Thursday, 13 January 2011

Swim Style

I opted for swimming tonight and it got me thinking about a condition I suffer from. I had a fair amount of time to think as I swam 80 lengths. I’m pretty pleased with that effort considering the state I have been in today. On Janathon day 13, I am certain that this is the most uncomfortable and stiff I have been so far. I even had trouble fastening the clasp on my bra and tying the belt around my waist this morning because my arms were so sore from the boxercise.
Since I joined my new gym Roko, I haven’t had a flare up of my condition which is otherwise known as swim rage. The pool at my gym is generally fairly quiet which is just how I like it and it’s great to prevent the rage. I’m sure some of you may also suffer from the condition. It can be triggered a number of ways but I find that particular swimming types are prone to setting it off.
I attended the running show at Olympia a few weeks back and sat in on a seminar by the running school which was really very interesting. The presenter talked through running techniques and different runner types. You’ve got the bouncer that travels further up with every stride than across, then you have the walker that runs at such a slow and painful speed that they could walk faster and you have the shuffler that is pretty self-explanatory. There are many more but you get the idea.
 While swimming my lengths tonight it got me thinking about categorising swimmers in the same way. At the pool you can identify a number of different swimmer types. Don’t get me wrong, I am definitely not a good swimmer and would identify myself in the first category but here are a few that I have come across in my time..
1.The Granny ( This is me)
You will spot this person swimming in a kind of breaststroke style but you won’t find them wearing goggles and they definitely won’t be ducking their head under water with every stroke. In fact, on many occasions the granny swimmer will have completely dry hair and maybe even a full face of make-up.
2.The splasher
This swimming type will splash you even if they are three lanes away. They splash their arms and legs against the water with such force that it must hurt.  It surely can’t be an efficient way of swimming and they can contribute to swim rage if the repeatedly splash you in the face.
3.The lurker
You don’t want to share a lane with this swimmer, especially if you know you are due a bikini wax. They will always wear goggles and you never quite know where they are as they spend most of their time gliding underwater from one side of the pool to the other. In my experience most lurkers are  male.
4.The cocky professional
This person usually looks smug as they slip into the pool in their Speedo budgie smugglers. They glide through the water like a fish and just before they reach the end of the pool they glide underwater before doing some kind of funky somersault manoeuvre. They then move off swiftly in the opposite direction before you’ve even swam half a length.  They are often seen wearing silly extension flippers on their hands to confirm their swimming status and to enable them to swim even faster. Personally, I think the hand flippers are cheating.

5. The non-swimming lane blocker
One of the most likely types to cause swim rage. Whilst you are trying hard to reach the other end of the pool, this joker will get in your way and if there are more than one of them in the pool, you can guarantee they will be chatting and giggling together exactly where you want to swim.

6. The selfish swimmer
When sharing a lane, the selfish swimmer will never move over when swimming towards you. You end up with half of your body under the lane rope going one way and scraping your shoulder against the wall the other. The selfish swimmer just keeps on going, totally oblivious to you. Definite swim rage trigger point!

7. The complete show off
Everybody knows that nobody really uses butterfly stroke. Well, everybody except this guy who takes up the whole lane and splashes as he goes. Annoying!

8. The wonky back stroker
Minding their own business, chilling out doing a bit of back stroke. Head back and eyes closed, the only problem is, they are so relaxed they are totally unaware that that they are seriously veering off course and are about to crash into you.

These are just a few swimmer styles that I have come across. Are there any other swimmer types that stick out like a sore thumb at your pool?


  1. Great categorisations! I'm a terrible swimmer, partly because in Brighton I always seem to end up in the same lane as the language student who wants to say something every time we pass. 'Allo, then 'how are you' and then it gets tough and I can see him or her rehearsing 'is it fun this is?' or 'I am swimming well today' or whatever other hard-to-say phrase they are going to lob at me. I try to be polite but generally I'm just concentrating on not drowning!

  2. Love this! Scraggy here by the way. Was telling Nikki about this particular blog today as she was letting out her swimmer rage!!! She's a granny like you :) xxx