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Wilson Pool to Switch to 25-Yard Lanes?
CREATED: 11/18/09 by ajulia REPLIES: 96
siehndel's ravatar siehndel    JOINED: 11/25/05    POSTS: 1069
RE: Wilson Pool to Switch to 25-Yard Lanes?
POSTED: 11/24/09 2:06 PM

Thanks to AJ for sending us the survey!

Lane Configuration Survey »

Now you can consent, dissent and resent until your hearts are content.

A good point was raised earlier. While I think it's okay to identify one's self as a DC Tri Club member, it's not a good idea to invoke DC Tri into one's opinions on this matter. This thread certainly shows that the club as a whole doesn't support one system or another. Just be careful about making that distinction.

adilks    JOINED: 2/28/09    POSTS: 290
RE: Wilson Pool to Switch to 25-Yard Lanes?
POSTED: 11/24/09 2:19 PM

Thanks AJ and Travis,

Now, is anyone planning to swim this week and willing to drop off my completed survey? If so, then I'll email it to you.

mosered's ravatar mosered    JOINED: 2/28/09    POSTS: 1794
RE: Wilson Pool to Switch to 25-Yard Lanes?
POSTED: 11/24/09 2:25 PM

Can people also mail it in, to this address?

Wilson Aquatic Center, 4551 Fort Drive, NW, Washington, DC, 20016-1800.

Maybe add something like "Attn: Lane Configuration Survey"?


Or just drop it off there?

morunner66's ravatar morunner66    JOINED: 2/28/09    POSTS: 714
RE: Wilson Pool to Switch to 25-Yard Lanes?
POSTED: 11/24/09 2:27 PM

Flip turn clinic anyone? While not used in Tris - they can be very efficient in training. I am not that good at them, but they keep me going.

ajm27's ravatar ajm27    JOINED: 2/28/09    POSTS: 129
RE: Wilson Pool to Switch to 25-Yard Lanes?
POSTED: 11/24/09 3:01 PM

Unfortunately, you would probably get a different answer from anyone you spoke to at the center (regarding the surveys). Last night they said the survey was going to go on for a few weeks. I asked when the deadline was and they did not have an answer. I did not think to ask if you could send in the surveys.

I will be heading back to the pool tomorrow evening. If anyone would like me to drop off their survey, please feel free to email it to me and I will print it off. I promise that I will not change your response even if your flip turns are better than mine ;)

alyssamorrison at hotmail dot com

nomisdc's ravatar nomisdc    JOINED: 2/28/09    POSTS: 616
RE: Wilson Pool to Switch to 25-Yard Lanes?
POSTED: 11/24/09 6:24 PM

Agree that these coversations are fun (sometimes) and worth having.
Actually I would say that I seem to be the only one opposed to the stance (not sure if I read all 15,389 postings to this thread correctly - sorry long work weeks), so in that respect, the club is not divided; therefore it might be appropriate to use the club's name. In that sense I have great respect for the process aspect that Ashley mentioned, along with an understanding of the responsibility in using our club's name. Plus Trav called it an assault, which speaks to my heart, and me a 2LT, which makes me feel young and fast. If an assault must be had, General, then let us have such a day and such an assault that shall never be forgotten. Stir the battalions, we attack at midnight (because we own the night).
Amcbride, I'm sorry about your injury and I was speaking from a generic perspective, not trying to highlight to your injury situation. Best wishes on your recovery.
I do disagree with all 1000 of you apparently. And yes - that's right, I Have been to the Wilson pool. Nice? Yes. In dire need of maintaining 50 meter configuration for the safety of hundreds of thousands of children and adults injured annually due to the nonrespect of safety concerns that only luxury-width lanes can combat? No.

Runner: You are going to learn how to run these fartlek runs, though you won't do them in competition. Swimmer: OK, I'll do it.
Biker: You are going to learn how to draft off of other riders, though you won't do it in competition. Swimmer: OK, I'll do it.
Swimmer: You are going to do flip turns. Runner / biker: Are you kidding me? Do I look like I do that in competition? Make your pool longer!
Worlds colliding :)

trisha's ravatar trisha    JOINED: 2/28/09    POSTS: 133
RE: Wilson Pool to Switch to 25-Yard Lanes?
POSTED: 11/24/09 7:19 PM

There is one thing stronger than all the armies of the world and that is an idea whose time has come. Go longcourse!


I also note that you swimmers might try spending time in the slower lanes of the pool where slow swimmers are trying to pass other slow(er) swimmers. It ain't pretty and I need the extra room.
and flip turns are the devil's work.

vatriathlete    JOINED: 2/28/09    POSTS: 682
RE: Wilson Pool to Switch to 25-Yard Lanes?
POSTED: 11/24/09 7:26 PM

flip turns are akin to cyclists putting "extra" carbon fiber parts on bicycles, ie, waterbottle cages and cranks,, etc.

sure they are "cool" to look at and everyone thinks you are faster when doing a workout or training, but when it comes to racing, it doesn't make one bit of difference.

rdejonck's ravatar rdejonck    JOINED: 2/28/09    POSTS: 84
RE: Wilson Pool to Switch to 25-Yard Lanes?
POSTED: 11/24/09 11:58 PM

*First, two caveats:
- One, I am not a DC resident, nor would I venture out to the Wilson Pool to practice, so my opinion really does not matter.
- Two, although I spent 8 years as a kid swimming, I am a bad swimmer. I had to give up the sport to save face when I started getting chicked by my younger sister.

Simon, you're not alone. When I first heard of the configuration change, I thought, "well, duh! It's the winter. Long course is for the summer." Not that I ever swam long course, but...

My next thought was also just learn to do flip turns. This is kind of a pet peeve of mine and one thing that really ticks me off about triathletes in the water. Really, they're not hard, and then you can't cheat by resting briefly at the wall. And, yes, that 1 sec rest does make a difference. Plus, you don't throw off that person behind you. Spend one week forcing yourself to do a flip turn on every lap. Once you have them down, you can do that 2.4mi swim in a pool regardless of how it is configured (although, I think swimming 4400yds straight is kind of pointless). Okay, all the push offs do give you some advantage over straight swimming, but I think that it equates to wearing a wet suit.

Then I started thinking of all the 50m pools that I know of. Again, I have limited knowledge. A couple of colleges, (notably the University of Michigan) and I realized those pools spend most of their time in the winter in a 25 yard setup too. So, the Wilson Pool would be in good company. There is significant precedent here to do exactly what is being suggested.

I read the reasoning given for the swim team to change the pool to a 25 yard set up and I whole heartedly agreed. Stroke count, breathing, turns... all are vitally important to being competitive. Even for us practicing for open water swims where there are no walls. Go to one of the Sunday night CUBU swim sessions. Or the NTP swim clinics. I'll guarantee you that you'll do drills where you count your strokes.

And really? Bus the kids to another pool? Not only is that a pointless expense that could go to hire another teacher or feed a ridiculous number of hungry people, it's just plain selfish. And at 8am (when I thought I read their practices end), I don't think there are too many extra buses available to cart the HS swim team across town.

Like it or not, we are in the midst of swim season. The triathlon season is over. One thing I learned being an officer in the Army (and thus having to work with military politics), learn which battles are worth fighting. Let the swimmers have the pools in the most advantageous manner for their competitive season. For the high schoolers, a handful of them have a lot more riding on their swimming success than most of us ever will on our races: Scholarships, college prospects, etc. Use the opportunity to focus on your own technique and improving your own swim.

Now, come spring or summer, since so many seem to want 50m pools, use these efforts to ensure that the pool gets switched back. Back that up with the prospect of the District gaining more revenue by renting out pool time to swim clubs in one of the few 50m pools... during the long course season, when demand is high.

Most importantly, just get out and swim regularly. Then you too can have 1500 people pass you on the bike at IMFL :(

rdejonck's ravatar rdejonck    JOINED: 2/28/09    POSTS: 84
RE: Wilson Pool to Switch to 25-Yard Lanes?
POSTED: 11/25/09 12:01 AM

Holy cow, that was long!!!

bcfrank's ravatar bcfrank    JOINED: 3/23/09    POSTS: 983
RE: Wilson Pool to Switch to 25-Yard Lanes?
POSTED: 11/25/09 4:44 AM

But needed saying. Agreed. :)

mosered's ravatar mosered    JOINED: 2/28/09    POSTS: 1794
RE: Wilson Pool to Switch to 25-Yard Lanes?
POSTED: 11/25/09 9:44 AM

Ran into five swimmers there this morning, three of them DCTriers, who weren't aware of or who hadn't yet completed the survey. If you're swimming there, you might remember to mention filling out the survey.

Such a nice facility, worth a trip up there. Wonder what non-chlorine-smelling disinfectant they use? (Hopefully they're using a disinfectant...) Nice 400 meter track outside. Wonder if it's ever open to the public.

ashleynellis1's ravatar ashleynellis1    JOINED: 2/28/09    POSTS: 84
RE: Wilson Pool to Switch to 25-Yard Lanes?
POSTED: 11/25/09 9:51 AM

i asked about the track when they first opened the pool and they said it's part of the high school, not open to the public. oh well. off to drop off my survey now! i love democracy.

chad0022's ravatar chad0022    JOINED: 2/28/09    POSTS: 334
RE: Wilson Pool to Switch to 25-Yard Lanes?
POSTED: 11/25/09 9:59 AM

Oh flip turn – how I miss you so. That fun exciting feeling of flipping under water, pushing off the wall with such power to make it past the flags. You brought me so much joy. Little did I know that flipping in one direction, over and over and over since the age of 9 you would help lead to such pain. I don’t blame you 100% flip turn, breathing to only my right side, 3 years on a poorly fitted bike, horrible running style and poor posture at the office all contributed to the back pain – but it’s you flip turn I miss the most. I even tried flipping to the other side and wound up in a different lane. It’s not meant for us any more which is why I support a long course. I will always remember you fondly and shed a small tear each time I see you with someone else.

:::^D::

I completely understand the needs of the HS swimmers. Without having a ‘real’ answer to how much time it takes to flip the pool - I am really a big fan of switching after the HS team practice. It is their HS pool, even if my tax dollars contributed.

I do have to say that swimming last night when half the pool was taken by the masters team – having the extra room in lane was very nice. The lifeguards actually moved people to different lanes based on speed – which unfortunately left me with the “wild, middle of the lane” swimmer. But it still gave me hope.

lisalisadc's ravatar lisalisadc    JOINED: 2/28/09    POSTS: 423
RE: Wilson Pool to Switch to 25-Yard Lanes?
POSTED: 11/25/09 10:21 AM

Ed - Wilson may use bromine instead of chlorine. Less damaging, pretty cheap. A lot of new pools have switched to Br.

Ashley - I brought up the lack of public access to tracks at the meeting last week. DPR said that all tracks are open to the public during non-school hours and some functions. I told them about Eastern HS track being locked 24-7 and our difficulty of finding a local track. DPR had no idea and thought that Eastern HS track was still under construction. Eastern track and football astroturf renovation was finished either this summer or last. The building is still under construction, the track is not.

But, who knows. Maybe the HS Principal and/or Athletic Director can lock it when they feel like it.

People at the meeting after discussing Wilson's lap lane configuration were also allowed to bring up other topics, such as, safety, theft, bike racks, small lockers, availability of aqua jogging classes, etc. DPR handles this stuff, too.

nomisdc's ravatar nomisdc    JOINED: 2/28/09    POSTS: 616
RE: Wilson Pool to Switch to 25-Yard Lanes?
POSTED: 11/25/09 10:32 AM

Thanks for the additional thoughts, all of you - opposed and for.
I would be happy to give a flip turn clinic, or be a part of a team giving one. I learned how to teach that by watching Mark, the AU swim coach, teach people. He has a cool way of progressing through the motions needed. Since then I've taught a few random folks at pools and it seems to work fine.
The only thing is that I don't have time to coordinate for space or organize. So I'd need some help. Unless we do it in my condo pool in Falls Church, VA. I can do such a thing on certain evenings for anyone if it's at my pool. Just let me know. The pool is 6 lanes, 25 meters (sorry not long course), and really empty (ie we will likely be literally alone in the pool).

vatriathlete    JOINED: 2/28/09    POSTS: 682
RE: Wilson Pool to Switch to 25-Yard Lanes?
POSTED: 11/25/09 10:35 AM

i will never give into flip turns.

i will only learn to do flip turns when tuan learns how to breath on both sides.

nomisdc's ravatar nomisdc    JOINED: 2/28/09    POSTS: 616
RE: Wilson Pool to Switch to 25-Yard Lanes?
POSTED: 11/25/09 10:36 AM

Congratulations on your decision. Best of luck with your training.

mosered's ravatar mosered    JOINED: 2/28/09    POSTS: 1794
RE: Wilson Pool to Switch to 25-Yard Lanes?
POSTED: 11/25/09 10:43 AM

This dispute reminds me of another great American turf battle, over the Oregon Territories, and the "54 40 or Fight!" campaign. Call it "50 25 Fight!"


Also, if a 25-meter advocate is "thrown off the island", then by definition he'll be swimming at least 50 meters, which kinda balances things out....

younkink's ravatar younkink    JOINED: 7/6/09    POSTS: 24
RE: Wilson Pool to Switch to 25-Yard Lanes?
POSTED: 11/25/09 11:06 AM

I think the assumption that olympic size pools remain in short course set up through the winter isn't entirely correct.

I've swum in the NCAA, usa swimming, and for a local high school in Maryland, and as a result I've seen a lot of swimming pools. The college I attended only had a short course pool so I can't say this is coming from my own personal experience, but friends of mine who swam for college's having olympic size pools often swam long course in the mornings and short course in the afternoons. Many of these schools have water polo teams (competing during the same season as swimming) that require the lane lines to be removed completely for their practices. I'd say more often than not these pools change lane configurations once or more a day during the swimming / polo season.

iI addition to the university's teams some collegiate olympic size pools also have competitive club teams training at them, for example Club Wolverine trains at the University of Michigan. I would think that these clubs train at least partially in a long course format, since the majority of natonal and international swimming competition is done in the long course.

Lastly I doubt the local swimmers riding on scholarships and college prospects care much about the lane configuration of the wilson pool. Swimming is extremely competitive in the dc area, and athletic money for swimming is few and far between. To be at that level those kids are probably training at least 7-8 times a week with their club teams, and they've probably got their stroke counts/flip turns/flags down (that is if they even train with the high school team at all, I know at my HS in Maryland club swimmers were not required to swim at our high school's practices to compete for the team -- so none of us ever did). The swimmers who benefit from training each and every day under race conditions are your average swimmers, the ones that repeatedly doing flip turns, counting strokes, etc will greatly improve their swimming technique. I'm not saying these athletes dont deserve to swim under racing conditions, just making a point.

If DPR decides to allow the lanes to be configured short course for the Wilson HS team there should be no problem switching the lane configuration back to long course if that's what the general public wants. ha, at my high school it was the team captain's responsibility to assign members of the team to put the lane lines in and out every day (probably not the best idea since they cost between $1,000-2,000 each) but it worked (and we never broke one!)

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