Lane etiquette

In a nutshell: Lane etiquette makes possible for swimmers to share a lane safely

  1. We swim clockwise or anti-clockwise, depending on the lane. This means we swim alongside the swimmer in the next lane and avoids clashing arms/hands with them.
  2. Swimmers set off in speed order, fastest at front. If not sure start at back and move forward as you work out your best position.
  3. We ask to go in front if we’re catching up the swimmer in front in a set, or the swimmer might suggest you go in front if they see they’re being caught up.
  4. On longer sets (200m upwards) tapping the feet of the swimmer in front means they have to let you pass when reaching the next wall.
  5. We generally allow 5 seconds between swimmers. On occasion 10 seconds if we are sprinting or there are few swimmers in the lane.
  6. When tumble-turning we make sure we come out on the opposite side we were swimming to avoid the swimmer behind us.
  7. We don’t stop before the end of the lane, if we need to take a break we do so at the wall.

Listen to the Coach

The Coach prepares and sets up our training sessions. It is important to listen when instructions and feedback is given. If something is not clear ask Coach rather than your fellow swimmers.

Useful terminology

  • Going top’ means setting off when the pace clock hand is at 12 o’clock
  • Swimming 100s off 1’45” means both the swim and rest take 1’45”
  • IM’ means Individual Medley, the order of strokes is: fly, back, breast, free
  • Choice’ means you choose the stroke
  • There are a number of training categories, which indicate how hard you should swim. A1 is easy (60% to 75% effort), A2 steady (75% to 80%) A3 moderate (80% to 85%) AT/Aerobic Threshold is fairly fast (85% to 95%), VO2Max is fast (95% to 100%) and sprint is 100%.


Apart from the basics, goggles and swim cap, we use fins, hand-paddles, kick-board, buoy and snorkel.