Back to the Pool – 2021

Last August I wrote about how good it was to be able to swim in a pool again (read about it here). A couple of weeks ago swimming pools were once again allowed to open, albeit with plenty of restrictions. Generally I would swim a couple of times a week before work at the pool in Horwich, but as I don’t have to be back in the office yet I thought I would give Lancaster University pool a try. I’ve swam there a lot in the past and it is an excellent pool; temperature nice and cool, 25m with 8 lanes.

The restrictions mean that you can only book for an hour, there are only four double wide lanes, with a maximum of five people, with different speeds for each lane. To minimise the number of people milling about in the changing area, the lanes are staggered. The slow and fast lanes are allowed in at a specific time, with the two medium lanes fifteen minutes later. Each lane is given a full hour and then the whole pool closes for 45 minutes to allow it all to be cleaned.

I booked myself a one hour slot in a medium lane, knowing that as this is the Uni the fast lane will probably be full of incredibly fast people. I jumped into lane 3 and immediately a young lad in the fast lane overtook me doing kick. There were three other people in the medium lane and although I was the quickest, two of the others were only marginally slower than me. The remaining man looked like he was going to drown at any moment as he would walk as far as he could and then swim very very slowly to the end. The restrictions mean that you are not allowed to overtake and have to wait at the end to allow people to pass. I resigned myself to the fact that I would just have to be patient every now and then.

Overall the whole swimming experience was excellent with friendly staff and plenty of room to swim. Much better than the chaos at Horwich. Another good thing was that most people don’t want to swim for the full hour, so I had the lane to myself for the last 15 minutes. My arms and neck were a bit sore and it did feel like I was swimming through treacle at times, but I went a second time this week. My pace was fairly slow, but hopefully I’ll soon get back into it, especially as I have entered the Coniston One Way swim in September which is just over five miles.

Not to be out done, my lovely wife Helen went for an open water swim in Capernwray. Much too cold for me at this time of year, but maybe next month I’ll join her.

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