Swimmers and triathletes all over the world have been using their imagination to create make-shift garden pools so that they can continue swim training during the COVID-19 pandemic.
With many countries locked down and a warm weekend on the way, we get HUUB's future star, Billie Jordan Butler and her dad, to tell us how they built a swimming pool in their garden using resistance as an affordable alternative to pool machines...
When lockdown hit us, and the thought of no swimming hit home, it would leave a significant gap in Billie's (and my) life. As a triathlete, Billie could obviously fill the time with extra running and biking, and as a swimming parent, I could suddenly gain about ten hours a week of my time back and do some training myself!
She was staying in touch with her friends via the internet and the swim clubs new Strava group, which led to us seeing some of her friends trying to swim in a small paddling pool. Billie's question was "Can we get an Endless Pool?" In a perfect world, yes we could Billie!
Then we saw someone swimming in slightly deeper kids paddling pool, and after a quick online search, Billie had decided she was going to buy a 12ft circular pool! After clearing it with the accounts dept (aka Mum), it was agreed that Billie would pay half.
So, a Bestway Steel Pro Max 12ft Pool was duly ordered from Amazon, along with a solar cover to try and get some heat into the water. The pool is 1m deep and came with a powered filter pump and was delivered a few days later for a total of £340.
We chose the most level part of the garden, but in hindsight, we should probably have got a ton of sand and made a nice level base before erecting the pool. It's no real issue, but the water level is approx 3 inches different from one side to the other.
The actual putting together was very simple. The instructions aren't that clear, and in true dad style, I just looked at the picture on the box and went ahead... Approximately 20 minutes later it was ready to fill. The ladder, on the other hand, was slightly more complicated, and several swears came out in the making! It took about 10 hours to fill, so I am not looking forward to the water bill.
We'd looked into a tether, but everything we found was sold out, so we hit on a DIY job.... After a bit of trial and error, we've settled with some old bike inner tubes and an elastic bungee around Billie's waist. Initially, we fixed it to the side of the pool, but at this level, it seemed to hinder her legs. We added another inner tube and hooked it around a fence post, the higher angle of the tether works just fine.
So there it is £340 plus a few old inner tubes, and I have one smiley little girl again. At this time of year, it's definitely a wetsuit swim although I did brave it in just my tri suit after a long training session, but only for a few minutes!