Swimming Language: Lap vs Length

Around the pool I often hear things like “how many laps in a mile? Or, how many laps did you swim? I am regularly asked is a lap down or down and back? The answer I give is not what they were expecting.  In swimming, there is no lap, only lengths. Starting from one end and swimming to the other, regardless of the length of the pool is one length. If you listen to the start of a swimming race the call of the event by an official goes something like this: “This is a 200 freestyle, 8 lengths of the pool.”

We also talk in terms of yards or meters.  “I did 3,000 yards today” (120 lengths of the pool)

So, when working out at the pool you can talk about lengths, yards, or meters, but leave the laps on the track.

Up Next: Ankle Flexibility and Freestyle

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