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Posts tagged “rules

Swim Etiquette

I am not British, but some etiquette rules just have to be followed.

When it comes to swimming, I often have come across the average joe out for a Sunday afternoon slow swim, at Thursday lunch. In my opinion, the local pools don’t do enough to educate swimmers on the proper ettiquete which will allow everyone to have an enjoyable experience. I am not talking about hard rules that have to be followed or you are kicked out, like peeing in the pool, but just the little things that will help out your fellow swimmers.

I have wanted to write this blog post for a while now, but struggled with how to write it in a positive way, not just complain. So I decided to share some of the rules I have learnt over the years in the pool.

Fast, Medium, or Slow Lane
Pick the right lane for your ability, not for how many people are in it. There is a reason why the fast lane is always less crowded than the medium or slow lane; because to consistently swim sub 1:40/100m, you have to be good. By picking the right lane, you make the workout more enjoyable not only for yourself, but for the others in your lane. No one likes to be a speed bump.

There is not a specific time divider, but I have found that if you swim around 1:40/100m, the fast lane is for you. If you swim 2:00/100m, it isn’t.

Turn Baby, Turn
Coming from a swimming background, I flip turn. That doesn’t mean that you have to do it too; it is the one thing that intimidates most swimmers. Actually, I think that the wall period intimidates most swimmers. What do I do when someone is coming? Should I push off now?

There will always be times when you will be resting at the wall. Unless you are the only one, or part of a masters class, the rest of the lane will continue on without you. You should always be resting at the right side of the lane (see next point).

If you are turing for another length (or 10) and there is no one in front of you, in the last 5m, move to the left of the black line, turn, and push straight off. This will help avoid the occasional collision and a potential face full of fingers. When you feel someone tap your foot or are coming to the wall for a rest, stay to the right side and rest there.

Pass Properly
I am about to get country for a second, so stay with me. Consider each swim lane like a two-lane, non divided highway. You wouldn’t pass when another vehicle is approaching in the opposite lane straddling the center line. So why is it okay in a swim lane? It isn’t. First question, are you actually swimming faster or just drafting? Drafting will reduce your workload by 8-10%. If you are swimming faster, polietly tap his/her foot (signal light), look to see if the opposite side is clear, then pass on the left. If the lane is not clear, tap his/her foot, wait until the wall, then when they pause to let you go ahead, go ahead.

Oh, by the way, if you feel someone tap your foot, stop at the wall and let them pass. I am pretty sure you figured this out, but if not, there you go.

Spacing
With a full lane, it can be tempting to push off right behind the swimmer in front of you. Please, resist that temptation. The rule of thumb is with 4 or less swimmers in the lane, leave 10 seconds between each swimmer. In a lane with 5 or more swimmers, leave a 5 second gap and try to stay on the toes of the swimmer in front of you.

Oh, and if you are grabbing a flutter board for a kick drill, good for you by the way, I hate kick drills, wait until all of the swimmers have left the wall. You are slow and you will become a speed bump.

Try some of these on your next workout if you don’t already. I am sure everyone will appreciate it.

Question: Any rules I missed?


Paleo Elitist

I need to vent a little bit.

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Here I am, 4 weeks out from finishing my Whole 30 challenge, and I am thinking back to October. Thinking back to how the challenge went, and how I can help anyone who is looking to embark on one for the first time.

Through the challenge, I had many questions about if a certain food, or combination of foods, were in violation of the principals of the challenge. Let’s call a spade a shovel here, the definition of the challenge is pretty vague.

Eat real food – meat, seafood, eggs, tons of vegetables, some fruit, and plenty of good fats from fruits, oils, nuts and seeds.

Some fruit? Plenty of good fat? What do they really mean by that?

So off I went in search of some advice relating to exactly what it did mean and I stumbled upon what I think is the negative side of the whole 30 community, the elitist. I have alluded to them before; the hard core, only 100% is good enough who’s opinions can be somewhat disheartening.

The frame what I mean, here was my situation: I wanted to know if eating a banana with almond butter was within the spirit of the challenge. On the surface there is no issue, but thought I would look it up anyways. Here is the opinion I found:

It doesn’t fit into the Whole 30, it appears to be close to SWYPO (sex with your pants on) and looks a lot like desert. I would avoid it unless you are using it in combination with a meal for fat.

So wait a second kemosabe. As long as I play it in my mind that it isn’t desert but rather part of my meal, it is fine?

This is where the challenge went from awesome to just plain good for me. It makes it tough as there is a mentality out there surrounding the challenge that the context in what you eat or how you eat it will determine your success.

Now to clarify, I live a Paleo lifestyle, having seen great results not only in my athletic performance, but in my life in general. I am not against the Whole 30 challenge. I think that for someone who is looking for a nutritional reset, it is a great starting place, just don’t let the opinion of some of the elite get between you and success.

So if you embark on the challenge, first of all, good for you; it will have an impact on your life one way or another. Secondly, don’t let the opinion of the elitist on the interweb affect your mindset. Take the challenge for yourself and work within the rules. If you have to step in the grey territory now and again, no big deal.

Question: What are your thoughts on the paleo elitist?


Swim Etiquette – Round Two

I posted, awhile back now, what I thought was the important swim ettiquette rules.

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That post has become one of my most viewed posts and continues to get views today. Some of the comments made me think that I missed a couple of rules and the way to deal with rule breakers.

So here are some of the missed etiquette rules. Hope it didn’t get you in trouble at the pool…..

Clockwise or Counterclockwise?
It doesn’t really matter. Typically though, each lane will swim counter clockwise. I have come across lanes that alternate from clockwise/counter/clockwise and so on. I asked once why they do that, and I got a confusing answer: “So when you are swimming, you are always next to someone on your left or right”. Make a little sense I guess, but I am not sure why that is important.

Which ever way you decide to swim, make sure everyone in your lane is in agreement before you start.

Equipment
Training aids can really help increase your swimming power and efficiency; most common for me pool side is a water bottle, kick board, and a pull buoy. On occasion I will bring paddles with as well, although my shoulder doesn’t really like them after breaking my collar bone.

If you are just borrowing them from the pool, most have a decent supply, treat them with care. Put them back when you are finished and if you break them, point it out to the lifeguard. No one likes to pick out the right size paddle only to find the rubber strap missing.

Wether you are borrowing or have your own, try to keep them neat and tidy at pool side. It makes it easier to grab the right tool for the next set, and can avoid un-necessary rest time fiddling with it.

Picking a Lane
Take a minute to survey the pool and determine the speed of the fast, medium, and slow lanes. Also have a gander at how each lane is swimming; if you want to do intervals, then joining a lane that has two swimmers grinding out a 2000m main set wouldn’t be the best choice. Pick the lane the best suits your speed and workout.

Joining a lane already in Progress
I can’t tell you how many times I have seen someone jump in and start swimming with guys swimming side by side. Can you say collision?

Unless you are swimming with a club, or a bunch of buddies, you will have to join a group already swimming. No problem, they don’t own the lane. Once you have made the all important choice (see above) get in the lane and stay at the wall until each swimmer has either turned or stopped for a rest. This gives them a chance to see you there, acknowledge another swimmer is joining, and swim accordingly.

If you want to dive in, you can make it look cool by the way, then stand right at the edge until all swimmers have passed you then dive away.

So you now have a vague idea of the rules, what if the guy in your lane seems like he is from Mars? My suggestion is to continue swimming with the proper etiquette for about 200m, passing if and when you have to. Typically they are newer swimmers and setting a good example will help them along.

That being said, some won’t catch on, so intervention is required. Next time you are both at the wall, kindly mention to them about the etiquette, give them a tip, and start your next interval.

If they continue to make it tough for you to swim, then move to another lane and forget about it. Not worth ruining your day over.

Question: I missed some last time, did I miss any this time?


Swim Etiquette

I am not British, but some etiquette rules just have to be followed.

When it comes to swimming, I often have come across the average joe out for a Sunday afternoon slow swim, at Thursday lunch. In my opinion, the local pools don’t do enough to educate swimmers on the proper ettiquete which will allow everyone to have an enjoyable experience. I am not talking about hard rules that have to be followed or you are kicked out, like peeing in the pool, but just the little things that will help out your fellow swimmers.

I have wanted to write this blog post for a while now, but struggled with how to write it in a positive way, not just complain. So I decided to share some of the rules I have learnt over the years in the pool.

Fast, Medium, or Slow Lane
Pick the right lane for your ability, not for how many people are in it. There is a reason why the fast lane is always less crowded than the medium or slow lane; because to consistently swim sub 1:40/100m, you have to be good. By picking the right lane, you make the workout more enjoyable not only for yourself, but for the others in your lane. No one likes to be a speed bump.

There is not a specific time divider, but I have found that if you swim around 1:40/100m, the fast lane is for you. If you swim 2:00/100m, it isn’t.

Turn Baby, Turn
Coming from a swimming background, I flip turn. That doesn’t mean that you have to do it too; it is the one thing that intimidates most swimmers. Actually, I think that the wall period intimidates most swimmers. What do I do when someone is coming? Should I push off now?

There will always be times when you will be resting at the wall. Unless you are the only one, or part of a masters class, the rest of the lane will continue on without you. You should always be resting at the right side of the lane (see next point).

If you are turing for another length (or 10) and there is no one in front of you, in the last 5m, move to the left of the black line, turn, and push straight off. This will help avoid the occasional collision and a potential face full of fingers. When you feel someone tap your foot or are coming to the wall for a rest, stay to the right side and rest there.

Pass Properly
I am about to get country for a second, so stay with me. Consider each swim lane like a two-lane, non divided highway. You wouldn’t pass when another vehicle is approaching in the opposite lane straddling the center line. So why is it okay in a swim lane? It isn’t. First question, are you actually swimming faster or just drafting? Drafting will reduce your workload by 8-10%. If you are swimming faster, polietly tap his/her foot (signal light), look to see if the opposite side is clear, then pass on the left. If the lane is not clear, tap his/her foot, wait until the wall, then when they pause to let you go ahead, go ahead.

Oh, by the way, if you feel someone tap your foot, stop at the wall and let them pass. I am pretty sure you figured this out, but if not, there you go.

Spacing
With a full lane, it can be tempting to push off right behind the swimmer in front of you. Please, resist that temptation. The rule of thumb is with 4 or less swimmers in the lane, leave 10 seconds between each swimmer. In a lane with 5 or more swimmers, leave a 5 second gap and try to stay on the toes of the swimmer in front of you.

Oh, and if you are grabbing a flutter board for a kick drill, good for you by the way, I hate kick drills, wait until all of the swimmers have left the wall. You are slow and you will become a speed bump.

Try some of these on your next workout if you don’t already. I am sure everyone will appreciate it.

Question: Any rules I missed?


Things That Make You Go……..

Mostly unwritten, there are a couple of things not to do while participating, voulenteering, or supporting a triathlon/triathlete.

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We have all seen it, something that makes you say “did I just see that?” Having been competeing for two seasons now, I have come across a couple of situations that made me take a second look. I may be alone with my thoughts on the subject, but here are some of the ‘faux-pas’ I have seen at some of my races.

Gear
Make sure that the gear you have matches the race distance and your ability. I participated in a Sprint Triathlon last year and passed a fellow competitor riding on Zipp wheels; I am all for aero-dynamics, but the benefit of aero wheels is lost on me for a 20km bike leg. I believe that you physical and mental conditioning will enable you to win a race, not the gear you are riding on or running with. More on that in a future post.

Attire
Are you an Ironman? Be proud of it, I would be if I was, but please leave the ‘Ironman Couer d’Alene Finisher’ jacket at home. This goes for everyone, but more especially if you are a spectator, and more especially at a Kids of Steel race. Even if you won the whole thing, which I doubt you did, the focus is on the current athletes and not your previous finishes.

Get a generic, logo-less tri suit. Unless you are sponsored by Cervelo (man I wish) your bike should be your only large brand identifier. I made the assumption that a young kid was sponsored by Felt at one race, got a little intimidated, then passed him on the first lap of the bike leg.

Most races, if not all, will distribute t-shirts with your race package. Don’t show up on race morning or worse, race with that t-shirt.

Respect
Respect for everyone involved in the race including competitors, voulenteers, and the communities you are racing through. I can’t count on two hands the number of times I have seen guys pass a competitor without a warning. Just a quick ‘on your left’ would do. If you see another competitor stuggling, give them some words of encouragement. You don’t need to pull them along, but a kind word when you pass could be all they need to make it to the top of the hill.

Most race organizers have to work hard with the communities to get permission, licenses, and the ability to come back the following year. To quote the Ironman 70.3 commitie, ‘don’t be a tosser’. If you are using gels, chomps, or anything that requires packaging, stick the empy warpper in your jersey or hit the garbage at the next aid station.

So don’t be that guy at your next race.

Question: Have you been ‘that guy’? What else have you seen that qualifies to make the list?