What is lane swimming?

Who can do it? And, why you should give it a go!

Our Lane Swimming sessions are the heart of our fitness swimming provision, providing a perfect environment for those who want to work on their fitness, build stamina or improve their swimming times.

What is a Lane Swimming session like?

In a Lane Swimming session, you can expect the pool to be divided into individual lanes. The number of lanes available will depend on the size of your local pool. In some of our larger pools, there may be additional activities running alongside.

There will be lanes set out for slow, medium and fast, with signage at the end of each lane indicating which way to swim. We ask that all swimmers please follow the directions on the signs.

How do I know which lane to choose?

This can be a tricky one and can differ depending on who else is in the pool on any given day. A good tip is to take a minute when you arrive at the poolside to assess the other swimmers currently in the lanes. You’ll have a good idea of your own speed and can then judge whether you will be at a similar pace. If in doubt, start in the slower option, you can always move up or down a lane. You don’t have to stay in the one you first pick. 

Are there any rules?

We don’t like to call them rules, we prefer to refer to them as lane etiquette!

  • Enter and exit the pool swiftly at the start and end of your swim, give other swimmers time to turn and push off before you enter.
  • Select a lane that is suitable for your speed, (see above), and one that you can maintain for your whole swim. If the pace isn’t right switch lanes.
  • Limit rest periods at the end of lanes. Rest in the corners of the lane so other swimmers can turn and push off.
  • Maintain a good distance between yourself and other swimmers. Give each other 5-10 metres and don’t push off directly in front of a faster swimmer.
  • Overtaking should be done at the end of lanes wherever possible. Please let faster swimmers pass. If overtaking in the middle of a lane do so with caution, take care to avoid collisions and never try to swim over another swimmer.  

Most other swimmers don’t mind which lane you swim in as long as you show good lane etiquette. The beauty of public swims is the varying skill levels of swimmers! Always be respectful of others’ abilities and allow plenty of personal space.

Can I use equipment?

Yes, you can bring your own equipment to aid your swim training. Kick floats and pull buoys are common. You can view our page on appropriate swimwear to see guidance about the type of fins and hand paddles that are suitable for use in the pool.   

SWIMTAG – your perfect pool training partner

Our SWIMTAG wristband allows you to track your swim and see improvements over time. The easy-to-use built-in software counts lengths, distance, calories and much more.  You can also take part in competitions and challenges to help keep you motivated. Find out more.
(Unavailable at Court Garden Leisure Complex due to shorter pool length).

All in all, lane swim sessions are suitable for most abilities provided you are confident in swimming lengths of the pool. Details of times and prices can be found in the timetables of your local pool. Simply find your centre and scroll down to view the timetable. Some centres operate advanced bookings, whilst others allow you to just turn up and pay as you go. If booking is available, this is indicated by a book now button on the timetable.

Swimming twice a week or more?

You could save money with our Swim membership package.  All pools offer a Swim membership that allows unlimited access to Lane Swim and Just Swim sessions for all your fitness swimming needs. Find out more.

Not for you?

If you are nervous about giving it a go, our Just Swim sessions (available at a selection of centres) are a good starting point. The clue is in the name, you just swim!

If you're new to our pools, we also have some tips and tricks to bear in mind before you take a dip. You can read them here.

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