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Tips

Communicate

Learn the names of your lane mates. You are about to spend one hour or more with these people-heart rates elevated with almost no clothes on. Aren't you curious what their names are?

Understand the cruise interval for the lane. Does everyone agree? Are you in the right lane?

Never begin a set until everybody in the lane understands it (particularly drill sets). The extra amount of time spent to communicate the set and interval pace to the entire lane is a good investment of your time.

Communicate to your lane mates if you plan to do anything "different" in the set. This includes switching to another stroke than designated, putting on fins kicking rather than swimming, warming down in the middle of the set, sitting out an interval, or even getting out of the pool.

On long swims where lapping is likely to occur, communicate with each other what the passing procedure will be.

Encourage & Acknowledge

It’s fun and motivating to hear positive encouragement coming from fellow swimmers. A small "let’s go" can be just the positive boost your lane mates need in the middle of a long difficult set.

Acknowledge each other. Is somebody in your lane having an exceptional day? Let them know!

A big thank you to WSU Masters swimming for the tips!



Be Responsible & Aware

Never assume that the first person in the lane knows what is going on. They may be having a bad day

Take responsibility for counting. You can do it—allow you to believe it!

Watch the pace clock and stay in your send off spot throughout the set (5 or 10 seconds back from the leaders).

Be aware of what is happening in the lane. Where are the other swimmers? Am I holding people up? Am I running people over? Is there somebody right behind me as I am coming off the wall?

If you have trouble seeing the clock, figure out how to see it. Prescription goggles, contacts under you goggles, small pace clocks next to your lane and synchronizing your wrist watch, are just a few of the many options.

If you arrive late to the workout, take responsibility for learning what is going on. Ask the coach what's going on before you get into the water. Do not interrupt the swimmers. The on deck coach may ask you to do a warm up in the diving well.
The General Aerobic Target Heart Rate Range (GATHRR)

To find your GATHRR:
Step 1: Find your true resting heart rate.
Step 2: Find your maximum heart rate (MHR). This is equal to 220 -your chronological age
Step 3: Find your heart rate reserve. (MHR-RHR).
Step 4: Figure your range as follows: Lower end of the range = (55% x HRR) + 10 Upper end of the range = (85% x HRR) + 10 

Knowing your GATHRR is useful. It is an excellent guide for applying yourself in practices or structuring practices which may suit particular goals. For the all-round swimmer in masters swimming, the GATHRR dictates whether you are deriving solid results or not from your work inthe pool. "When your heart rate goes lower than your GATHRR, you are no longer deriving aerobic benefit. When your heart rate goes higher than your GATHRR, the nature of the work is becoming more anaerobic." 

Finishing a practice set "at or slightly higher than the upper end of the GATHRR...is what is referred to as anaerobic threshold work--just at the threshold of anaerobic activity, the highest intensity of exercise that you can continue for an extended time. Research indicates that the fastest aerobic adaptations occur when you do work at this intensity." 

The quotes and formula are taken from Emmet Hines book "Fitness Swimming".