For most people, a swimming pool is all about somewhere to chill out and relax in the sun. However, some homeowners see installing a pool as a chance to aid in their exercise or training, and such people will tend to gravitate towards lap pools. These are long and thin, allowing for long laps to be taken without consuming as much space as a full-sized swimming pool. They're great for exercise or training, but you might find an endless pool more advantageous.
Endless pools are very small, but they use a motor to create a current for you to swim against. Essentially, endless pools are for swimmers what treadmills are for runners. Here are just six reasons you might want to consider fitting one instead of a lap pool.
1. Customizable Resistance
Lap pools are perfectly calm, so they provide very little resistance as you swim. That's fine for beginners, but not for people serious about their performance. With an endless pool, you can set certain resistance levels to change up your workout and push your muscles harder. To make things harder in a lap pool, you can only ever increase the amount of time you spend swimming. Endless pools add the ability to increase resistance.
2. Easy to Check Your Technique
Anyone with even a passing interest in swimming will understand that technique plays a huge role in overall performance. Getting things even a little bit wrong can result in subpar performance and put you at risk of injury. When you use an endless pool, someone can stand right over you and analyse the way you're moving, or you can video the session and analyse it yourself. This is much harder with a lap pool since you won't be staying in one spot.
Lap pools are chiefly valued as space-savers. One long thin stretch of water takes up far less space than a pool with squarer dimensions. However, endless pools allow you to save even more space – they can be short as well as thin, and you'll still never run out of room. The pool won't need to take up most of the yard, which is a real boon if you're working with a smaller property.
4. Reduced Maintenance
You might be thinking that the motor of an endless pool would mean maintenance is more of a concern, and it is true that you'll need to get the motor serviced at set intervals. That said, there's actually a lot less maintenance involved that with a lap pool. That's mainly down to the smaller surface area of an endless pool. It will be easy to take the cover on and off as per your needs, and you won't need to use the same amount of chemicals to keep the pool clean.
5. Lower Cost
Endless swimming pools are also a lot less costly than lap pools. The motor is an added expense, but it's one dwarfed by the cost of digging out space and obtaining materials for a lap pool. And that's really just the tip of the iceberg. A larger pool is going to be more expensive to heat and will consume a lot more water. On average, swimming pools lose around a quarter-inch (or 0.6 cm) of water each day, which adds up to 7.5-inches (19 cm) over a 30-day period. That's going to mean significantly more water lost over the larger surface area of a lap pool.
6. Perfect for Open Water Training
Finally, keep in mind that lap pools are very poor at helping people train for open-water swimming. This obviously won't be such a concern if you stick to swimming pools, but open stretches of water have currents and possibly tides to deal with, and that environment just can't be replicated by a lap pool. Additionally, you'll need to stop and turn at the end of a lap pool, which means you won't get used to swimming long distances without that little break. Using an endless pool can create resistance to replicate the feel of open-water swimming, and you'll be able to keep swimming as long as you can without ever meeting the end of the pool.
For more information and options, talk with swimming pool builders in your area.