View Full Version : Lap counting

Island Girl
March 10th, 2004, 01:48 PM
Getting back to swimming. Use to do Masters, no longer available. Didn't need to count laps before, now I do and can't seem to keep track. Thought of taking flat sidded marbles, then thought wouldn't be able to remember which pile was which. Any suggestions?

March 10th, 2004, 01:56 PM
I thought I was an idiot too, actually I think I am but I went to using a watch, I got a NIKE watch for $25 with lap counter and it keeps track of splits too. Now I can think lovely thoughts instead of going 1,1,1,1,1,1...2,2,2,2,2,2,2,2 ummm what lap am I on.

old dog
March 10th, 2004, 02:36 PM
I know how long it will take me to swim a lap or 50 yards or 100...
if I'm swimming a 1000, and a quick peek at the clock says 6:40 elapsed, I know I'm around the 500 yd mark 'cause I know I'll be holding
~ 1:20/100 yds. It is the only way I can keep track past 200 yds.
Trick is to know your pace and the goal for the distance.

March 10th, 2004, 04:10 PM
I have trouble keeping track over 200 yards too. I start daydreaming. Then I forget where I am - was that 350 or 400. I always "penalize" myself and go back to the lower number so if anything I am swimming further.

Some say the reason to do intervals is the release of human growth hormone. I think its because us swimmers can't consistently keep track of anything over 200 yards (or meters).:D

March 10th, 2004, 04:58 PM
i have seen a watch type thing somewhere on line that has a big button one pushes and the gizmo counts for you.

cannot member wot site at the mo tho.

will try and find it for you.

Matt S
March 10th, 2004, 11:51 PM
Here's a suggestion: change the side you breath on every 50 yards.

Lap 1: breath to the right
Laps 2-3: breath left
Laps 4-5: breath right

Depending on which side you are breathing, and whether you are on an even or odd numbered lap, you will know where you are within a 100. Even when I am in O2 debt and confused, I can remember which 100 I am on for a 400 or less.


March 11th, 2004, 01:38 AM
The kiefer website has a little counter that fits right on your finger. Bigger than a large ring. They have 2 types. One will count laps only, and the other will count laps and do splits. Oh that thing is awesome. I bought the split and lap on for around 30 bucks, and the other is about 15-20 I think. They work great though.

March 11th, 2004, 09:19 AM
I lose track all the time, so I either just give up and swim by the clock, unless it's a short 100 this and 100 that.

Otherwise I pattern my sets to count ... 75 free, 25 back ... somehow I count 100s better than 13,14,15,16 etc.

good luck!

March 16th, 2004, 03:00 PM
I have always been pretty good at counting. I think its because I am a long distance swimmer and I have come up with my own weird method. What that method is I am not sure. I use a stop watch and I think that helps a lot. Since I know what my times are it helps me to know what lap I am on. Other then that it helps to brake everything down into 100's.

Island Girl
March 16th, 2004, 03:24 PM
Thank you all for your support and ideas. I like the idea of the watch lap counter, thanks. Getting a better swim program together sounds like it will help as well.

March 17th, 2004, 05:00 PM
Those are all very good ideas:) I especially liked the idea about switching sides you breath on.

For me doing a 200yd or less just comes naturally. I hardly even count on those any more. But, when I do 200+ I count by 50's usually. I always keep my mind on what is coming up, not on what I'm on. Although, doing this I can't reallythink of anything else except swimming, but that doesn't bug me :p

April 4th, 2004, 03:00 PM
I would suggest don't count by 50s,
Try 1 , 2, 3, 4 or something I recently discovered which I think is easier, I count 1a, 1b,1c, 1d then 2a,2b,2c,2d, and 3a etc I know it sounds stupid but it seems I lose count less often that way.

May 21st, 2004, 11:18 PM
i have the same problems even if im counting for someone swimming the event... i have the little counter thing and ill forget what they are on even though the stupid thing is right there in front of me haha

May 22nd, 2004, 08:54 AM
try http://www.kiefer.com/Kiefer/productr.asp?pf%5Fid=610100&gift=False&HSLB=False&mscssid=2FCE6BD7BF004B41BE13224BE2986918 or http://www.kiefer.com/Kiefer/productr.asp?pf%5Fid=610101&gift=False&HSLB=False&mscssid=2FCE6BD7BF004B41BE13224BE2986918 for counting.

May 22nd, 2004, 10:24 AM
Have any of you all ever used that little ring? Would like a review of it if you have used it. It seems it would be a lot more natural to just press the lap count button with your thumb... with a watch you have to use your other hand (come out of streamline) I'm afraid it will come off and with my luck it will be in the deep 12 foot end of my pool.

Okay one of you engineers on this site, develop a 'personal' touch pad to hang at the end of the lane, one that runs on 'solar' energy like the little calculators do and of course give me part of the profit for coming up with the idea. Make it simple... On/of and reset buttons display 1) # of laps 2) total time. I can't abide gadgets where pushing a button once gets you one function, pushing it twice gets you another function, pushing and holding it gets another function etc... I'm old and can't remember how many pushes gets what, if my memory was that good I'd count laps myself. Of course if you want to make it fancier, have a button for each function.

May 24th, 2004, 08:19 AM
I used the ring counter but the numbers were too small. I have 20/20 vision. I went to a watch with big numbers. I worked well but I developed a strange habit with my fingers clenched to hold onto it even though I didn't have to.

July 1st, 2004, 11:41 AM
As "old School" as this sounds, IMO, If you lose count of laps, you're not focusing on the task at hand: A dedicated workout! IF You daydream, You're not concentrating on stroke technique, pace, or stroke cadence. I've lost count a'million times, but, in retrospect, these were the workouts that lacked the focus I truly needed for true swimming success. What did I do when losing count? I made it painfully counter- productive. EG. add two laps that don't count. Added great incentive to my workouts, "concentrate, or suffer the painfull consequences! " Respectfully submitted, Chato

July 11th, 2004, 10:16 AM
Occasionally I will do a 30 minute or 60 minute swim to gauge performance. (Mel Goldstein got me into this habit) This is when I have difficulty keeping track. My solution is to chunk my distance by 500 depending on the final distance. (I typicaly do not have problems keeping track until I swim above 500 yards.) I have trained myself to count on the turn, so, no matter what I am daydreaming about, it is interrupted by my lap count. Remembering lap count by two's did not work for me either. I have to count every lap. Hence, I count up to 20, click off 500 in my memory, and start over until done. I completely understand the difficulty with long distance swimming and lap counting. When I swim it feels best when I reach the point where I fall into a meditative state -- obviously this is not a performance improving workout but it is great for stress relief.


July 11th, 2004, 01:23 PM
I've used the ring counter thing and it didn't seem very useful (or maybe I just couldn't get the hang of it :p ). I was never able to get an accurate count -- my thumb would either miss the button or it would register twice (maybe because I pressed too hard). Whichever it was, the results never made sense. Besides, you can't -- or shouldn't -- see it while you're swimming. :)

July 15th, 2004, 10:18 PM
I've heard of someone at my local pool who adds pennies per lap to a cup at poolside.

July 28th, 2004, 11:54 PM
I usually don't have a problem keeping track in my head. I count lengths, always odd at the opposite end and even at the end I start at. Keeping an eye on the clock can keep me close when I do lose track.

July 30th, 2004, 09:07 PM
I used to have trouble when I was doing my 2000 meter workout straight-now that I'm doing interval sets it's so much easier!! Now the highest number I have to count is 6! I can do that even at 5:30 am!

August 2nd, 2004, 05:07 PM
I got in with a masters team today. For one part of the workout they were doing 50s and 100s. It went like this:

4x50 on :50.
3x100 on 1:40.
4x50 on :55
3x100 on 1:40
4x50 on :60
3x100 on 1:40
4x50 on :55
3x100 on 1:40
4x50 on :50.

They didn't have problems counting the laps. But (especially as we started coming back down on the time for the 50s and oxygen debt started adding up) they had problems counting the reps and the time. Each time at the wall all you kept hearing was: "Was that 2 or 3?" "One more? Two more?" "Are we leaving on the 20? What? The 25?" "Is it 55 this time? What? 50?" ... There were more than a dozen of us squished into two lanes. We seemed to have a board meeting and panel discussion to decide what was next each time at the wall. All in the few seconds left between when the last swimmer came in and the first had to take off.

It made me think about this thread. :) :) :)

August 2nd, 2004, 05:24 PM
Originally posted by Guvnah Each time at the wall all you kept hearing was: "Was that 2 or 3?" "One more? Two more?" "Are we leaving on the 20? What? The 25?" "Is it 55 this time? What? 50?" ... There were more than a dozen of us squished into two lanes. We seemed to have a board meeting and panel discussion to decide what was next each time at the wall. All in the few seconds left between when the last swimmer came in and the first had to take off.

I think you'll find this is an international phenomenon!