Monday, May 23, 2011

Getting Aquainted with Swimming Terminology and Etiquette

     I just posted some swimming workouts here and thought I'd make sure to do a little post on swimming etiquette and give a refresher on some terminology you may not be familiar with or have forgotten. This list will be added to as I see fit or as you all have questions for me. :)

     First I'll touch on etiquette. It's simple and basic and if you practice good etiquette you won't have any disgruntled swimmers following you in your lane (heck, some of those people probably need to hear this too!). One major rule is to let faster swimmers in your lane go first. I understand that this sounds insultingly obvious but you'd be surprised how often you get stuck behind slow people that won't let you pass. If you happen to be that slow person, please let faster swimmers pass! You can let them pass by finishing your lap and then stopping at the wall to let them go ahead of you. I know it may interrupt something you're working on but that's a sacrifice we have to make in sharing lanes with other people. It only takes a few seconds to let them pass so be courteous and let them go ahead. Don't ever stop in the middle of the lane to let someone pass. This is more likely to cause a crash and make them upset than it is to make them happy.

     The next rule is to circle swim. It really is as easy as it sounds. Swim in a long, stretched out circle (I guess that would be an oval haha). To circle swim, always stick to the right side of the lane, just like driving. Keep your right shoulder to the lane and viola, you're circle swimming. Circle swimming prevents head-on collisions, and keeps everyone happy because no one is guessing which side everyone else is going to swim on. In the even that you are in the lane with only one other person you can ask if they prefer to circle swim or to split the lane. Splitting the lane means you divide the lane in half lengthwise and stick to your half. Lane splitting is nice because you don't have to ever worry about passing your lane-mate because they are happily swimming on their side, and you yours. As soon as a third person joins your lane you need to switch back to circle swimming. There, etiquette is covered. Simple, right?

     The following are some terms/signs I will use when I post a workout. Use this as a guide to understanding my workouts so you're not frustrated trying to figure it out yourself. :)

- streamline position: You can figure this one out right now by standing up, extending your arms to the ceiling and placing one hand on top of the other. Lock your hands together by hooking your top thumb around your bottom hand. Squeeze your head just behind your ears with your arms and maintain a straight body alignment. your elbows should not be bent at all. This is streamline position.

- 1x00, 2x50, or any other signs like these: In a regulation lap pool one lap or length is 25 yards (some are meters but it won't matter which your pool is when trying to read my workouts). Let's look at 4x25, for example. The first number (4) indicates how many times you will swim the distance shown in the second number (25). A 25 is short for 25 yards and is 1 lap. (Some people say that a lap is down to one side and back and that a length is just down to one side. I choose to use the word lap to mean down to one side. From here on out, 1 lap means 25 yards.) 4x25 does NOT mean that you swim 25 yards 4 times in a row. If that were the case it would be written 1x100. 4x25 means that you swim 25 yards and then stop until you have done it 4 times.

- a 25 means 25 yards or 1 lap

- a 50 means 50 yards or 2 laps

- a 75 is 3 laps

- a 100 is 4 laps... and so on

- A "sprint" means as fast as you possibly can while maintaining good technique.

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