Masters Swim Introduction
Interested in joining Boston University Masters Swimming? You may have more questions and here is a great place to start. Our team is a part of New England Masters Swimming (NEM) and United States Masters Swimming (USMS). While competing in meets is not required, many swimmers give it a try and use it as a goal to work towards. Please browse the topics below and feel free to send us an email if you still have questions!
Masters Swim FAQs
Please click on the links below to view answers to our frequently asked questions!
Requirements for Joining
Dropping In and Special Rates
Facility and Parking Information
Practices and Workouts
Schedule of Practices
Access to the pool outside of practices
Connecting with the team outside of practices
Help! I still have a question!
I haven’t been swimming for a while. Should I join?
There are a few factors to take into consideration including how long you’ve been out of the water, your general fitness level and your previous swimming experience. We have a wide range of abilities on the team so if you aren’t sure if BU Masters is right for you, drop-in and try a workout. If you’d like to ease back into a swimming routine, a swim class might be a good option to build your endurance back up (and brush up on those drills!). We offer classes like Fitness Swimming and Pre-Masters which include more drill and technique work with a little less yardage (about 1500-2500 yards in an hour). These classes meet once or twice a week and have helped swimmers get back into the flow before joining Masters. You can find information about these classes on the Non-Credit Aquatics page.
How do I sign up?
There are four ways to register for lessons: by mail, online, in person or by fax. Online registration is recommended. Our year is divided into three semesters – fall, spring and summer. During the fall and spring semesters, there is one long session. During the summer we have two sessions. If you'd like to join in the middle of a session, please contact the office and we can pro-rate the cost for you.
I’m just in town for a couple days. Can I drop in?
For swimmers visiting from out of town or if you'd like to try a workout before joining, drop in workouts are available at a cost of $10 per day, cash only. You can pay at the front desk when you arrive.
I’m in town for a few weeks. Is there a special rate?
It is possible to create a special rate based on your individual schedule. Please contact the office with any questions regarding a special rate.
How can I get to the facility and where do I park?
Our building is located at 915 Commonwealth Ave. We are between St. Paul and Pleasant Streets on the Brookline side of Commonwealth Ave and by Buick St. and Harry Agganis Way on the Boston side. The Green Line B-Train stops in front of our building at the St. Paul Street stop. Parking is available at the meters on Commonwealth Ave or in the Agganis Arena garage. Parking may not be available if there is a special event at the Arena. You can check the parking link on our website for more detailed information.
Where do I go once I arrive?
If you don’t already have a BU ID card, please let the front desk know and they will print one for you. The card will be activated to swipe in 30 minutes before practice time. The pool is located one level below the main entrance and the locker rooms are on the left side of the pool, past the ProShop.
Are there towels, lockers and showers available?
Showers and locker rooms are available on the pool level. The women’s locker room has a code on the door so please ask the ProShop for the code on your way down to the pool. There are day lockers available in the hallway between the locker room and the pool. You can bring your own lock or borrow one from our ProShop. All locks must be removed by the end of the day on day lockers. Towels are also available on a daily basis for $1 per towel and a BU ID at the ProShop.
What are the workouts like?
Depending on your interval, the workouts range between 2000-3500 yards in an hour. There is usually a warm up with your choice of swimming, a warm up set with some drills or kicking and then a main set. The workouts vary to focus on distance, sprint or stroke. Some are a mixture to keep everyone engaged. We usually have 20-30 people show up for each practice, so about 3-6 swimmers per lane. The coaches will try to find the lane that is the best fit for you. The best part about the workouts is that you have company to help you through those tough sets and a coach to keep you motivated.
Are the workouts coached?
Yes, a coach is always present on deck for our workouts. All of our coaches have competitive, college and/or masters swim experience. You can read more about our coaches here.
How often do BUMS swimmers practice each week?
It ranges. Some people are here 5-6 days per week but most swim 2-3 days per week. We set up the program so you have the most flexibility. You don’t have to come to a specific practice and you have the ability to adjust your practice schedule based on your availability from week to week.
What speed are the swimmers? How do I pick a lane?
We have a variety of intervals at each practice and we generally have between 4-10 lanes available. The intervals range from about 1:10 to 2:00 so there’s room for everyone! The coaches will help direct you to an appropriate lane.
What can I expect at my first workout?
Once you get on deck, grab a kickboard and pull buoy from the bins. If there aren’t any left, just ask one of the swimmers leaving for their gear. Check in with the coach and they will help you find the right lane for your interval. If you aren’t sure of your interval, just let them know and they’ll help you find a place.
What should I bring to practice?
Swim caps are required for both men and women in our Competition Pool if your hair is longer than a buzz cut. They are available for sale at our ProShop. Kickboards and pull buoys are available on deck but you are welcome to bring your own. If the workout calls for fins or paddles they will be provided for you.
Are there any terms or special workout lingo I should know?
You can check our News and Links page for lots of helpful terminology. Don’t worry, the coaches will explain the sets too!
How many people swim with the BUMS?
Our team is generally about 70-80 swimmers but we are still growing!
Do the BUMS compete in meets?
We usually have a small contingent of the team representing the BUMS at local meets and we are always happy to have more any time! We also are happy to help educate you about competing if you haven’t done it before. We typically host the fall Short Course Meters Championship here at our home pool so it is great way to gauge your progress in a familiar setting. We also have swimmers who travel to local meets and open water swims. Opportunities exist if you are interested! There are certainly no requirements or expectations if you would rather swim the workouts and not compete.
Are you required to sign up for United States Masters Swimming (USMS)?
There are a lot of benefits to signing up for USMS but we do not require it. If you want to compete in the meets, USMS membership is required and you can find the link here.(link to news and links)
Where can I find the schedule for practices? How much of the year does the team practice?
Our practice schedule stays pretty constant throughout the year with only one week off between Christmas and New Year’s. Our registration follows the academic schedule – we have fall, spring and two summer sessions. Our building is closed for some holidays and those exceptions to the schedule will always be posted on our calendar page.
Is there other access to the pool?
Access to the pool during open swim is limited to members only. If you are an alumni or affiliate of BU you can purchase a membership online to gain access to the wide array of opportunities here at FitRec. Other options may be available for Masters Swimmers. Please contact the office with any questions regarding this special opportunity.
Is there a way to connect with the team outside of the pool?
We have a facebook group to share stories, pictures and lovingly torment people who skipped workouts. We also schedule social events about once a month at local watering holes. You can find a link to our facebook group here.
Help! I still have a question!
Don't worry! Just email us and we'll answer your questions!