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Swimming pool etiquette?

(203 Posts)
miaowmiaowhiss Tue 28-Jul-15 16:36:51

Went swimming today and it was one of the set ups where they have slow/medium/fast lanes, and you pick the lane you swim in based on the people already swimming in them, not your own ideas of speed (eg you might think you're extremely fast, but if the fast line is full of Olympians, you'd pick a different lane). There are signs up specifically telling you to pick your lane in this way.

I was swimming in the fast lane with two other people -we were clearly faster than people in the other lanes, so it was the right place to be. Another man came and got in the pool twenty minutes after I got in, and he was swimming much faster than any of us were going - which obviously means he kept running up the back of other swimmers! Every time I knew he was directly behind me I'd pause at the end and let him overtake me for the next one, but he kept huffing and rolling his eyes. He then started overtaking all three of us during lengths - which is fine in principle, just not if it means the person coming the other way had to stop and wait and the person he was overtaking got nearly kicked in the face each time.

AIBU to think this is really inconsiderate/rude? There was just so much tutting and eye rolling at the audacity we had to be swimming faster than people in other lanes, yet not swimming as fast as this man clearly wanted to. Minor issue in the grand scheme of things but it really annoyed me - as well as actually being quite dangerous RE being kicked in the face/kicking him in the face - and made my swim a lot less enjoyable angry

Surely if you want to swim faster than everyone else you time it right and wait for everyone else to be on the length back before you start, or something, not just passive aggressively showing your displeasure at other swimmers?

Buzzybuzzybumblebees Tue 28-Jul-15 16:40:35

He was being rude
It's a public pool , he should have shown consideration to the other swimmers
People like him annoy me

StandoutMop Tue 28-Jul-15 16:43:24

I agree with you. I swim in the slow lane as medium is too quick for me. I just time my swims to avoid the incredibly slow elderly ladies in there. Mind you, there are a couple of blokes who swim past me who I think need to move into medium, really don't think I am that slow.

I got swimming rage yesterday but for another reason. Main pool is all lane swimming, so kids can only go in learner pool which has capacity of 30(!). 2 families in there with 3 adults to 1 child. Reckon they need a max adult to child ratio, as well as a minimum one.

CMOTDibbler Tue 28-Jul-15 16:45:21

He was being a tosser. If you are in the fast lane, and clearly faster than the medium lane swimmers, then you are right to be in the fast lane.
But even if you weren't quite as fast, then he was behaving in a dangerous way which isn't acceptable.

I only eye roll at a) the bloke that goes really fast, but only one length at a time and then hangs round at the end getting in the way b) the very, very slow man in the slow lane (a third of the pool is unlaned) and c) the bloke who never waits at the end even after a toe tap, making me have to overtake mid pool which I hate

DoeEyedNear Tue 28-Jul-15 16:45:46

He's being rude

I usually go for the medium paced lane as I'm not an old granny having a pootle and a chat but I'm also not a confident speed freak. I want to do my half hour and get out. The number of people who huff at me - either dawdlers in the wrong lane who I accidentally nudge - or faster medium lane people who nudge me, huff and roll their eyes.

Swimming is a fraught business!

Anotheronebitthedust Tue 28-Jul-15 16:46:35

I agree, but then I think swimming lane etiquette is the most rage-inducing issue of modern times!

The vast majority of people do not understand the concept of what you say in your OP, i.e. that it is not whether YOU think you are a fast or slow swimmer but the speed you are going relative to the other people in the pool, that determines which lane you should choose. I've seen so many people (usually men, I have to say) determinedly struggle in the middle or fast lane while everyone overtakes or has to stop short behind them because they refuse to accept they should reclassify themselves as 'slow' swimmers for that day.

In this instance, however, what else were you supposed to do? Have everyone else apart from him crowd into the other two lanes so he could have a special super fast lane of his very own?

Don't get me started with the groups of older ladies who just pick a lane, any lane and then twaddle up it side by side, chatting away. It is a lane session, the ONLY lane session that 9-5 workers can go to all week, so don't glare at people when they swim (yes, swim!) past you. If you want to chat, sit on the end or go to any of the daily sessions!

DoeEyedNear Tue 28-Jul-15 16:47:31

Oops meant to say I'm a breastroke swimmer which some people seem to think means dawdler and have had people huff at me for using the wrong stroke for the lane despite me being able to do a length faster than them!


sleepwhenidie Tue 28-Jul-15 16:48:13

YANBU - I confronted someone who did this repeatedly when I was at the pool once. If you are able to swim much faster than everyone else, good for you, but that doesn't mean you should get a lane for yourself, if everyone else is evenly distributed across the lanes and grouped in largely similar speeds then you have to suck it up and wait for a space to overtake, not barge through making those in the opposite direction stop for them. Same as the slower swimmers should give way to faster ones at the end of a length, which is a more common issue especially with men whose egos won't allow a woman to pass them.

Anotheronebitthedust Tue 28-Jul-15 16:48:16

This just reminded me of one occasion when some man obviously felt I was going to slowly, but instead of overtaking me by swimming past, he swum UNDER me, and resurfaced inches in front of my face! confused

sadwidow28 Tue 28-Jul-15 16:49:32

He was being unreasonable. If he wants to swim at that pace he should NOT pick a public all-comers-welcome time. I used to be a fast-lane swimmer (swam for my county) but I was taught etiquette and safety in the pool because it is a 'dangerous place' without due regard for others.

Next time he does it, mention it to a member of staff. They might be able to direct him to a better time for him to practice his timings wink

LyingWitchInTheWardrobe Tue 28-Jul-15 16:50:59

Anotherone... shock but sorry, that made me laugh so much. grin

LornMowa Tue 28-Jul-15 16:54:13

He may have been unreasonable but you haven't given enough information for me to judge. I feel that its important to gauge the swimming ability of all the people in the pool. It may have made more sense for the slowest swimmer in the fast lane to move to the medium speed lane if that was emptier- and if necessary for a slower swimmer in that lane to move down to the slow lane.

There is nothing more infuriating than going to a pool hoping to get some exercise and then spending the time in a sedate queue.

I wish the pool staff could intervene a bit more to get a good balance of people in the lanes.

miaowmiaowhiss Tue 28-Jul-15 16:54:49

Thank god it's not just me! I really think he felt we should all move down a lane - had he been there first, then yes, I probably would have done a few lengths in fast then moved down. But you can't come last and expect to determine the speed of a lane!

miaowmiaowhiss Tue 28-Jul-15 16:56:57

Lorn, the medium lane was packed, and I believe everyone (I certain was!) was going faster than even the fastest medium swimmer. Wouldn't that just compound the problem and mean that two lanes are struggling with too-fast swimmers?

CamelHump Tue 28-Jul-15 16:57:45

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

CamelHump Tue 28-Jul-15 16:58:42

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

LurkingHusband Tue 28-Jul-15 17:01:16

My rage at one of our local pools (the one I use less, due to parking) is they have 3 lanes (slow, medium fast), and it seems everyone goes in the medium lane. Last time I was there, there were about 8 people in the medium, and 2 in the fast ...

Kittykatmacbill Tue 28-Jul-15 17:02:30

He was rude.

But your first paragraph contradicts yourself, If the average speed of the lane changes and you can't keep with it then you need to change lane. Sorry.

miaowmiaowhiss Tue 28-Jul-15 17:10:12

But if there are 3 people swimming fast, and 1 person who wants to swim faster, why should the 3 people who were there before move into the next lane down where all 3 of them would have to swim slower than they want to? Then all 8 (or whatever) people in the medium lane would have to move down the the slow lane, then the poor people in the slow lane would have nowhere to swim! The average speed of the lane didn't change, there was just one inconsiderate dick who couldn't mediate his timings to ensure he could swim the speed he wanted.

Piffpaffpoff Tue 28-Jul-15 17:10:19

My swimming rage is around people who hang around at the end of the lanes chatting. Fuck off to the open pool bit if you want chat, some of us are trying to swim here! I'd love to say that to them, but I usually make do with a huffy passive-aggressive "excuse ME!".

On the lane thing, despite me being reasonably fast, I usually move out of the fast lane at the gym when the wannabe triathletes come in to do their training cos they are much much faster than me, but if the slow lane is full of old ladies keeping their hair dry, I stay in the fast but stop at an end and let them go by if they are close behind.

Piffpaffpoff Tue 28-Jul-15 17:12:46

But to answer your query, I think he was being an obnoxious twat trying to intimidate you into moving lanes and that's out of order.

amothersplaceisinthewrong Tue 28-Jul-15 17:15:00

This happens in our pool - everyone in the medium lane. I opt for the slow lane because I nearly always have it to myself as no one seems to want to admit to "being slow"

I am often faster than the medium lane, but hey ho!

We also have a bit in our pool at the adults only swim sessions where you don't have to go in lanes. It is really for extra slow swimmers but if there is space I go in there as I can just go up and down in my space at my own speed with no one behind or in front of me.

TalkinPeace Tue 28-Jul-15 17:29:04

He was being a rude tosspot.
If the lanes are full, they are full.
You either go with the pace of the lane or come at a less busy time.

KatelynB Tue 28-Jul-15 17:31:24

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

EvansOvalPiesYumYum Tue 28-Jul-15 17:32:16

I'm not a swimmer (but would dearly like to be). Am interested in this thread as apparently, the main nuisances appear to be 'old, elderly granny-types'. Are there no elderly men who annoy people in the swimming lanes?

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