Getting Started


Getting Started with Lake Washington Masters:

  1. Before starting any excise program or joining masters workout, please be sure to check with your physician to make sure it is safe for you to participate in intense exercise.

  2. As a general recommendation, before joining workout, if you have never swam with a masters team before, we recommend that you are able to swim 2500yards, on your own, in the course of 1 hour.

  3. As a general recommendation, before joining workout, we recommend being able to complete 10x100 on 2:00 as a minimum requirement.

  4. Before joining a team workout, knowing the basics of swim etiquette and swimming with a group, will allow you to seamlessly join group workout



LWM has specific gear for specific sets.  Our gear is required for these specific sets but it is optional.  For the specific set there are no gear substitutions. You may choose to purchase our gear and wear our gear, or go gearless.




Circle swimming: Turn on or Left of Center

Just like driving, or walking, or life in the general, observing the rules of the road always makes things go a lot smoother for everyone involved. Less head-on collisions, and fewer fist-waggings.

Circle swimming, although short of traffic fines and reflective signage, has its own set of peculiar customs. Swimming in a circle, for one. Which means not swimming in a rectangle, or worse, a rhombus.

Remember to angle towards that big, black T when swimming into the wall so that the toe-tickler behind you has room to swim into their turn as well.

Here are some of the major no-nos and yes-yeses of swim practice.


  • Dive 
  • Use the starting blocks independently
  • Swim down the middle of a lane
  • Remain stationary in the lane, except at the wall
  • Stand or hold onto the wall in the middle of the lane
  • Grab another swimmer
  • Push off the wall immediately before or after another swimmer—no tailgating!
  • Do your own thing in a lane that is following a prescribed set or workout.
  • Don't leave early, leave on the 5 or 0 of your prescribed send off- not 1-2 seconds earlier


  • Enter the water feet first. 
  • Dive only from the starting blocks, when instructed by your coach
  • Circle swim, staying always to the right of the lane, only moving toward the center when ready to turn at the wall
  • Leave the pool if unable to continue swimming
  • Scoot to the corner of the lane while standing or holding onto the wall
  • Tap a swimmer's toes in front of you, indicating that you wish to pass at the next turn
  • Allow 5 seconds between swimmers unless otherwise indicated



Understand how to use a pace clock:

Familiarize your self with the lingo: