Would you also like to swim? But can’t you go to the pool for the time being and open water is not an option?
For some of us, there is the luxury of a pool in their backyard or the availability of an endless pool. Most people, however, depend on the pool and / or open water. But now, luckily, there is one more option. Turn your kids swimming pool into a basic endless pool experience.
Of course I wanted to try that myself. So we set up our kids pool and got to work.
- Set-up pool / kids pool (I use Intex 300×200 pool)
- Swimming pool pump to keep the water clean
- Groundsheet / pool cover
- Pool heating or wet suit
- Swim cord
- Fixing point for resistance elastic
First of all, of course, a swimming pool. We have a Intex Frame pool size 300x200x75cm. We have had this pool for a number of years and it does an excellent job as a kids pool. It is the minimum size you need. A size larger (but mostly deeper) was slightly better fit. In our case a conscious choice not to do this because of our small children.
Swimming pool pump
If you want to enjoy your children’s pool as an endless pool for a long time, a pool pump and maintenance products are indispensable. With the chlorine smell it seems a bit more real again;). You have the standard cartridge filter pump that comes standard with many pools. If you really want to be professional, a sand filter pump is a better choice. The better pool heaters can also be connected to this.
Groundsheet and pool cover
Finally, a groundsheet for the pool and pool cover are recommended. Especially the pool cover ensures that the heat is better preserved. The groundsheet allows you to enjoy your pool longer. The chance of holes is smaller if you use a ground sheet. We ourselves have Intex rubber puzzle mats. Easy to attach and just a bit more comfortable for the bottom (especially for the children).
Pool heating system or wetsuit?
Depending on the period, the water in a set-up pool has comparable temperatures to the (shallow) outside water. That means that in April it is only around 15 degrees. There are actually two options for swimming. You either go for a pool heating system or you use a wetsuit.
Pool heating system
A good pool heater that can also compensate for cold night temperatures is expensive (especially for the size of the pool0. A good heaters can only be connected to a sand filter pump and not to the standard cartridge filter pumps. This means that you must first purchase a sand filter pump and then the right heater system. For our Intex pool, this costs between 400 and 600 euros for good pool heating (Dutch prices).
There are cheaper alternatives on the market, such as a solar bulb or solar mat. These can heat up to 2 to 4 degrees extra with the right amount of sun. However, chances are you will loose this during the night (in cooler days). In the early and late season, the number of sun hours is actually still insufficient to heat properly with Solar products.
Alternative – swimming with a wetsuit
The alternative is to swim in the set-up pool with a wetsuit and slowly build up the time you swim. We have chosen this option ourselves.
In order to actually be able to swim in a small pool, you need a (stationary) swim cord. The cord ensures that you can continue swimming on the spot. Two options are available for swim cords. The first option is attached to your waist with a belt and the second option works with straps at the ankles. I myself swam with both variants. The main differences:
Option 1: Around your waist
The first option is a belt around your waist. An advantage is that your core is supported by the elastic. A disadvantage can be that you hit the band with your leg stroke. Or another disadvantage can be that your core is lifted too much by the band. This also depends on how you tie it, preferably not too high. The higher the cord is attached to the wall or a pole the more it lifts you.
Option 2: Around your ankles
The option around your ankles are two loose straps that you fasten around each ankle with velcro fasteners. You can still just stand in the pool. The advantage of the band around your ankle is that your core is not supported. Your entire body positions therefore depends on your own swimming qualities. It is important that you tie the cord at 1 point in the middle so that it does not separate your legs.
Attachment point for swim cord
We ourselves have driven a stake into the ground and made a hook on it. We simply attach the swim cord to the hook in the correct size.
So how does it swim? My experience
And then. How does it really swim? I was a bit reluctant myself. How much fun can it be? And can I really swim?
To be honest it swims much better than expected. A central snorkel is recommended. Due to the movements of the water in such a small pool, you quickly get big waves. Also good to practice as an open water swimmer, but for comfort it swims a bit better with a snorkel.
We can not use legs in our swimming pool, it generates too much splashing, so we have to zoom the windows too often;) and we lose too much water. We have therefore chosen to use our legs as little as possible. In any case, my carbon-filled wetsuit keeps my legs nice and high in the water. Because of this I don’t need a pull buoy and I can keep swimming on my arms and keep my legs still. If you feel like your legs are sinking to much a pull buoy can be used.
The depth of our pool, 75cm is really the minimum depth you need. Both my husband and I can just swim without hitting the bottom. If you do touch the bottom, your elbow must therefore be higher. That is good for your awareness of your technique ;).
How to make it more fun: swimming with music
I myself have the Finis Swim Coach communicator. Actually intended for training, so that you can hear your trainer underwater. But you can also stream music from Spotify. So I swim with music, which makes it a lot less boring and monotonous. There is nothing to see, the bottom is close and you can’t really change the pace either.
This DIY Endless pool is a nice alternative to train in water without a pool or access to open water. However, as soon as the pools open, you won’t find me in my own little pool anymore ;).