When I go to swim meets and start talking to people the one question that always comes up is “where do you swim?” I work out at the Pismo Beach Athletic Club pool. It’s a 5 lane 25 yard pool about 5 miles from my house. It’s not the best possible pool but it’s perfect for me. I figured I would break down the pros and cons of the pool from a lap swimmer’s point of view to give you guys an idea of where I train and to give people thinking about joining my gym for the pool some insider information.


  • Never Super Busy – I’ve been swimming there since July and still haven’t had to share a lane
  • Open Late – Monday to Friday the pool is open to 10 which is good for night owls like me
  • Hot Tub! – You can’t get mad at a hot tub :)
  • Locker Rooms – Good sized with decent lockers, warm showers, and a suit dryer… it does get a little crowded at high traffic times and is prone to elderly person naked air dry time which is never fun though
  • Dark at Night – This is a personal preference… at night they only turn on a couple of underwater lights and nothing on the deck, the pool is very bright during the day
  • The Rest of the Gym is Nice – It’s not the biggest or the fanciest gym, but the equipment is good and I’m comfortable there
  • Right by the Beach – There is an ocean view from the upstairs weight room and it is a quick walk to the pier


  • Shallow – the whole pool is only 4 feet deep and has no blocks to practice starts from
  • Narrow Lanes – It’s a good thing I’ve never had to share a lane because I don’t think I could
  • No Gutters – Whatever water you push out is coming right back at you
  • Crappy Lane Lines – It’s nice that they’re there, but they seem to be for decorative purposes
  • Aqua Aerobics – I don’t have a problem with the noodlers, you just have to plan accordingly because they take up all but one lane where there is a class.
  • Too Hot! – Bad for competitive swimming but good for the aqua aerobics crowd
  • Odd Miscellaneous Problems – One lane is missing about 6 yards, there are weird drain type things in the middle of the “T” in one lane, etc.

Overall I really like the pool despite its quirks. It’s close enough to home that I can ride my bike there, it’s quiet, and I can train by myself with minimal interruption.

The gym from the outside

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