My exercise is swimming, and also it’s vital part of my day. I track mine distance. Typically I swim a mile or so. To swim a mile in a 25-yard pool, you need to make 36 round trips.

You are watching: How much is one lap in a pool

I speak this as, “36 laps.” The sign at mine pool says a mile is 36 laps.

I to be listening to the exactly how to Do whatever podcast, and they had actually a question about whether a lap is once throughout a pool, or there and back. Ns smugly assumed to myself, “there and also back, the course.”

To answer the question, castle asked Natalie Coughlin, one Olympic swimmer, that said,


In swimming, the lap describes swimming native one end of the swimming pool to the next. There is no a doubt, it’s one finish of the pool to the other. It’s not earlier and forth.


What!? exactly how does this do sense? We already have a word because that one end to the other, “a length.” space we yes, really going to usage both indigenous to mean the very same thing, and then have actually no word because that there and back?

In any type of other sport, a lap takes friend from a beginning point, out part distance, and also then earlier to where you started. Why must swimming it is in different? I assumed this was an alleged to be an erudite sport?

Looking because that a higher authority, ns consulted the glossary at USA Swimming:


Thanks a lot... This definition both exposes the absurdity, by specifying lap to mean specifically “a length,” and also then throws out there that some human being use the word in different way (in the useful way), so we really don’t understand what we’re talking about.

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Can we perform something around this? Can’t the cosmos make just a little more sense?

#language #swimming»  19 reactions
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Matt: wow, I had actually never even heard of a swimmer"s mile. 36 round-trips in a 25-yard swimming pool is 5400 feet, which is slightly much more than an yes, really 5280-foot mile. :)
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girlfriend should speak to swimming approximately the entirety circumference the the swimming pool a "lap", to be much more consistent with running, and also swim that means to annoy everyone else in the swimming pool immensely.
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I believe *part* the the man is because a large portion of compete swimmers train (most that the time) in 25 meters pools, but compete (most of the time) in 50 meters pools. For this reason 1 length of racing == 1 lap that training.s/25 meters/25 yards if "Muricah
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Alexandre: this is an exciting point, and also might provide some hope that there is at the very least a modicum that logic what in here.
because that a slightly different perspective, ns did a the majority of amateur competitive swimming in my teens, and length constantly meant to the other finish of the pool. I don"t recall lap being used, though as soon as I check out your post for some factor I assumed of swim across, rather than along, the pool.
Forgot to mention, but that"s in britain (not that i have any kind of idea if my endure is representative).
because of the confusion, I nearly always use words "length" and also forgo the word "lap". When I was on swimming team "lap" and "length" were constantly synonymous, however.