Hampstead Triathlon Club Pool-Based Swim Sessions
If you are unsure about your level when you attend your first session speak to a member of the coaching team when you arrive. After watching you swim for a session our coaches will be able to guide you as to your current level.
We recommend that you attend at least one coached session per week and another (or more if possible) swim session by your self, even if this only 20 minutes long. This will allow you to work on the coaching points given to you in your own time and at your own pace.
What will be provided?
- 1 or 2 coaches depending on the number of lanes
- Lifeguard cover
- A structured session plan
- Pace clock: Each venue has a large pool side clock to time work/rest intervals
What do you need to bring?
- Swim trunks / costume
- Swim cap: Only required for those with long hair
- Sports watch: For timing on longer sets if you can’t use the pace clock
- Training aids: Pull buoy, hand paddles, kickboard, ankle band, training fins
- Something to drink to prevent de-hydration
- Ideal: Knowledge of your current swimming ability. E.g. 400m time, 750m time, etc.
Swim Training Etiquette
To make sure everyone gets the most out of our swim training sessions we ask all members to make themselves aware of our swim training etiquette. It may look like there is a lot to take in but most of it is common sense. Check anything you don’t understand with the coach at the start of the session.
When You Arrive
- Arrive at least 5 minutes before the start of the session so you are ready to sign-in and begin the warm-up on time.
- Shower before entering the swimming pool. This is particularly important if you have arrived at the pool after a days work, cycled, run or completed another training session immediately prior to the swim.
- Remove plasters or dressings before swimming to avoid them falling off in the water.
- Do not swim if you have any scabs or open wounds.
- Swimmers with long hair are encouraged to put on a swimming cap before entering the water.
- Remove all jewellery before entering the pool. If you require a watch for timing information during the session make sure it is a sports watch and that it has no sharp edges.
- If you arrive late you speak to the coach before entering the water. If they say it is ok for you to join in, you must complete an appropriate warm-up before joining in with the main set. If this is not possible you will not be allowed to join in the session.
- Do not run on pool side.
- Notify the coach before entering / leaving the pool mid-session
- Swimmers should observe and respect the pace and workout routines of other swimmers in their lane – especially when circle swimming – avoiding actions that are likely to interfere with those routines. Examples include:
- Slower swimmers starting a set should wait to push off the wall until faster swimmers have passed (i.e. don’t push off right in front of a faster swimmer who’s coming into the wall about to turn, as this blocks the faster swimmer). Slower swimmers should push off almost immediately behind a faster individual or group, thus extending the time until they are lapped again and need to stop.
- Faster swimmers starting a set should give slower swimmers as much “running room” as possible before pushing off, (rather than jumping right behind and immediately tapping their toes to move over.)
- Swimmers resting or otherwise waiting at the wall should stay far to one side of the lane, (preferably at the left from the perspective of an approaching swimmer, or the right from their own perspective looking back up the pool). Resting swimmers should specifically avoid standing or floating in the middle of the lane as this interferes with swimmers “swimming through” who need to tag or flip at the wall. If the lane is crowded, other swimmers may need to rest out away from the wall along either side of the lane.
- When circle swimming, swimmers should never stop in the middle of a length (e.g., to adjust goggles), as this may cause a trailing swimmer to run into them. It’s usually best to continue to the wall and stop there.
- An overtaking swimmer should gently but distinctly touch the feet of the swimmer being overtaken. It may take two or three touches, but overtaking swimmers should not need to repeatedly slap or grab at the legs of a slower swimmer to politely make their presence known.
- Swimmers enjoying a draft behind a strong lead swimmer, but who are just barely able to hold that pace should think twice before tagging the leader’s toes and requesting to move ahead. In such situations, it’s highly unlikely that the (formerly) trailing swimmer will be able to hold the same pace for very long when leading without the draft.
- Drafting swimmers not wishing to pass should swim far enough back from a lead swimmer that they don’t inadvertently touch the lead swimmer’s toes.
- Overtaking swimmers should not attempt to swim “wide” past a slower swimmer unless they are the only two swimmers in the lane, since in most cases this presents a hazard to other oncoming swimmer(s), forcing them to pull over to get out of the way.
- In the rare case that a passing swimmer does swim wide, they should be confident in their ability to sprint into the field of vision of the lead swimmer well before they gets to the wall. Otherwise this could lead to a collision at the wall as both swimmers attempt to turn on top of one another. In the case of any ambiguity at the wall, the swimmer who is behind should give way to the swimmer who is in front.
When Being Passed
- A lead swimmer, who feels a touch on the feet from an overtaking swimmer, should continue to the next wall, then stop in the corner of the lane to let faster swimmer(s) past. A single light touch may be accidental and can be ignored, but two or more distinct touches should be regarded almost universally as a request to swim through.
- A swimmer who has been touched on the feet should move to a corner of the lane as soon as they get to the next wall in order to make way for passing swimmers turning there. This also applies to swimmers stopping of their own accord, (i.e., even if they haven’t been tagged on the toes), since another swimmer who hasn’t seen fit to touch toes may be right behind.
- In circle format, swimmers should always stay aware of the gap behind them to the next swimmer, and try to anticipate when a swimmer is likely to overtake them. This is easily accomplished by looking back just before or during each turn.
- A lead swimmer who sees another swimmer coming up close behind as they turn at the wall should consider stopping and moving over immediately at that wall in order to let the faster swimmer past
- If more than one swimmer is bunched close behind, the swimmer being overtaken should allow the entire group of faster swimmers to pass before pushing off the wall again.
- Swimmers being overtaken should not attempt to speed up (or slow down) once “tagged”, nor should they jump in and “tag back” the new lead swimmer on the next lap.
- If two or more swimmers are closely matched in pace they should either position themselves at opposite ends of a lane or agree on how to share the lead.