Don't get me wrong, by no means am I trying to go off on my high horse here, clearly I am no model of manners or etiquette, but at least I try.
As I am sure most of you do, I spend a great deal of time in pools and riding my bike. While much of my cycling is done indoors (I have professed my appreciation for the trainer here before), almost every time I ride outside, I ride at least a portion of the ride with others. When it comes to swimming however, virtually EVERY swim session requires me to interact with other swimmers. For the most part, I do this on purpose. I swim masters because the people there push me to swim harder than I would if I was doing my own workout. In truth I get my ass handed to me. On days I don't swim masters, I often try and swim with a couple guys at the local pool for the same reason. If not, it is an extremely rare day that I am not sharing a lane with at least 2 or 3 others. Whatever the case, this interaction requires a certain etiquette be followed to ensure that everyone has an enjoyable and worthwhile workout and in the case of cycling, a safe one as well.
This morning's masters workout has spawned this post. For the most part, a masters workout is pretty well defined so far as rules and etiquette goes. You get in the lane you normally swim in, you know the swimmers around you and where you fall in the pace line. If I swim a workout time I normally don't swim, or with a different masters squad, I try and feel it out as much as possible in the warm up and then place myself conservatively to ensure I don't slow anyone down. Today a girl I have never seen before showed up at masters. She took up the spot behind me. In the warm up she hit my feet a few times. When we were given the main set, I gave her the opportunity to go ahead of me and she didn't take it. The set was 2(6x150) alternating each 150 faster and slower. On the second round she hit my feet a few times on the slower intervals. At the wall I asked her if she wanted to jump ahead and she did. This is where it got interesting.
She swam that 150, then abruptly sat out the next one. There was no "rest" between the 150s so this created a big gap I had to try and close to get back to the feet of the guy I was originally behind. At the wall before the next one she was hanging on the wall when I got there and it was her time to push off if she was going to jump back in. She didn't, and was talking to another swimmer, so I went. Out of nowhere, she pushed off swam into me and pushed her way past me when I stopped. I was literally laughing to myself as she swam by and I treaded water in the middle of the lane.
So I figured I would start a list of things people do while swimming that are examples or poor etiquette / things that piss you off / things one should NOT do.
1. If you are gonna pull ahead of someone in a masters workout, be able to stay ahead of them and do the WHOLE workout or at lest finish the interval.
2. If someone swims past you, take up the spot behind them, and if at the next break you think you can go in front, ask them.
3. When sharing a lane in a non-masters workout, swim free, back or kick. Save breast, fly, whatever you call that flopping, flailing, lookslikeyouaredrowning mess of a stroke for when you have the lane alone or with just one other.
4. Abide by the "Fast" "Medium" "Slow" signs for each lane. Don't go in the fast lane just because there are fewer people in it if you are not Fast.
5. If you're gonna kick, let others go before you at each wall.
6. Realize the obvious: