I'll be ready.

    Thanks for any thoughts!

  2. #2
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    Re: Thunderstorms, indoor pools and workouts interrupted

    well, off the top of my head, I'd say find an indoor pool.

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    Very Active Member Bill Sive's Avatar
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    Re: Thunderstorms, indoor pools and workouts interrupted

    City/County indoor pools are suppose to follow the same guidelines if there is a possibility of lightning/thunder. The best you can hope for is to wait it out, or change your day up and do dryland, weights, biking, or something else. My guess is that a gym with a pool would not know what the guidelines are for a lightning/thunder situation. Gyms seem to be lacking in this type of knowledge.

    To truly be Zen about this you would flow, like water, and realize it was not your day for a long workout. Workout as long as you are able then continue on with your day.

    Water flows around a mountain, not through a mountain.

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    Re: Thunderstorms, indoor pools and workouts interrupted

    very typical.

    get this at LifeTime, if there is lightening, they not only close the outdoor pool but the indoor pool as well!!!
    yeah, find the logic in that one.

    you do what you can when you can. i dont think any of us are in this for the money we win. lol!

  5. #5
    Very Active Member FindingMyInnerFish's Avatar
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    Re: Thunderstorms, indoor pools and workouts interrupted

    Quote Originally Posted by jpetyk View Post
    well, off the top of my head, I'd say find an indoor pool.
    The workout that was interrupted was at an indoor pool--they close too in thunderstorms at least in my area.

  6. #6
    Very Active Member FindingMyInnerFish's Avatar
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    Re: Thunderstorms, indoor pools and workouts interrupted

    I'm DEFINITELY not in it for the money I win, ha ha! Just want to complete a swim I have my eye on and not need to be dragged out of the water before I finish for not making the cut-off. Give me that and I'm one happy swimmer!

    Like the "water flows around a mountain" image. Okay, flowing on...

    Thanks for the replies!

  7. #7
    Very Active Member Bill Sive's Avatar
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    Re: Thunderstorms, indoor pools and workouts interrupted

    The logic in closing an indoor pool in this situation is that there is the possibility of a lightning strike close to the pool. The lightning could strike the ground, or something, then would find the closest body of water and go towards it. Hence, an indoor pool must close, and evacuate all swimmers, just the same as if it were an outdoor pool.

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    USMS Membership Director Jayhawk's Avatar
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    Re: Thunderstorms, indoor pools and workouts interrupted

    When Lightning Strikes:
    http://www.aquaticsintl.com/safety/w...g-strikes.aspx
    provides one view.


    Lightning and Aquatics Safety- A Cautionary Perspective for Indoor Pools:
    http://www.lightningsafety.com/nlsi_...oor_pools.html
    provides another view.

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    Re: Thunderstorms, indoor pools and workouts interrupted

    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Sive View Post
    The logic in closing an indoor pool in this situation is that there is the possibility of a lightning strike close to the pool. The lightning could strike the ground, or something, then would find the closest body of water and go towards it. Hence, an indoor pool must close, and evacuate all swimmers, just the same as if it were an outdoor pool.
    then you also need to close the showers
    the drinking fountain
    the toilets
    .
    .
    .

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    Very Active Member knelson's Avatar
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    Re: Thunderstorms, indoor pools and workouts interrupted

    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Sive View Post
    Hence, an indoor pool must close, and evacuate all swimmers, just the same as if it were an outdoor pool.
    Anna Lea's first link describes why this is not really the case.

    I'd like to see evidence than anyone has been seriously injured from being electrocuted in a (code compliant) indoor pool during an electrical storm.

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    Very Active Member Glenn's Avatar
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    Re: Thunderstorms, indoor pools and workouts interrupted

    The '04 Long Course Masters Nationals were held in Savannah, GA in an indoor pool. One heat of the 1500 was about half done when thunder was heard. The pool was cleared and as it happened swimming stopped for the day or at least a few hours. Those people in the heat had to swim the entire race over again.

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    Very Active Member Allen Stark's Avatar
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    Re: Thunderstorms, indoor pools and workouts interrupted

    As noted,the number of people killed in indoor pools by lightening is zero.Compare that to the shower or walking in the parking lot.I'm all for safety,and the safe thing is to keep the pool open.
    "To strive,to seek,to find,and not to yield" Tennyson
    Allen

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    Very Active Member Allen Stark's Avatar
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    Re: Thunderstorms, indoor pools and workouts interrupted

    Quote Originally Posted by Glenn View Post
    The '04 Long Course Masters Nationals were held in Savannah, GA in an indoor pool. One heat of the 1500 was about half done when thunder was heard. The pool was cleared and as it happened swimming stopped for the day or at least a few hours. Those people in the heat had to swim the entire race over again.
    In there defense,there was a hurricane in the area,and it was an inflatable cover.That was an awful situation for the swimmers involved.Some swam 1/2 of the 1500 that evening and got to come back and swim it all again in the morning.
    "To strive,to seek,to find,and not to yield" Tennyson
    Allen

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    Re: Thunderstorms, indoor pools and workouts interrupted

    copper pipes and electrical wires tend to conduct just a tiny bit better than water does.
    now, granted, at the voltage a lightening bolt is at, it is for the most part a mute point.
    but we all know electricity is lazy. it takes the shortest path to ground. chances (not that we should risk it outside) are zero the pool gets hit before something else: fence, dive tower, umbrellas, lifeguard chair....
    and yes ive been swimming in an outdoor pool when the chimney of the building next to the pool was hit by lightening. the bottom got super bright yellow for a blink. we all jumped out.
    and yes i've swam in hail. it was small.
    and yes ive also been in an outdoor pool when we saw a tornado just 2 miles away. not just a funnel cloud but actual on the ground tornado. yes, dorthy and i were in kansas at the time. hate that dog toto.

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    Very Active Member knelson's Avatar
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    Re: Thunderstorms, indoor pools and workouts interrupted

    Speaking on behalf of the spelling police, I'd like to point out there's no "e" in the word lightning.

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    Re: Thunderstorms, indoor pools and workouts interrupted

    But whether or not it's sound policy, if it is indeed the policy at the indoor pool where you swim and they do hear thunder and close the pool, you're not going to get them to change their minds that day no matter how much you argue about it. So the original question still stands: what approach do you take to your workout?

    I pretty much have to just bag it for the day in that situation since I usually pack my gym bag for either a swim or a dryland, not both and there's not much wiggle room in my schedule for me to wait it out. It's not ideal, though, and end up all grumbly when that happens.

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    Very Active Member FindingMyInnerFish's Avatar
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    Re: Thunderstorms, indoor pools and workouts interrupted

    Will say that the one advantage my other sport (running) has is that typically they don't shut down treadmills in a thunderstorm, so if I'm outside running and a thunderstorm hits, I head for the gym and finish on the treadmill--not ideal, but at least something.

    OTOH, swimming has a lot of benefits or I wouldn't have adopted it as one of my two go-to sports.

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    Re: Thunderstorms, indoor pools and workouts interrupted

    Quote Originally Posted by FindingMyInnerFish View Post
    The workout that was interrupted was at an indoor pool--they close too in thunderstorms at least in my area.
    I have only encountered that while at the beach. I have never been kicked out of an indoor pool due to weather otherwise. But then again, most of our lap pools are in high schools, so maybe the grounding is better?

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    Moderator Rob Copeland's Avatar
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    Re: Thunderstorms, indoor pools and workouts interrupted

    Quote Originally Posted by Glenn View Post
    The '04 Long Course Masters Nationals were held in Savannah, GA in an indoor pool. One heat of the 1500 was about half done when thunder was heard. The pool was cleared and as it happened swimming stopped for the day or at least a few hours. Those people in the heat had to swim the entire race over again.
    I was on deck getting ready for the next heat when they cleared the pool at Savannah. And I recall there had been heavy rains, gale force winds and lightning (with no sign of lightening) most of the afternoon as tropical storm Bonnie passed nearby. It wasn’t until the tornados touched down within 2 miles of the pool that they decided to call it a day.
    The opinions expressed in the above post are mine and not those of U.S. Masters Swimming.

  20. #20
    USMS Member since 2003 gull's Avatar
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    Re: Thunderstorms, indoor pools and workouts interrupted

    I am not aware of any deaths attributed to lightening, nor is there a need to clear the pool. But it might be time to schedule a follow up visit with your obstetrician.

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