Joanna Zeiger's top swim do's and dont's for triathletes who swim Masters
Posted May 12 2010 1:11pm
Editor's Note:Before Joanna Zeiger was a world-class professional triathlete she was a swimmer. So when Joanna came up with this list of swimming do's and don'ts as posted to her most excellent blog Fast at Forty we knew you'd appreciate her smart advice.
I have been a Masters swimmer for more than 15 years. I have joined
workouts all over the world. I have interacted with all kinds of adult
swimmers. The one common thread, the very thing I have witnessed time
and again, is lane rage.
Swimmers unfamiliar with the etiquette of the
pool frustrate those that have more knowledge of how to keep a proper
flow. To be fair, though, I often see seasoned swimmers breaking
cardinal rules rendering them pool pariahs. In an effort to allay
tension and confusion, I have compiled a list of Do’s and Don’ts for
those swimming in a Masters setting. Do:
Be on time. I am appalled by the number of people that regularly
show up late for scheduled workouts. Groups stroll in 10 minutes late
like they are taking a class on a cruise ship. It is unfair to lane
mates and disrespectful to the coach. Please, be on time.
Place yourself in an appropriate lane. If you are in a lane
that is too fast, move down a lane and lead. It is a much better
workout to go first than to sit on the wall gasping for air.
Learn how to use the clock. Really? I am baffled that
people cannot read the clock, even after years of swimming. If you are
doing 6x50 on :45 and you leave the first one on the :05, your
subsequent send-off are, :50, :35, :20, :05, :50. You have the entire
repeat to figure out when you leave again; it is much better than
staring at the black line on the bottom of the pool.
Know your times. This is a corollary to point 3. Once you
learn how to use the clock, you will be able to figure out your times
for all of your repeats. I cannot tell you how many times I hear a coach
ask a swimmer what they did on their repeats and after counting on
their fingers and toes they still have no idea, or they just say, “I did
what she did”. It is important to know your times so you can gauge your
improvement and have a handle on whether you nailed the workout.
Take the time to learn proper technique. This really does
not apply to lane rage, but it will make you a better swimmer.
Don’t leave early. If the lane is going 5 seconds apart, do not
leave 3 seconds back. In no time at all, you will be on the feet of the
swimmer in front, and that is annoying.
Don’t use your equipment unless the set calls for it.
Triathletes notoriously love their pull buoy. In fact, there are some
people that need it surgically removed. It is a crutch. Learn how to
swim without it. And, don’t give the excuse that you only swim with a
wetsuit, so it is ok. At today’s swim workout, Dave Scott yelled at a
repeat offender to lose the buoy, and then he threw it out of reach.
Don’t turn around early. I see people stop at the flags,
touch the bottom, and turn around. What is this? If you turn around
early in a race you will be DQ-ed, so don’t do it in a workout. I will
offer these stipulations: if your paddle comes off because you hit
another swimmer or if you took a big gulp of water and need to catch
your breath, it is acceptable to turn around to get back to your spot in
Don’t jump in front of another swimmer if you sit out a 50.
Don’t mess up the intervals. See point 3 in the Do section.
Don’t spread germs. If you are sick, stay home or swim
Don’t wear a peek-a-boo swim suit. When in doubt, throw it
Hopefully these insights will lead to a more harmonious swim workout.
Have you experienced lane rage? What are you Masters swimming pet