I’ve been doing a lot of swimming lately and usually swim in lanes. When I go there are usually 3 lanes available, but sometimes just two. The problem is that you have to judge for yourself which lane to go in. The slow lane is usually very slow, but sometimes there are some steady swimmers in there. The fast lane is more of an issue really.
Generally I think you are in the wrong lane if you are being overtaken regularly or are forcing other people to slow down or change their stroke. I think if you are swimming anything other than front crawl, you need to be particularly aware of this as that is the fastest stroke and the one most often used in the faster lanes. I am very aware of this idea because I generally alternate lengths between freestyle and breaststroke. Luckily I have a very fast breaststroke so it’s not too much of an issue for me, but I am trying to increase my stamina so I can swim more lengths on front crawl and less on other strokes.
There are lots of people who just don’t get the hint though. There are men who seem to think they should be in the fast lane and take exception to be passed by a woman. Sometimes they up their speed when you are trying to overtake. Yesterday I was swimming behind a woman doing freestyle (as was I). There wasn’t time/room to overtake so I switched to breaststroke to slow down. I was still right on her heels. You’d think you’d let the swimmer behind pass at the end in that case, but no. I ended up having to wait to give her a head start, but that impacted on my workout and I misjudged it and caught her up again.
Some days though it’s joyful and you get the lane to yourself and you can swim at exactly your own pace and you don’t have to worry about whether someone is behind you or not.