Swimming in the CoronaVirus Era

ryanosaur

ryanosaur

Audioholic Spartan
I don't know if I would qualify as avid, though swimming has been my go to exercise and I not only look forward to, but crave, my next swim.
I swim in an outdoor public pool in my little corner of Wine Country California. Injuries or illness aside, I swim 4-5 times per week for about 60-80 minutes a visit. In that time I swim between 2500 and 3600 yds. Clearly I am not setting any Land Animal Aquatic Speed Records with those times, and my fastest mile to date was pure Breaststroke in just a hair over 37min. My Crawl (what we more commonly refer to as Freestyle) is my slower stroke: when combining the two equally I swim a mile in about 38 minutes.
As I mentioned, it is outdoors, heated to about 81-83ºF, and open year round. When my schedule permits, rain or near-freezing temps aside, I can be seen there when the pool opens at 6AM... nothing but my Jammers protecting me from the cold cruel world around me.
Ok. Maybe I am AVID. ;)

In Mid June, the County Health Dept allowed the pool to reopen under special restrictions. Gone are the days of swimming 1-4 people a lane. Gone is the freedom to show up when you want, leave when you want. Gone is the locker room, bathroom, and outdoor shower.
Appointments are made online for 1hr slots which guarantees you 45minutes in the water. You line up, masked, at the gate which they will only open at the top of the hour for 5 minutes. If you are late, too bad. You are assigned your own lane. There is a chalk outline about 3'wide by 6'long next to each starting block where you are to stand, change and store your belongings. You are not allowed to sit on any bench, or use any surface as a table, including the starting block.
Oh, and if you get some water in your throat: DO NOT COUGH. At best, the lifeguards and other swimmers look at you like a zombie with leprosy.

They have opened the pool schedule up to include times for water aerobics, water gentle, underwater hockey, water polo, masters swim, etc. There is also a small shallow pool which they now rent times to interested single families up to 6 people to frolic in, under the same basic rules stated above.

Lap swims now cost $10 a pop from $4.50 or $5. There is no more 10-swim card for $40. There is no more annual pass ($630) of which I hold 2 remaining months whenever things go back to "normal."

Just 30 minutes ago, they opened reservations for the next two weeks. The Lady and I waited by our computers to book my reservations for the upcoming sessions. Her job was to get me Thursday Afternoon's last swim time. Mine was to book Saturday and Monday for myself, earliest time slot. Today we succeeded.

But the reservations are sold out now, 40 minutes after they opened.

I am super grateful to be swimming again. My body has changed significantly over the 3 months without. Though I feel the precautions are a little extreme, I can't say I blame them one bit for instituting these policies (to my understanding: county wide). I do think we could still split lanes and wish they would allow for two people to share like that.

Cheers!
R
 
Swerd

Swerd

Audioholic Spartan
Cool! I knew you swam regularly, but I didn't know you can breast stroke for a mile. I'm impressed. Is that a short course pool (25 m) or long course (50 m)? One mile in a 25 m pool is a little longer than 64 lengths. Or is that pool so old it's length is in yards?

If the pool is properly chlorinated, it should be safe from viruses. Sunshine (UV light) and heating to ~82° F should also help. The biggest danger is exposure to other swimmers. I think your pool's restrictions are reasonable.

From 1993 through 2002, I ran a swim team in our neighborhood pool. We were part of a 90 team swim league that operated each summer. I was also a referee, starter, or stroke & turn judge during meets. The kids were any age from <8 years to 18 years, divided into 5 age groups, boys & girls competed separately, so it was really 10 groups. The younger kids loved being on the same team with equal status as the older kids. The older kids often taught and mentored the young kids.

All the races were sprints, varying from 25 m to 100 m (in a 25 m pool) depending on age group. Kids did all four strokes, free, back, breast, and butterfly. Being a stroke & turn judge during the 8 & under age breast or butterfly races was a real learning experience. The older kids all knew what they were doing, but the young kids could get "creative".

It was a whole lot of work, but it was loads of fun. It took 35 parents to run each meet, so parents became a committed part of the whole show. There were no parent fights like you see in youth soccer or baseball leagues.
 
GatorPigDog

GatorPigDog

Audioholic
You couldn't have paid me to get in a public pool pre-Covid.
 
lovinthehd

lovinthehd

Seriously, I have no life.
All the rivers/creeks/lakes around here are too damn cold to swim in. No pools. Haven't been in a public pool since high school as a PE class I think and in grade school I lived the summer at the public pool (Rehm Pool, Oak Park, IL). Season passes have gotten expensive!

Hope you can continue to get your swim on even with the limitations....
 
ryanosaur

ryanosaur

Audioholic Spartan
All the rivers/creeks/lakes around here are too damn cold to swim in. No pools. Haven't been in a public pool since high school as a PE class I think and in grade school I lived the summer at the public pool (Rehm Pool, Oak Park, IL). Season passes have gotten expensive!

Hope you can continue to get your swim on even with the limitations....
Ya... I was invited to go open water by a pool-friend... wish I had the cojones... she would've been worth the trouble! :oops: ;) :cool:
Edit: that should read, "TROUBLE!"
 
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ryanosaur

ryanosaur

Audioholic Spartan
@Swerd it is a 25yd pool, so 72 laps hits the mile. Its funny what the difference between 25yds and 25m does to the brain when you switch... which I've done a couple times when I have traveled. All I can say is that I felt very weak in the 25m pool. *shrugs
Also of note is that our pool is salt based, which is nice. I do still smell of chlorine a bit, but not nearly as bad as a straight chemical treated pool.
 
Swerd

Swerd

Audioholic Spartan
@Swerd it is a 25yd pool, so 72 laps hits the mile. Its funny what the difference between 25yds and 25m does to the brain when you switch... which I've done a couple times when I have traveled. All I can say is that I felt very weak in the 25m pool. *shrugs
1 meter = 1 yard + 9.3%
Also of note is that our pool is salt based, which is nice. I do still smell of chlorine a bit, but not nearly as bad as a straight chemical treated pool.
Is the salt level the same as in the ocean? If so, that's enough to make you float noticeably better, and swim easier.

Chlorine does have it's unpleasant side, especially when there's too much in the water. But there's nothing like it when it comes to killing bacteria and inactiving viruses. I was once at an indoor pool where bromine was used instead of chlorine. Chemically, it works the same as chlorine, but it doesn't smell nearly as strong.
 
ryanosaur

ryanosaur

Audioholic Spartan
1 meter = 1 yard + 9.3%
Those extra 2-3 strokes per lap make a huge difference!

To the other point, I do know that I felt more buoyant in my home pool vs the Gym pool... also the gym pool was much shallower which also has an effect on water resistance as you swim.

And the chems burn you sinuses too.
 
Swerd

Swerd

Audioholic Spartan
I do know that I felt more buoyant in my home pool vs the Gym pool... also the gym pool was much shallower which also has an effect on water resistance as you swim.
I do miss the debates about what made one pool fast and another slow. Depth? Most pools in the league had variable depth from 5 or 6 feet to 3½ feet. Standard edge curbs vs. waveless curbs? Nearly all pools had concrete edge curbs. Lane dividers? Everyone had the standard 4" diamteter lane dividers, made by Competitor.

When my pool was new & we wanted to enter the swim league, I was asked, “Is your pool 25 m?” It had been built only the previous summer, but I didn’t know for certain. So I went and measured it. It was 25 m plus another 4.5 inches or so. (I had a 50 foot tape measure.) I wondered if other pools were too long or too short by as much? Later the league told me the pool was just right if you use those electronic touch pads .
And the chems burn you sinuses too.
It burns my eyes worse.
 
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Swerd

Swerd

Audioholic Spartan
G-O-G-G-L-E-S
:p
But d@mn do I hate nose clips!
Inhale through your mouth, exhale through your nose :D. Like we taught the kids as they learned flip turns, blow air bubbles out your nose continuously as you flip over. I don't care what else comes out your nose, as long as water doesn't go in.
 
ryanosaur

ryanosaur

Audioholic Spartan
Inhale through your mouth, exhale through your nose :D
Oh sh!t, is that how it's done?! Why didn't my coach teach me THAT?!!!
:D :D :D

I am apparently one of those people whose palate leaks. It is not a problem with breast stroke, but while doing the crawl and flip turns... I take on water like an old dinghy!

Which brings me back to an earlier comment:
I took to Breast Stroke when I first started swimming back in 2009/10. Probably easiest to describe my problem with the Crawl as lacking core strength... I couldn't keep my legs up and I ended up looking like an "L" in the water.
My current coach HATES that my Breast Stroke is faster than my Crawl. When I'm in shape, I can do sprints at ~20 seconds per lap... 50yds in ~40-43seconds. I can't sustain it for the long haul, but there are a few strong swimmers I can keep pace with while they do their crawl and I Breast Stroke.

I made myself start doing the Crawl last year. I had to have my Coach do Flip Turns with me. That was hard. Right now, my biggest problem is that I over-roate some in my stroke, so she has me doing some exercises to help straighten me out, and they are working.
Prior to Covid, I was able to start getting some consistent 30-second laps doing Crawl, compared to 25-second laps on Breast Stroke.
Right now... not so pretty. But I'm pushing it!
 
ryanosaur

ryanosaur

Audioholic Spartan
After opening in Mid June, I have had 10 sessions in the pool, total. A far cry from my 4-5 times per week!

Today is the first day since returning I swam a full mile uninterrupted. Usually when I do this I split evenly between BreastStroke and Forward Crawl. A lap is 1 pool length, and in our 25yd pool I do laps counting 20-20-10-10-6-6 for the two strokes respectively. Total is 72 laps. I did that mile in just under 39 minutes today, and hit 84 laps in 46-47 minutes.
 
davidscott

davidscott

Audioholic Samurai
I live in a Florida condo development nowadays Very nice pool about a half mile away. I'll get to add to my daily walking with some swimming. Gonna have to check it out. :)
 
M

Mr._Clark

Full Audioholic
I don't know if I would qualify as avid, though swimming has been my go to exercise and I not only look forward to, but crave, my next swim.
I swim in an outdoor public pool in my little corner of Wine Country California. Injuries or illness aside, I swim 4-5 times per week for about 60-80 minutes a visit. In that time I swim between 2500 and 3600 yds. Clearly I am not setting any Land Animal Aquatic Speed Records with those times, and my fastest mile to date was pure Breaststroke in just a hair over 37min. My Crawl (what we more commonly refer to as Freestyle) is my slower stroke: when combining the two equally I swim a mile in about 38 minutes.
As I mentioned, it is outdoors, heated to about 81-83ºF, and open year round. When my schedule permits, rain or near-freezing temps aside, I can be seen there when the pool opens at 6AM... nothing but my Jammers protecting me from the cold cruel world around me.
Ok. Maybe I am AVID. ;)

In Mid June, the County Health Dept allowed the pool to reopen under special restrictions. Gone are the days of swimming 1-4 people a lane. Gone is the freedom to show up when you want, leave when you want. Gone is the locker room, bathroom, and outdoor shower.
Appointments are made online for 1hr slots which guarantees you 45minutes in the water. You line up, masked, at the gate which they will only open at the top of the hour for 5 minutes. If you are late, too bad. You are assigned your own lane. There is a chalk outline about 3'wide by 6'long next to each starting block where you are to stand, change and store your belongings. You are not allowed to sit on any bench, or use any surface as a table, including the starting block.
Oh, and if you get some water in your throat: DO NOT COUGH. At best, the lifeguards and other swimmers look at you like a zombie with leprosy.

They have opened the pool schedule up to include times for water aerobics, water gentle, underwater hockey, water polo, masters swim, etc. There is also a small shallow pool which they now rent times to interested single families up to 6 people to frolic in, under the same basic rules stated above.

Lap swims now cost $10 a pop from $4.50 or $5. There is no more 10-swim card for $40. There is no more annual pass ($630) of which I hold 2 remaining months whenever things go back to "normal."

Just 30 minutes ago, they opened reservations for the next two weeks. The Lady and I waited by our computers to book my reservations for the upcoming sessions. Her job was to get me Thursday Afternoon's last swim time. Mine was to book Saturday and Monday for myself, earliest time slot. Today we succeeded.

But the reservations are sold out now, 40 minutes after they opened.

I am super grateful to be swimming again. My body has changed significantly over the 3 months without. Though I feel the precautions are a little extreme, I can't say I blame them one bit for instituting these policies (to my understanding: county wide). I do think we could still split lanes and wish they would allow for two people to share like that.

Cheers!
R
I will give you credit. To my mind those are some pretty solid yards.

I swam breast stroke on our high school swim team. I was always a little faster at breast stroke. Swimming freestyle efficiently seems to require more practice and focus on technique than meets the eye.

When I was in grad school at Stanford I did a few laps in the pool there in an effort to stay in shape. Half the pool was reserved for the swim team. They blew me out of the water!
 
ryanosaur

ryanosaur

Audioholic Spartan
When I was in grad school at Stanford I did a few laps in the pool there in an effort to stay in shape. Half the pool was reserved for the swim team. They blew me out of the water!
US record 50m breast is something like 26.76 sec... I can swim 25yds in that time. :p

The swimmers I know that were competitively trained from HS or earlier even are really good, even years after not practicing like that. Some of them, at this point, I can keep up with while doing my BreastStroke to their Crawl. Some. Most I can't hang with though, much past an all out sprint on my part.
I timed one friend swimming 20 second laps in our pool. He and his wife will do 100s together. I just laughed as I tried keeping up. Of course they were doing the crawl... but still. ;)
 
ryanosaur

ryanosaur

Audioholic Spartan
Still swimmin!
I've been fortunate to keep my work schedule arranged so I can keep up with three swims a week. I've been doubly fortunate that I have been able to keep getting three swims! Today was another sign up session, this for the remainder of August (15-31).
I did 92 laps today with a full mile (72 laps, no breaks, mixed crawl/breaststroke) coming in at 38:12. Fastest mile I've done in the Covid Era, and most laps too!
Some of my Covid chunk is finally starting to go away, as well. I've always been a big guy, weighing in around 280 several years ago while I was working as a Chef. Earlier this year, pre-Covid, I was weighing in around the low 230s and had gotten back into the same size jeans I wore in High School... for the first time since then!
Aside from the random fluctuations, Covid saw me put on a solid 20, weighing in mostly around 255 with some highs topping 260.
Today: 248!
On my way back down!

Cheers!
 
A

asdfgdg

Audiophyte
I was in grad college at Stanford I did some laps inside the pool there are many guide articles about above ground pool so one can live in shape. Half the pool changed into reserved for the swim crew. They blew me out of the water!
 

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