Saturday, January 25, 2014

High School Pool Pass vs. Corporate Gym Pool

As a triathlete in New England, I am one of many that gets pushed inside to swim most of the year.  We're talking September through May; 9 months out of the year.  That's three quarters of the year.  For the last two years, I've been a begrudged member of La Fitness (not read L.A., but "la" as in the Spanish article).

Yes, La Fitness has a pool. 
Yes, it is open all day for lap swimming. 
Yes, they are one quick exit from where I live. 
And yes, I can get in a yoga class here and there if I want.  However, it doesn't make up for the downfalls. 

I frequently complained to no avail about the 80 degree temp.  The staff had even laughed about it, telling me they've never heard a complaint that it was too warm, only too cold. 

I had multiple complaints about me "splashing too much" and getting the members of the aqua fitness class wet.  I'm sorry, but if you to take up 75% of the pool, how about you don't stand right next to my lane rope. 

All too often, the three or four lanes were "full" of water walkers, people who simply get in and walk around in the pool; yes, typically of elderly age.  They only take up 1/3 of the lane, so why can't you share a lane?!  

I'm not the biggest fan of La Fitness
...if you couldn't tell.

For this years training, I was resigned to heading back to La Fitness.  That was until my triathlon club's holiday party.  I was informed by a friend in the area that many of the local high schools had open swim times and you could purchase a dirt cheap season pass.  The times are restricted (mostly just 1 hour), but it's a lot cheaper and an actual competition pool.  Not only that, but in my area, three of the high schools teamed up to offer a single pass for all three schools.  Awesome!!  Last night was my first trip.  

I went to the Rocky Hill High School for open swim from 6:30-7:30p.  It was tough to get home from work, relax, and then get packed up and head back out, but I did it.  After exploring the school for a bit, I found the pool; six lanes of a decent temperature (~75) pool with a real deep end, starting blocks,  and a swimming clock to keep intervals on.  

To top it off, only five people showed up throughout the hour.  When I ended up running overs, the next hour was Recreational Swim and there was only one dad with his son, so I was able to finish my workout without a problem.  

Score one for the Swim Gods!

I could not be happier with the choice to go with the high school pool pass this year instead of La Fitness.  For less than the price of one month at La Fitness, I get access to three high school pools with all the benefits I need as an ex-swimmer training for tris.  I win!


1.  How many months of the year are you able to swim outside?  Where do you go when you're forced inside?
I can swim outside from some time in May through some time in September.  After that, it's now to the high school pools!

2.  If you could change anything about your training, what would it be?
I would heat the lakes in our area so that I could swim all year round outside.  I'd still go inside for the convenience, but it's just not the same.  

3.  What is your ideal pool temperature?
I very much prefer low seventies; somewhere around 72-73.  It's cold when you get in and if you stand around, but once you're moving and generating heat, it feels great!


1 comment:

ajh said...

I belong to a high school masters swim program. Dirt cheap. But hours twice a day although not weekends. I can use other fitness clubs though my membership on Sundays so today I did that.
80 is way too hot.