Swimming Watch tools

Training with a swimming watch?

What Swimming watches are, and how they work

If you are swimming competitively, or just for fun, chances are you probably want to swim faster. Physics tells us that speed at the pool, is the product of stroke length and stroke rate.

Stroke length is defined as the number of yards/meters covered with each stroke, and stroke rate is the number of strokes per unit of time (usually strokes per minute). Moving you arms faster will increase you stroke rate and therefore your speed. Stroke length can be improved by working on your technique, reducing drag, increasing glide, changing your position and being more efficient.

Let's say you're practicing a new technique and want to calculate your stroke rate, stroke length and speed. You can do it by using a clock and counting your strokes while swimming down the pool. Keeping track of everything on a piece of paper.

But who wants to do maths while swimming? And what if you want to have detailed results for each length? This is how swimming watches can help. They work by monitoring how your arm/body moves through water using accelerometers.They count strokes, lengths, keep track of time, and do all the math, providing you with stroke length, stroke rate, speed, and stroke detection, for each length. You will be able to analyze you data, and maintain a log. You'll be able to tell if you're improving or not, and if all this work is paying off.

Swimming watches are very accurate...most of the time. Unfortunately, depending on your skills and environment (crowded lanes), data will sometimes show some inaccuracies. Here is Advice from Garmin on how to improve accuracy and reduce errors in the data

If you follow this advice, you data will be fine most of the time. If you still have errors in you data, feel free to use this site. At this time, it is compatible with the Garmin Swim, forerunner 910/920, Fénix 2/3, Epix, Forerunner 735 and TomTom Multisport, but if there is enough interest. Support could be expanded to other devices.

If you don't train with a swimming watch yet, and considering buying one, here are links to manufacturers and excellent independent reviews form DC Rainmaker

Swimming watches

Multi-Sport (Triathlon) watches with swimming mode