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heydavis
September 21st, 2002, 12:56 AM
I swim lots and lots of long distance and often find myself drifting off in thought while staring at the little tiles on the bottom of the pool. Doing sets of 200s or 300s tends not to be a problem...it's the 500 and 1000 yds that I loose concentration. When I start concentrating on technique is when I'm most likely to forget what lap I was on! Is there a gizmo out there to help me out? I envision something I can hang on the wall that would advance with my flipturn. Does anyone have any tricks to help them out with the counting of laps? Thanks!

boeing
September 21st, 2002, 09:28 AM
I too have this problem - again on the longer swims of 1000's...

I am sure they could invent something on the lines of the goggle timer (the device that displays times inside the goggle) where there are pressure pads at each end of the lane - every time you turn you hit the pad which sends a signal to the device to show you in the goggle what lap you were on or could be set to display remaining laps.
Perhaps in the future communication to the swimmer could be through the goggle - workouts could be sent to the goggle lense. messages to the swimmer could be sent to them from coach on pool side whilst the swimmer is mid-set - e.g. " **Stretch out Arm**

This would allow full concentration on the important things in swimming - good technique and the task in hand.
Like you I spend much of my time thinking about how many laps have I done - or trying to calculate things in my mind - and then loose it (technique).
I have a bad memory too! And spend ages looking at a board trying to remember complex sets.


just an idea....

Mag
September 21st, 2002, 07:40 PM
I bet other masters swimmers are reading this thread going "and what is wrong with these people that they even DO long sets of 1000's?"

You gotta love distance swimmers. I have often been accused of being "on the dark side" of swimming, because I favor super long overdistance sets....

coachbrad
September 21st, 2002, 11:09 PM
If you are fairly confident of your pacing, you could use a countdown timer on your watch. Just set it to go off on your projected last length or even at each 200, 100, etc. That way you might get two advantages...you don't keep swimming long after you were supposed to be finished, and second, you might be able to play some challenging "games" with your pacing (i.e. pick it up!) .

GZoltners
September 22nd, 2002, 07:09 PM
I usually count 1000s as 4 groups of 10 lengths.

If you lose count, check the clock. If you know how fast you ordinarily go, you can figure out where you are. It can take a few lengths, but hey, it's a long swim.

Bob Boder
September 22nd, 2002, 10:11 PM
I always count lengths. So it is odd numbers going up and even numbers coming back. If I get mixed up alittle I usually drop back 1 length and keep counting. If that makes sense.

When swimming 100's I count 1, 2, 3, 4 then 11, 12, 13, 14 etc till I get to 94 then I am done with 10 100's. Works for me!

Some how on longer swims and especially when I am by myself the counting just happens in the background so to speak and I can then think about more interesting things.

Bob Boder
September 22nd, 2002, 10:13 PM
I always count lengths. So it is odd numbers going up and even numbers coming back. If I get mixed up alittle I usually drop back 1 length and keep counting. If that makes sense.

When swimming 100's I count 1, 2, 3, 4 then 11, 12, 13, 14 etc till I get to 94 then I am done with 10 100's Works for me!

Some how on longer swims and especially when I am by myself the counting just happens in the background so to speak and I can then think about more interesting things.

Phil M.
September 22nd, 2002, 10:23 PM
This may be sacriligeous but does it really make any difference? If I lose count I go back to the last number I can remember, add two, and finish off my swim. In the worse case scenario I'll do a couple extra. (good for me) If my count is right on, well, good for me. The yards don't make the difference, the time/effort in the water does.

tzsegal
September 23rd, 2002, 11:53 AM
I also don't have trouble with the 100s or 200s ... so I often put in a different stroke for one lap as a marker. swim 75 free 25 back ... then I can just count the laps of backstroke. or 175/25 and count the unusual stroke and stretch out some different muscles while I am at it. It sorts of wakes up technique awareness, too.

MegSmath
September 23rd, 2002, 02:35 PM
There is a product out there that fits on your finger, like a ring, and every time you want to count (whether by lengths, 50's, 100's, whatever) you reach over with your thumb and it records the count. I don't think you'd be able to read it while you're swimming, but at least you could see if you'd swum as many as you thought you had when you stopped. I'm not sure what it's called, but I'm pretty sure I've seen it advertised in Kast-a-way's catalog.

Guppigirl
September 23rd, 2002, 08:23 PM
I don't mean to sound too simplistic, however, my advice would be to follow a good lane leader. That's what I do because I cannot count beyond ~300 yards! When swimming longer distances during workout, my lane always designates the best distance swimmer to lead because s/he is best at keeping count. ;)

-GG

MegSmath
September 24th, 2002, 02:21 PM
The lap counter I mentioned is called the "Speedo Count II Personal Lap Counter." It's available from Kast-a-Way and costs $24.95. The description is: "Compact personal training device with digital readout and adjustable Velcro closure that secures to finger. Allows you to count each lap, track elapsed time and review summary statistics at the end of your workout." You can order it at http://www.kastawayswimwear.com/. In case you're suspicious, I do NOT get a kickback from Kast-a-Way!

Bill Feesh
September 25th, 2002, 07:07 PM
When I do the longer distances, I count down from the number of laps it takes to finish.
Take a 300, thats 4x3=12 laps,so I count down from 12.
If I forget the last number lap, the last number will either be even or odd so it is easy to figure out by your direction.

Mag
September 25th, 2002, 10:08 PM
I find that 1000-yard repeats are pretty smooth if you do this:
six 25s moderate, four 25s hard. Ten lengths.
Repeat four times.
You're done!

I did this the other day and was able to get through five 1000's and felt great.

I also coach masters and age groupers.
I had the kids do a broken 1650, you know: 11-10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1, with :20 rest in between. They all did it. Then I had them do a 200 kick right away, to give their arms a rest.
Quite a few of them got a bad calf cramp and had to get out and stretch.
Does anyone know why this happened? Should I not have had them kick? I always kick after a long freestyle set....and never get a cramp.

Mag
September 25th, 2002, 10:11 PM
Okay, I just re-read a post that had pretty much the same advice for a 1000. Well, I guess mine's a little different, as you vary the speed within each 10-length segment. Spices things up a bit.

heydavis
September 26th, 2002, 04:07 AM
Thanks for the great responses to my original post. There are many good ideas here with the common theme essentially mixing up a long swim into smaller consecutive sets. Keeping track of the sets is easier than counting individual laps, and is a far more interesting swim. Having returned to swimming a relatively short time ago, I'm now putting an effort into a more creative workout. Up to this point, my focus has just been to get the distance in for the sole purpose of fitness and conditioning. I find myself now focusing on the details of a more creative approach to meeting those goals. The posted workouts found on this site are a huge help...along with the ideas expressed in threads like this.

Steve

Jim VB
October 3rd, 2002, 10:53 PM
Doing open turns and peeking at the clock works for me. All I need to know is the total duration target, and the target for how much time to knock off of each 50. If I can't meet the 50 yd times then the laps get lost, but at that point I don't care too much because the goal was missed. In that case I just say I swam for X minutes and go home. But it is so simple a method that when it works, I can really work on stroke count and technique.

Matt S
October 4th, 2002, 03:22 PM
OK, I admit I'm weird...

I've done 2500 or 5000 yd swims (not so much any more, since I care less about yardage totals). I also was a history major in college. So, for a 2500 swim, lap 1 is 1901 and I thought about something that happened in 1901, lap 2 is 1902, etc. I got so deeply into it that at the turn of lap 45, I stopped for a second as a kind of personal remembrance.

Like I said, I'm weird.

Matt

breastroker
October 4th, 2002, 04:25 PM
Matt,
Now that was weird. Was your remembrance because of the end of WWII or your birthdate? Did you also have flash backs on graduation from High school and college? Your marriage - the first kid? When did the USSR drop it's first atom bomb and it's first hydrogen bomb? You really got to be into history to remember the 20's and thirties.
Wayne