When training for a triathlon, is it okay to train in a 25 yard or meter pool, or should you try to swim in a 50 meter pool as much as possible?
Most pools in the U.S. are unfortunately 25 yards in length. Some are 50 meters (which is the real Olympic-size), but even most of those are set up with lanes across the width of the pool (which in most cases is 25 yards).
If you have access to a 50 meter pool, this will be your best bet for swim training. It does take some getting used to but it is worth the extra effort. The reasons why a 50 meter pool is better than a 25 yard or meter pool for swim training are:
1. Much more continuous swimming. Half as many walls to turn at, simulating open water swimming better than a shorter pool.
2. More time to focus on your technique while you swim without interruptions.
3. Training is slightly more challenging, resulting in better preparation for an open water race (or any swim race).
I used to hate long course (50m) training. But, over the years I’ve found that it just takes a few days to get used to, and once I’m used to it, I don’t want to go back to short pools!