A "personal pool" is so convenient and helpful that if you cannot afford it now, you should save up for it. Your own personal lap pool — what a concept! Not a big one, this is a small tank that has a current running against you.
The idea here is to provide an experience much like being in a small pool with a tether. A few companies make pools (as small as 8' by 10') that have a variable speed current generator that allows you to "swim in place."
One in particular that I have used and found exceptional is made by Endless Pools, a company in Pennsylvania. This pool comes complete with filter and heater. The counter-current is very even.
Convenience is the primary advantage to a pool such as this. However, it also allows you to work on technique by watching yourself in a mirror on the bottom — something that can otherwise only be done in a flume.
Certainly, you will not want to forego the feeling of swimming laps and doing flip turns. Swimming in an Endless Pool should therefore be combined with swimming in a conventional pool. But on a day when you have only 30 minutes to spare, and the conventional pool is 30 or so minutes away, guess who would ordinarily miss their swim?
Personal pools can be assembled quickly and can go in a basement, on a porch, or in the ground. If you can afford the price tag, there is no reason not to have one.
Excerpted from Steve Tarpinian's book, "The Essential Swimmer," Steve, founder and president of Total Training, Inc., coaches and competes in swimming meets and Ironman triathlons.