View Full Version : Stroke Counters & HR monitors

July 5th, 2006, 04:49 PM

I have seen links to those Sportcount Ring Lap Counters but do they show strokes ?

Sportcount Ring Lap Counter

I actually don't care about laps. I need to reduce my stroke count for efficiency.

There used to be the Speedo Stroke Counter Watch but I think it's discontinued. It looks like it was a sweet watch/counter !! It's not on the Speedo website :(

Product Description
200 lap memory. Ultimate swimmer's watch. Stroke counter tracks total strokes and average stroke per lap. Lap coutner and timer. Allows you to program pool length and swim style for accurate results. 200 lap memory. Stopwatch/time/date/alarm functions and calorie counter.

Product Link

Actually I think the problem is that they dont' ship to Canada.

Can someone from the USA surf to that link and see if there is an add to cart button because there isn't for me here in Canada.

Please advise where I can get this watch or other stroke counter.

Also does anyone have a MIO strapless heart rate monitor watch? They are supposed to be great. ECG reading from finger contact on watch face. Many models. All water resistant at 10 to 30 meters.

Product Link


July 5th, 2006, 06:45 PM
I have a MioZone watch. I bought it recently hoping to get reliable heart rate readings during practice.

It works fine on land, but is nearly useless in the pool. It almost never produces a heart rate reading at all during my workouts. I think the water must corrupt the electrical signal the watch needs to read from the fingers.

July 5th, 2006, 08:53 PM
I also have the MIO- everything works in the water except the HR monitor. Hard to see the display.

Bought the Speedo fastskin watch (no HR monitor) with the easy to read face and loved it the first 10 minutes until it froze. It seems the watch can't even withstand the moisture from a weight workout. I had it replaced with another and the same results. Great read out and buttons, however the watch does not work in the water.

July 5th, 2006, 09:08 PM
What good is a watch without HR monitor?

Regarding the MIO. It doesn't matter if you can't read the display IN the water because you can't realistically look and pause at your watch when your'e swimming anyway. You would read it only when you finish your lap/s.

At least that's what I would be doing. However it would be nice to do HR zone training and have the watch beep loud enough to hear it while swimming so you would know if you are over or under your target HR.

Hoffman, good to know about the watch sensors n the water.

You'd think with our technology some company would be able to make a waterproof HR monitor with HR zone alert and pace/stroke counter all in one regular sized watch.

Does anyone know if a waterproof and wireless chest strap HR monitor exists say with a Timex watch or something.

January 30th, 2007, 04:22 PM

Now this isn't strapless, but I use the Polar S610i for workouts 4-5days/wk 2400-3200yds/day. I don't notice the strap hardly at all. I tighten it down so that it is real snug while standing with my arms at my sides, 'cause when I come off the wall with my hands above my head in "more of a" streamline (mine still isn't great), my size must be much thinner around the chest/back. So I have to adjust it to be snug there-but not uncomfortable. Only when I come off the wall funny, does the band move a little- which is easily enough adjusted back up what little it moved on the next stroke or at the next turn. It's probably a good indication of when I don't come off the wall right!

It's waterproof and the buttons function underwater. I used to even mark all the interval starts and stops when I used it for 2 years (a year or so ago). It will hold a number of "laps". Now since I've come back after the year layoff, I just record the whole workout straight. With a Polar IR interface, you can download the whole thing to the computer and track your distance, how you felt, HR information on in a training calendar with charts, etc.

I can definitely tell the days that we did faster sets (what still would be slow sets for almost all of you :> ) vs. days with more distance work etc. I can also see my recovery (or lack thereof) for a set and try to correlate it with how I felt during that time/set.

The only problem I have had is that the elastic portion of the strap degrades over time in the chlorine; not as fast as a Lycra suit, but still will fade, lose elasticity and eventually fail. But they are easily and fairly cheaply replaced.

(I also use the same HRM on the bike and inline skates in the warmer season) and on the elliptical when I get the chance. It also interfaces with a number of main pieces of workout equipment that will display your HR reading it off your transmitter.

Nope-no endorsement money from Polar either. I just had looked around a lot at them when I first was going to get one.

January 30th, 2007, 05:34 PM
I use a Polar HR monitor, too. I don't have the exact model in front of me, but it's basic with a strap. I don't notice the strap at all while swimming. I sometimes notice it while doing drylands because it conflicts with my bra. It's done wonders for me making sure I am working at the appropriate level.

runner girl
January 30th, 2007, 10:10 PM
I use a basic polar HRM in the pool and on the treadmill. (For road and trail running I have a fun little Garmin GPS heart rate toy that I really enjoy.) In the pool I have only been using the HRM to check my heart rate during "sprint" intervals.

I have a related question about heart rate. My heart rate in the pool seems to be much lower than it would be for an equivalent effort running. I'll hit the wall breathing pretty hard, and 140 is about all the heart rate shows. If I were running, I would have to be over 155 to be breathing that hard. Is there something magic about being in the water that reduces the heart rate?

January 31st, 2007, 07:56 AM
Yeah, I looked up information specifically about swimming with the HR monitor before I got mine. Your HR will usually be lower in the pool than doing other activities. This is because when you're body starts getting warm and sweating in the pool, the water immediately cools the body off. This cooling effect keeps the body more regulated.

I have no scientific backing to that, but I read it in many places online regarding pools and HR monitors.

However, I have found that my body is not capable of being pushed as long and hard as it is in the pool. So, I can get my HR up higher in the pool because I can physically work that much harder in the pool than I can by jogging or rowing.

Jeff Commings
January 31st, 2007, 10:45 AM
I was one of the swimmers who tested the Speedo watch way back when (late-1990s). It wasn't a great watch to use, but often helpful.

Two problems were that you had to press the "stop" button after you finished your repeat. Most likely that would be two to three seconds after you touch, so the stroke rate and other info would be off.

Second problem was that it was too bulky.

Oh, and one more problem. There was no way to do stroke counts and stroke rates for breaststroke. Being a breaststroker, I felt left out. As usual.

January 31st, 2007, 05:21 PM
The heart rate is slower because there is no gravity to work against. Thus the effort to get the heart rate "higher" is more pronounced in swimming than running or cycling for instance. Your resting heart rate and all the heart rates are lower when supine or prone then when vertical or upright. This is a physics question, and has to do with venous return and other cardiac parameters. You might notice it is harder to get your heart rate up while cycling than running, because of the effort involved in moving your body and all your weight without the benefit of the wheels and the subsequent force used in movement. If you want to get picky, it is even harder to get your heart rate up in salt water than in fresh water. You waste less energy in salt water than in fresh water to move.Good technique makes for lower heart rate, (swimming with your head out of the water looking ahead will surely make your heart rate go up), and certain strokes make for higher heart rates. billy fanstone

Redbird Alum
January 31st, 2007, 11:49 PM
I guess it's my age, or the fact that I'm a real late adopter of technology.

My lap counter is in my head (or on the workout sheet mashed to the pool deck) and my HR monitor is three fingers to the throat, count for six seconds and multiply by ten. Then one minute later (resting) I do the count (for six seconds and multiply) to see how my recovery HR looks.

As they say... Keep it simple.

Bob McAdams
February 8th, 2007, 05:21 PM
The SportCount Ring Lap Counter doesn't count strokes, though it's a good, reliable tool if all you want is to time your laps.

I have a Speedo Stroke Monitor:


and it served me well for 8 years. But the waterproof seal on it finally went last year, so now it's only good as a regular watch, and the Speedo company has stopped making it.

I bought one of the Speedo Stroke Counter watches, which counted strokes and also somehow had the ability to detect when you started swimming and when you turned, so it could count both your strokes and your laps. But after a few months, the buttons on it stopped working one by one, and (while I didn't have anyone open it and look inside) it appeared as though this might be because it was not completely waterproof. It's interesting to note that the Speedo company made a ring lap counter that worked something like the SportCount, and it also leaked water (and I did have that verified). So it appears that Speedo has had to discontinue two swimming watches because they no longer know how to make a watch waterproof!

February 9th, 2007, 04:56 PM
Didn't know if anyone ever ran across these: http://www.timedfinals.com/15052006/inview-swimming-goggles-could-revolutionize-recreational-swimming/

Kinda of "heads up" display on the inside of the goggle!!!

February 12th, 2007, 10:40 AM
Except I can't seem to find anyone who actually sells these Inview Swimming Goggles, so I don't know if the concept ever made it to commercialization stages..... with the clock and counter projected on the inside of the lens of the goggle. Now if they could just sync it up with the digital pace clock.....