It’s officially winter. The snow is falling, it’s cold out and triathletes north of the equator are flocking to their local pool make gains this offseason.

Chances are, if you’re going to the pool to improve your swim, others are too. With an influx of people joining lane swim hours it does make getting in an uninterrupted workout difficult. So, expect the unexpected and don’t stress out when doing a swim workout during lane swim hours.

Related: The six unwritten rules of the lap swim

Here’s what not to do during lane swim hours.

Do not jump in a busy lane when another one is free. Getting out of the mayhem will save your workout, especially if you’re doing drills or speed sets.

Do not be that guy that shows up at community lane swim hours with their new super fancy wetsuit. First of all, you’ll overheat and secondly, it just looks weird.

Do not go in the fast lane just because you want to. Getting lapped by faster swimmers can be discouraging, but it will also anger others if you are significantly slower. Tip: Judge the speed of the fast lane and make an educated guess of what lane is appropriate for your ability and workout.

Do not swim in the middle of the lane. At most swim locations, the direction will be posted. If not, assume a circular direction – up one side, down the other.

Do not pee… Peeing in your wetsuit before an Ironman is understandable, but don’t do it here.

Related: 15 thoughts when completing an Ironman

Do not swim on someone’s feet. To avoid collisions at the wall, leave 10-15 seconds between swimmers. This will reduce congestion during sets and make your swim more enjoyable.

Do not speed up when someone is passing you. This is the worst thing you could do, and it’ll make you a lot of enemies in the pool. There are no medals given out at lane swim sessions. Focus on yourself and what you need to be working on to become a better swimmer.

Do not keep your head down when passing. Take this opportunity to practice sighting. Check to make sure you have time and space to pass.

Sighting in the open water is important.

Do not rest between sets in the middle of the lane. Would you like it if the lane was crowded with people resting when you’re halfway through 300s at race pace? Nope. Keep the wall clear for others.

Do not be a jerk. Chances are there will be a range of abilities taking part in a lane swimming session, and despite the best of intentions lanes will become overcrowded or incidents will occur. In those moments take a breath and adapt to your surroundings, it’s good practice for a triathlon when you’re swimming with a hundred of your best friends.

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