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Different Pools, Different Swim Times

OK. It could be me just being crap, and it probably is.. but...

How standard are pools?

Up in Bonny Scotland all week. And did venture out into Airdrie (dismal suburb of great Glasgow), and visited the "John Smith" swimming pool.

Quite a nice pool - really really empty of an evening. Which was great as there were no lanes - but as you had about 8ft of space either side, none were needed.

Before my recent Op and suspension of activities, I could regularly do about 28 secs (just as a one of length - stringing 20 of these together is some way off yet!). But in this pool, I found I was taking about 34 secs. And the fastest that I managed to go was 29 secs.

Back to the local pool this a.m. (Home at Last!) And I was back to 28/29 secs - with the fastest at a storming 24 secs.

This leads me to suspect that there must be some variation in the size of the pools - both are supposed to be 25 metres. And as far as I know a Scottish Metre is the same as the Yorkshire one.

On reflection, the John Smith is nice and new and will have been built in Metres. But Bingley pool is old and victorian and probably built in yards.

I've probably answered my own question while typing this. Ho hum.....

But it means my swimming has even further to go than I thought (my training objective for swimming is to be able to do 20 lengths at an average of 30 seconds by September).


  • JulesJules Posts: 987
    Yeah you have to watch this. Old pools may be 25 yards - about 22.8 metres. I train in one.
  • GGBGGB Posts: 482
    mmmmm swimming in a pool full of John Smiths .. now that would be a dream and my times would increase legnth by legnth

    Seriously - you probably did answer your own question correctly though
  • risris Posts: 1,002
    given the difference is quite marked (6secs being around 5%) i think it is yard to metres that is the difference.

    *too much detail alert -
    pools are built to a mm tolerance - i've heard of pools where the setting out of the concrete was set as 25m, with the tiling this reduced the pool length to 24.940m (6cm difference). that sort of thing would be pretty much unnoticable to a casual swimmer although i think it did mean the pool wouldn't meet short course racing standard.

    i've designed a couple of pools, the amount of worry this sort of stuff causes is extraordinary!
  • TrisurferTrisurfer Posts: 228
    60mm for tiling?

    that seams loads, average tile is around 9-12mm plus 10mm average for adhesive and uneven surface. although new concrete surface should be fairly true.

    I'd say 40mm (4cm) would be closer to the mark.

    that 20mm could be the difference between 1st and 2nd!
  • risris Posts: 1,002
    pool tank is rendered first, then tiled, which adds to the thickness. 6mm tile, 3-4bed (i think), on 20mm render, to both ends of the pool. it's been a couple of years since i did a pool but i think the numbers are right. i remember drawing not only the tiles but the joints as well, and making sure that things like recessed steps and ladders fitted to a tile dimension!

    you are absolutely right, in racing 20mm can be the difference between first and second, i doubt for most of use we would even notice it in our stroke count.
  • JessterJesster Posts: 482
    Ahhh, boys. You make a lady proud. Long live the geeks XXX
  • risris Posts: 1,002
    architecture... everyone thinks it's all black roll neck tops and fancy glasses... it's also about tediously working out how lob something together and then the builder looking at the drawing and laughing himself sick because it doesn't work.

    jesster, did you spot the weakling arms in the watter bottle thread? told you there were no guns in this house!
  • TrisurferTrisurfer Posts: 228
    Ah, I didn't think about the render coat on the concrete. would that be some kind of water resistant salt retardant render?

    I also assumed the tiles would be thicker than the average domestic tile due to the commercial nature of a public swimming pool.
  • JessterJesster Posts: 482
    Ris, you may not have massive guns but you sure as hell have definition! God, i wish i had that definition in my arms!

    And boys, can we please stop talking about tiles. You raving boffins, you!! lol
  • risris Posts: 1,002
    that's not muscle definition, that's my arm bone you can see there

    in best nasal voice -
    of course the normal swim pool tile is only 6mm but is a high performance glazed blah drone wonk zzzz
  • TrisurferTrisurfer Posts: 228
    Fair enough no more interesting tile thickness crack! although I like the sound of special glazed tiles! special adhesive and grout too? stop it!

    On this subject, does water temperature have an effect on swim times?

    colder water being more dense and therefore harder to glide through?

    With my 2 local pools one is much cooler than the other and older (so pre-metric and prob slightly shorter) but it takes me a good 2 extra strokes to complete the length. I've put this down to water temp but never considered other reasons!
  • fatstufatstu Posts: 46
    Water temp definitely makes a difference, just like air temp when you run. Heat the water enough (as some pools do esp. leisure type) and you start to feel very sluggish. I think this makes more difference than any density increase. That said, with the differences you are seeing I reckon it is m v yds
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