Yeah! Its’ time to get “Back to Pool”
With pools opening around the country, it’s time to think about getting back to serious swim training. Except for those fortunate enough to have access to a backyard pool or open water swimming, COVID-19 has caused most of us to be out of the water for months. It’s been disappointing and annoying for recreational swimmers, and life altering for competitive national and international level competitors. As our community pools begin to allow lap swimming, we thought it helpful to provide some important tips for going “Back to Pool”.
Follow the rules
Rules for getting back in the pool will vary by state. Learn what the rules are for your pool. Many pools are beginning to post reopening guidelines on their websites. Give them a read and call your pool if you have questions. Common rules will be mandatory showering and fewer swimmers per lane. Realize that as we learn more about COVID-19 these rules many change. Be patient. Also understand that some of these rules may feel inconvenient. Don’t blame the lifeguards, or even the pool management. That’s not helpful.
Adjust your expectations you’ll find your swims more enjoyable. Some of the rules may feel stupid or unnecessary. It’s great that you have a PhD in epidemiology, or that your sister-in-law is an intensive care doctor, but arguing about the rules isn’t gonna help. Breaking the rules only risks getting your pool shut down again…. and no one wants that. If you have questions about the risk of COVID-19 in water there are a number of great resources including ones from the CDC and US Masters Swimming.
We’ve all been through a lot recently. Some more than others. And we all react differently to stressful, life-changing situations like COVID-19. As you get back in the pool, remember that swimming is a communal sport. Whether you participate on an organized team or just nod hello to the swimmers in the neighboring lanes, swimming is better when everyone is having fun. Ask how your fellow swimmers are doing (with appropriate social distancing of course). Find out how they’ve been affected. By being be kind, compassionate, and encouraging you may just make someones day.
Don’t try to make up for lost time all at once
Even if you’ve been crushing it on the running trails, or owning your Peleton workouts, your swim fitness has likely suffered. As you get back in the pool, consider your swim workouts as a NEW fitness activity. And as with any new workout, to avoid injury it is important to slowly build intensity, duration, and frequency. Write down a plan. Set reasonable goals for yourself. That way you won’t be enticed to pound out 5000 yards during your first practice back in the water. And you won’t get upset when your 100 splits are not where they were last summer. In time, we’ll all regain our swim fitness.
And lastly….Treat yourself to some new gear
Do those new Speedo or Jolyn swimsuits you bought 3 months ago still have the tags on them. Get ready… It’s almost time to show off your new attire. And if you don’t have any new swim gear now is a great time to treat yourself. Starting back after a long break is a time to work on refining your technique, and there are a number of products to help, including fins, paddles, snorkels and kickboards. Who knows, you may find them so helpful that they become a regular part of your workout.
One product that just became available this year is Ray-Board, a comfortable kickboard that puts your body in the proper swim position and reduced neck, shoulder and back pain. To celebrate your pools opening, we are offering a “Back to Pool” sale.