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Thread: Best smart watch for counting swimming lengths?

  1. #1
    Master dejjl's Avatar
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    Best smart watch for counting swimming lengths?

    Is there a reliably accurate watch for counting lengths when swimming? I suspect Garmin might be the way but Iíve never owned one. Thanks.

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    subscribing to thread.

  3. #3
    Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by dejjl View Post
    Is there a reliably accurate watch for counting lengths when swimming? I suspect Garmin might be the way but Iíve never owned one. Thanks.
    Don't they usually have a clock either end of the pool?

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  4. #4
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    Garmin works well, been using my fenix 6 and prior to that the 945 can record lengths well.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by shoppy View Post
    Garmin works well, been using my fenix 6 and prior to that the 945 can record lengths well.
    Indeed, Fenix 5 and 5x for me. Polar v800 was good as well and able to show which style was used.

  6. #6
    Garmin just released the Swim 2 which should suit your needs. There aren't many reviews available yet, but this one goes quite in depth: https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.dcr...eview.html/amp

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    Master andyjay's Avatar
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    As always with fitness watches, take a look at dcrainmaker.com his reviews are in depth and very interesting. Not sure what his current swimming recommendation is, or if he has reviewed the Garmin Swim watch 2 yet as Iím sure this will be one to consider.

  8. #8
    My 12 year old daughter swims around 6000m six days a week. I'm buying here one of the new Apple watches for Christmas. I'm not sure if it counts lengths but it does some other cool swimming related stuff.

  9. #9
    Master
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    I use my Garmin Fenix 5, great for me as I use it for hiking, running, MTB and road biking as well.

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  11. #11
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    Garmin works but, as with all smart watches AFAIK, you need to give a good push off to show youíve started a new length and need to keep going during the length - so not great if swimming in a crowded pool.

    Using a dive watch bezel and recording every 10 lengths works best for me.

  12. #12
    Craftsman Go Big's Avatar
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    I use a Garmin Fenix 5, and it is amazingly accurate.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by @lf View Post
    Garmin just released the Swim 2 which should suit your needs. There aren't many reviews available yet, but this one goes quite in depth: https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.dcr...eview.html/amp
    I was going to suggest this. dont know how much better it will be than the multisport watches

  14. #14
    Craftsman
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    The Garmin comes up most when asking the same question in Google.
    Have a look at the DC Rainmaker review site for more in depth info.

  15. #15
    Master dejjl's Avatar
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    Thanks for all the feedback so far. A reliable length counter would allow me to totally zone out when swimming!

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by dejjl View Post
    Is there a reliably accurate watch for counting lengths when swimming? I suspect Garmin might be the way but Iíve never owned one. Thanks.
    I bought the Garmin 735 xt , with waterproof belt for swimming trainings. I spent several days reading different reviews, and this model appeared to be one of the best price/purpose ratio.

    HTH

  17. #17
    Grand Master
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    Maybe Iím missing a trick here, but in years gone by when I swam regularly I simply counted in my head! Surprised that anything more elaborate is needed, I used to wear a Casio f91 to record the swim time.

  18. #18
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    I just use a chromo or diver bezel. I know a length takes me 48 - 55 seconds, so it's not too difficult to work out how many I've done. At worst, I might be a couple out, so instead of doing 36 x 50m = 1nm, I might do 34 or 38. But, if I've done ~30 mins, I reckon I've had a reasonable workout...

  19. #19
    Master dejjl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by walkerwek1958 View Post
    Maybe Iím missing a trick here, but in years gone by when I swam regularly I simply counted in my head! Surprised that anything more elaborate is needed, I used to wear a Casio f91 to record the swim time.
    Good for you.

  20. #20
    I swim regularly and use my Apple Watch and it works really well for swimming. It gives plenty of detailed information about my swim including:
    - Number of lengths,
    - what stroke I used and for how many lengths,
    - average time per 100m, 50m and 25m,
    - how many calories I burned
    - total distance
    - average heart rate and graph showing detailed heart rate throughout the swim session
    - a detailed breakdown of the times of every distance in the swim session.

    It’s really simple too as you just put it into workout mode > Swim when you start and away you go. Then stop it when you've finish and all the information is automatically loaded into the workout app on your phone.

    And this is on top of all the other handy stuff an Apple Watch does. I can’t recommend it enough.


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    Last edited by dashfield; 12th November 2019 at 19:42.

  21. #21
    Grand Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by dashfield View Post
    I swim regularly and use my Apple Watch and it works really well for swimming. It gives plenty of detailed information about my swim including:
    - Number of lengths,
    - what stroke I used and for how many lengths,
    - average time per 100m, 50m and 25m,
    - how many calories I burned
    - total distance
    - average heart rate and graph showing detailed heart rate throughout the swim session
    - a detailed breakdown of the times of every distance in the swim session.

    Itís really simple too as you just put it into workout mode > Swim when you start and away you go. Then stop it when you've finish and all the information is automatically loaded into the workout app on your phone.

    And this is on top of all the other handy stuff an Apple Watch does. I canít recommend it enough.


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    Seriously, unless you're training for something, what's the point of all this?

    Why not just get in the pool, get on with it, get out, get dressed.....and forget it! Same with running, folks seem to have a fascination with analysing everything, apart from the novelty value I'm struggling to see any point to it.

    I went to the gym today, did 10 mins cross-trainer, 1 hr weights, then 5 mins cross-trainer..........end of, over and done, I don't record anything. I don't enjoy it, but I dislike the prospect of not keeping fit.

    Sometimes I think the analysis and recording is like a crutch, a substitute for willpower, folks feel like they've got something tangible to keep at the end of it. If you're training for improvement or competition that's different, but if you're doing it for simple fitness I think the Nike logo applies........Just Do It.

  22. #22
    Master dejjl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by walkerwek1958 View Post
    Seriously, unless you're training for something, what's the point of all this?

    Why not just get in the pool, get on with it, get out, get dressed.....and forget it! Same with running, folks seem to have a fascination with analysing everything, apart from the novelty value I'm struggling to see any point to it.

    I went to the gym today, did 10 mins cross-trainer, 1 hr weights, then 5 mins cross-trainer..........end of, over and done, I don't record anything. I don't enjoy it, but I dislike the prospect of not keeping fit.

    Sometimes I think the analysis and recording is like a crutch, a substitute for willpower, folks feel like they've got something tangible to keep at the end of it. If you're training for improvement or competition that's different, but if you're doing it for simple fitness I think the Nike logo applies........Just Do It.
    You made your point with your first helpful reply. As far as I recall, I posted asking for feedback on smart watch related length counting. I didn’t ask for comments on the motivation or enjoyment of swim training. Why don’t you ignore the post if you find it so banal? Save your ‘breath’ or jog on to the Bear Pit.
    Last edited by dejjl; 12th November 2019 at 20:43.

  23. #23
    Quote Originally Posted by walkerwek1958 View Post
    Seriously, unless you're training for something, what's the point of all this?

    Why not just get in the pool, get on with it, get out, get dressed.....and forget it! Same with running, folks seem to have a fascination with analysing everything, apart from the novelty value I'm struggling to see any point to it.

    I went to the gym today, did 10 mins cross-trainer, 1 hr weights, then 5 mins cross-trainer..........end of, over and done, I don't record anything. I don't enjoy it, but I dislike the prospect of not keeping fit.

    Sometimes I think the analysis and recording is like a crutch, a substitute for willpower, folks feel like they've got something tangible to keep at the end of it. If you're training for improvement or competition that's different, but if you're doing it for simple fitness I think the Nike logo applies........Just Do It.
    Itís true I donít need all the heart rate stuff, but I genuinely use the lap counter and timer to set my self goals so I can improve my swimming.

    I general swim a mile (64 lengths) and the watch keeps track of the lengths so I donít need to count. Before I used the watch I would lose count all the time.

    Then I use the timer to try to do a mile quicker than I did last time, or improve my average time over 100m during a 45min swim.

    So I understand you donít need all the data the watch provides, but a lot of it is really useful.


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  24. #24
    Grand Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by dejjl View Post
    You made your point with your first helpful reply. As far as I recall, I posted asking for feedback on smart watch related length counting. I didnít ask for comments on the motivation or enjoyment of swim training. Why donít you ignore the post if you find it so banal? Save your Ďbreathí or jog on to the Bear Pit.
    Why the aggressive reply? Iíve made a valid point and for whatever reason you donít like it. Seriously, if you canít count the bloody lengths youíve swum youíve got problems!

    Chill out man.

  25. #25
    Craftsman DeepThought's Avatar
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    Best smart watch for counting swimming lengths?

    Quote Originally Posted by walkerwek1958 View Post
    Why the aggressive reply? Iíve made a valid point and for whatever reason you donít like it. Seriously, if you canít count the bloody lengths youíve swum youíve got problems!

    Chill out man.
    I donít see him being aggressive..
    he asked for options which people are giving and you are being dismissive.

    He doesnít need to justify himself to you or anybody


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  26. #26
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    Best smart watch for counting swimming lengths?

    I have a Garmin Fenix 5s, great for lengths, just tell it how long the pool is and it is perfectly accurate based on that. App is quite good & gives you something called a SWOLF score which is a half decent indicator of your progress if thatís something you are interested in.

    Itís been wildly inaccurate for me when it comes to open water swimming though. The GPS on it always trys to put you on the path / ground next to the water if you swim too close to the edge... frustrating.


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    Last edited by benwisback; 12th November 2019 at 23:03.

  27. #27
    Quote Originally Posted by benwisback View Post

    Itís been wildly inaccurate for me when it comes to open water swimming though. The GPS on it always trys to put you on the path / ground next to the water if you swim too close to the edge... frustrating.
    Anyone tried the Apple Watch for open water swimming? Iíve committed to doing a triathlon next year and want something to measure training for the swim, run and cycle.

  28. #28
    Master dejjl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by walkerwek1958 View Post
    Why the aggressive reply? I’ve made a valid point and for whatever reason you don’t like it. Seriously, if you can’t count the bloody lengths you’ve swum you’ve got problems!

    Chill out man.
    So I use WT to ask for advice on a watch matter, you suggest that my needs are not my needs, and then you accuse me of being aggressive in response to your 'valid point', which by the way, adds nothing to debate over the best tool for the job, particularly for those of us who can't count the bloody lengths. Thanks for the benefit of your wisdom.

    PS. I might have problems, but I am chilled.

    Thanks to all others for the advice. I have a lot to go on here and hope to report back on which I add to the Christmas list.
    Last edited by dejjl; 13th November 2019 at 12:04.

  29. #29
    Master andyjay's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chrisparker View Post
    Anyone tried the Apple Watch for open water swimming? Iíve committed to doing a triathlon next year and want something to measure training for the swim, run and cycle.
    Sorry, Iíve never used an Apple Watch for open water , but know (from people who I coach) that they work fine, same as a Garmin would. However, if you want details and flexibility when Tri-training then a Garmin 735XT or 935 or 945 is probably the best bet because they allow you to create brick sessions and custom sets and mix and match sports as you train and provide masses of data to work with.

    If you just want to open water swim, neither a Garmin or Apple Watch is better or worse for accuracy (as far as I can tell from swims shown on Strava etc.) and both do the job just fine, I just feel that a Garmin offers more specific options if the training gets serious or you live by data! Also, both will do pool swims and length counts equally well, and I for one like to have the data to demonstrate the improvement I am making (or not!), and to predict with a degree of accuracy my expected results and speeds if I keep training...

  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by andyjay View Post
    Sorry, Iíve never used an Apple Watch for open water , but know (from people who I coach) that they work fine, same as a Garmin would. However, if you want details and flexibility when Tri-training then a Garmin 735XT or 935 or 945 is probably the best bet because they allow you to create brick sessions and custom sets and mix and match sports as you train and provide masses of data to work with.

    If you just want to open water swim, neither a Garmin or Apple Watch is better or worse for accuracy (as far as I can tell from swims shown on Strava etc.) and both do the job just fine, I just feel that a Garmin offers more specific options if the training gets serious or you live by data! Also, both will do pool swims and length counts equally well, and I for one like to have the data to demonstrate the improvement I am making (or not!), and to predict with a degree of accuracy my expected results and speeds if I keep training...
    Do the Garmin / Apple watches monitor heart rate when wet nowadays?

    At the time when I was looking the Garminís didnít and the Apple was due to start doing it on the next revision (I think it was the 4th version)

  31. #31
    Quote Originally Posted by benwisback View Post
    Do the Garmin / Apple watches monitor heart rate when wet nowadays?

    At the time when I was looking the Garminís didnít and the Apple was due to start doing it on the next revision (I think it was the 4th version)
    Yes they do. I have a Series 4 and it measures my heart rate throughout. Hereís a quick shot of my swim this morning and you can see the heart rate at the bottom, which also scrolls across to show heart recovery rate (youíll notice Iím not very fit)




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  32. #32
    Master andyjay's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by benwisback View Post
    Do the Garmin / Apple watches monitor heart rate when wet nowadays?

    At the time when I was looking the Garminís didnít and the Apple was due to start doing it on the next revision (I think it was the 4th version)
    Apparently they both do, however the accuracy can be a bit iffy if only using the optical sensor. Iíve not had either but have used my Garmin Swim HR strap and it records absolutely fine, you just canít get a instant HR with it. However, when I swimming, I donít think this manages as I canít see it anyway!

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