If you are sharing a lane and feel something brush your foot as you approach the next wall, that’s a signal that the person behind you is going to pass you at the wall. Assuming your lanemate is an experienced swimmer (or has read How to Pass a Slower Swimmer), they will move to the left and “go around” you during the turn at the wall. Just as when someone attempts to pass you in the middle of the pool, you don’t need to slow down. Just swim in a straight line, and be aware of what’s happening around you.
Provided everyone’s up on lap-swimming etiquette, here’s what should happen:
The faster swimmer will appear on your left as you approach the wall. They will use the left side of the wall for their turn. You will use the right side of the wall for your turn. (Aussie-style circle swimmers, the faster swimmer will appear on your right and use the right side of the lane for their turn!)
As you turn, take a quick peek and find the open part of the lane before you push off the wall. Ideally, you will be able to execute your turn (be it flip or open) and push off the wall immediately on the heels of the swimmer who just passed you. Getting a good look and following your fellow swimmer off the wall is tricky but still possible in a super-crowded lane.
Follow the Rules
Lap swimming is supposed to be a non-contact sport. Do your part by allowing faster swimmers to pass you when necessary. If you and they follow some basic lap swimming etiquette and guidelines, you can have a happy, focused swim even when sharing a lane with faster swimmers.
Not sure what lap swimming etiquette is? You should read the Dos and Don’ts of Lap Swimming or check out the Related Guides on the right.