Swimming with Doncaster Dolphins


The Training Session:

Our coaches prepare a detailed training plan well in advance. Working to a specific swim program is beneficial for the masters swimmer.
It can provide:

  • general, swimming and cardio-vascular fitness;
  • race preparation for those who enjoy competing in the numerous swim meets, pool and ocean;
  • directed swimming intended to challenge swimmers at all levels;
  • the opportunity to socialize with other swimmers.

How a swim session is structured

Basically, the training session has three parts. Each is important. It is therefore important that swimmers turn up on time to do the full warm-up swim. Better still, turn up early and stretch before the session. Do not rush off before completing the swim-down and don’t forget to stretch after each session too.

The Warm-up and Transition

The warm-up allows swimmers time to relax a little and focus on swimming slowly. Slow swimming gets the blood circulating, the cardio-vascular system ready for the rest of the session. Transition is further preparation towards readiness to begin the Main Set.

The Main Set

This is where most of the hard is done. You can’t get fit without putting in some energy and real effort. But you are not expected to swim at 100% effort each session; that is impossible and is not how anyone gets fit, not even for elite swimmers. Much of your training will be done at levels of 85% or less. The coach will tell you how fast to swim, and when. Expect to be puffed and to swim yet another length – that’s how you get fitter. That’s the reward.

The Swim Down

This final and important part of the swim session ensures that an adequate amount of blood returns to the heart which assists in the removal of lactic acid and other waste products. Generally 200 -300 metres of mixed slower swimming will do the trick.

Pool Etiquette

Good pool etiquette enables all swimmers to use the water with least annoyance. All swimmers deserve to enjoy their swim as much as you do. Etiquette becomes extremely important when lanes are crowded.

Leave your ego in your bag. Training is not about racing everyone else in the lane. It is about completing the session as well as you can.

Things to Remember:

  • Always swim to the left. Keep close to the lane rope at all times unless instructed differently by your coach.
  • Swim in single file unless instructed to do otherwise.
  • Fastest swimmers lead off; the slowest goes last.
  • Be considerate of others in your lane.
  • Turn in the middle of the wall, not at the sides, to avoid cutting off a swimmer.
  • Swim to the wall at all times. Finish each lap and each set at the wall.
  • Move out the way of the next swimmer at the finish wall. During the set, move to the middle of the lane to allow those finishing to touch the wall and those starting to push off.
  • Always follow the coaches’ instructions.
  • Swim 5 to 10 seconds apart unless instructed otherwise by the coach.
  • Swim at the intervals set by the coach.
  • When passing slower swimmers on a swim longer than 100m, brush their toes if you are close to the end of the pool. The slower swimmer should stop at the wall just long enough to let the faster swimmer past. On longer sets, all swimmers should keep close to the lane rope to let faster swimmers swim past and down the middle. If passing in the middle of the pool it may be necessary to sprint.
  • Change places with a slower or faster swimmer as necessary. Do NOT tap the feet of the person in front of you. Either leave a longer gap or chnge places with them.
  • If stopping and resting, stand close to the lane rope. Leave a gap in the centre of the lane for others to turn.
  • If you become tired, stop. Rejoin the group when you have recovered. Avoid disturbing the timing of the other swimmers who have not stopped and rested. You may slot in where you were or may need to swim further back.
  • In longer sessions, remember that you need to pace yourself. Swimming too hard for three laps then swimming very slowly for the remainder because you are tired disrupts other swimmers. Conversely, taking a rest and then swimming very fast when others are tiring is also not helpful to them or to you.
  • Overall, swim with your team, not against them.
  • When dive starts are being used make sure that the lane space is clear of swimmers.
  • The same applies when crossing lanes.