Circle swimming has burned my workout on several occasions at my local Y. The problem is always that we end up with 3 (or more) people who don't know each other, don't know each others' workouts, and don't swim at anywhere near the same speeds. I understand that experienced swimmers can work with this, but to me it just isn't enjoyable. I'm old school and love the Zen-ness of settling into a pace and keeping it going. That's hard to do when one person is trying to do 50s and another is flailing and drifting around the lane.
So, circle swimming is simply not the way I want to start my day.
Now, I am also never going to be the guy who tells people that my lane is closed. I get that pool etiquette is that circle swimming happens when the lanes fill up.
So on the occasion, and it is rare, that someone requests to circle swim, I usually just end my workout there and adapt my day to that--maybe do an additional bike or try to get back to the pool later.
I did this today and the lady getting in acted like I was a total snob. She was offended when I said, "I'm good. I'm done anyway."
Whatever. Am I the only one who doesn't like to circle swim when it's a completely disorganized mess? The way I see it, if I don't want to circle swim, that's my issue (pool etiquette being what it is), so it's my choice to just get out. Why should this offend anybody?
I see everything "glass half full". If there are others in my lane, and I can't do the workout I want, I use that as an opportunity to swim fartlek, basically hammering when I have an opening, and going easy when I don't, or doing kick drills or kick board or fins only trying to respect the space of the others and that they are trying to improve themselves. Having said that everyone once in a while there is a complete idiot trying to swim their masters workout that they missed during public swim and trying to leave on a certain pace time no matter who is there. If the person proves they have no consideration this is the time when I start doing sets of 50-100 fly (regardless of who is coming the other way....normally if I do fly and someone is coming the other way, I do 4 underwater dolphin kicks to not get my arms in their way) alternating with 25 breast essentially creating a ton of splashing and going into my full albatross arm and leg span. But you have to be a real asshole about your workout being the most important one in the universe for me to pull that gig....but every 2 months or so, there is someone that gets the full albatross workout from my side once they have proved to me that they need to own the pool. Then the game is on and you're not going to like swimming with me. I ain't leaving for sure!