Tag: swimmer

Learn to Swim Better by Learning to Share a Lane

Those of you who swim regularly are surely noticing that there are a lot more swimmers using the pool than ever before. Guess what, THAT’S A GOOD THING! Swimming is a great way to exercise and is such an important skill to have, especially here in the Puget Sound area.

Although more swimmers mean more congestion, which can be frustrating, there is a simple solution: Share your lane. Swim teams everywhere share lanes, regardless the pool size. A standard size pool of 25 yards x 6 (often narrow) lanes will accommodate very large swim teams with kids ranging in age from 6-18. Those kids learn to swim well in large part from the experience of sharing lanes. It is common during swim practice that six people will share a single lane, which translates to one swimmer every 8.33 yards in a single direction. It’s an opportunity: they get to learn timing, body position, spatial awareness and cadence, among other skills essential to good swimming and can only come from experience and practice. Swim Conditioning classes at Seattle Athletic Club cater to many members and they quickly learn to share a lane with at least one other swimmer.

Next time you come into the pool for solitary workout and that find that each lane is being used, please don’t just stand there and wait for a lane to open up; identify and swimmer whose speed matches yours, and ask if you can share the lane. Conversely, if you are the only person swimming in a lane and you notice people waiting to swim, be a good neighbor and invite them into your lane. Challenge yourself to do this—even if you feel like a novice—because the experience will help you get better! The better you become the harder and longer you will be able to swim and the more enjoyable it will be.

Finally, follow these easy steps for sharing a lane. If there are two of you in a lane, agree which side each of you will take and stay on that side of the black line. If there are three or more of you, begin to ‘circle swim’ or always stay on the right of the black line. If you are the fastest person in your lane, swimming slower and more aware of the others will help you with cadence and spatial awareness. If, on the other hand, you are one of the slower ones in the lane, swimming faster will challenge you to swim better and with more efficiency. Either way, these are all good skills to have.

Happy Laps!

Benefits of Water for Athletes

Beginning a swim program will help benefit your other athletic endeavors. Just like swimmers partake in dry land workouts to improve their bodies ability to swim better. If you have been a runner for the better part of your life the injuries you sustain can be worked out in the pool. You say but I want to run…how about running in the pool. There are devices that will help you float enough to keep your feet off of the pool floor. You can run from one end to the other. Give yourself different a certain amount of time to get to the other end. Do sprints like you would on a running track. Make the next set perhaps a bit easier then do another hard set. You will find the plantar fasciitis is no longer bothering you. The knee pain is less than it used to be. Now you can hit the pavement again, but don’t forget what helped you get better after all water is a benefit for all athletes.

Electrolytes – What They Are & Why You Need Them

You know it’s important to drink lots of water before, during, and after a workout, but you might be forgetting something! During exercise, your body also loses electrolytes, and you need to replenish them for proper organ and cellular function. Common electrolytes include sodium, potassium chloride, and bicarbonate.

Sodium regulates the total amount of water in the body and the transmission of sodium into and out of individual cells also plays a role in critical body functions. Many processes in the body, especially in the brain, nervous system, and muscles, require electrical signals for communication. The movement of sodium is critical in generation of these electrical signals.

The proper level of potassium is essential for normal cell function. Among the many functions of potassium in the body are regulation of the heartbeat and the function of the muscles.

Chloride is the major anion (negatively charged ion) found in the fluid outside of cells and in the blood. Chloride also plays a role in helping the body maintain a normal balance of fluids.

The bicarbonate ion acts as a buffer to maintain the normal levels of acidity (pH) in blood and other fluids in the body. Bicarbonate levels are measured to monitor the acidity of the blood and body fluids. The acidity is affected by foods or medications that we ingest and the function of the kidneys and lungs.

It is especially important to replenish electrolytes after exercise, because many electrolytes are lost in sweat. You can replenish your electrolytes by consuming sports drinks, juice, milk, and many fruits and vegetables. Perhaps the most common and efficient way to replenish electrolytes is through sport drinks like Gatorade and PowerAde. These drinks offer a good source and adequate amounts of carbohydrates and electrolytes to replenish your body. So remember, next time you plan your workout, don’t forget to include a way to properly recover and nourish your body!

The Best Ways to Protect Your Hair from Chlorine in Indoor Pools

Protecting your hair while swimming can be a challenge, yet so easy at the same time. Your hairstylist will tell you to put tons of conditioner in your hair, or an oil to create a barrier between your finely colored hair and the chlorine. There are a ton of products out there too. From experience oils do work the best. This is all under a swim cap of course. The silicone caps are much friendlier on your hair, as opposed to latex. You can check out the new SAC silicone caps at the pro shop.

Here’s the kicker. You don’t need much oil or conditioner! Your hair does not need to be drenched in product for protection; it just needs a thin layer. The key is to rinse and shampoo immediately following your swim to insure the chlorine is not absorbed. A leave in conditioner is super helpful in ensuring the healthy look and color in your hair after a swim.

Goggles for Open Water Swimming

Goggles are goggles right? Not necessarily. Just like choosing which layers to put on when going outside, choosing your goggles for open water swimming is a must.

Some things to consider:

  1. Light reflects off water. The brighter the sun the harder it is too see. Opt for reflective and darker gogglers at this time. The TYR metalized tracer or nest pro-nano are perfect in these conditions.
  2. Even during “overcast” there is still some light reflection from the water. Opt for tinted lighted goggles in this case. The TYR tinted Tracer or Nest Pro Nano in pink and blue or clear are great for these conditions.
  3. If it is dark and gloomy and the visibility is limited in the water (think lakes that look red, murky, etc) then opt for lighter colored goggles. The clear, pink, and blues.
  4. If the water is super clear then still err on the side of caution and opt for the light reflective goggles. As for goggles fogging up, well, it happens, and as an athlete we must deal with what is thrown at as. There are different temperatures in the lakes, the air and such causing the “foggy-ness”.


  1. Anti-fog liquid works for some lucky folks, try it and see if you like it.
  2. Buy new goggles for race day that are the exact same pair you currently train with, try them once before hand to make sure they fit and there are no “leaks”. New goggles tend to fog less.
  3. Avoid putting your fingers or other products on your goggle lenses pre-race. Imagine sunscreen lathered fingers in lens creating a mess and limits visibility. The fit is super important, especially for the longer the races. Find goggles that fit comfortable, yet snug. It is nearly impossible to find goggles that don’t leave the “I just swam” lines on your face hours post training, so forget about trying to fix this look.


  • Make sure it is snug but not overly tight.
  • Make sure the goggle straps are straight behind your head, not sitting down super low and super high.
  • To tighten goggles, tighten the strap, but also pull the strap a tad more snug by the eyes. No need to push on the front of the goggle to jam the eye holes on your face.
  • Happy Swimming!