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Thread: gps tracker for swimming

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    Very Active Member __steve__'s Avatar
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    gps tracker for swimming

    Figure I should ask the OW swimmers since this will be the primary purpose for my use.

    Need some guidance shopping around for a simple gps tracking device I can wear while swimming in nature. Few features needed, just something that I can use to review where I swam and the distance I traveled. It must be water proof to at least 10 meters. Is there anything affordable with a decent level of sampling rate?

    Though not necessary, are there any products that can log a graphic representation of swimming velocity in M/s?

    Thank you

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    Re: gps tracker for swimming

    If you intend to wear it on your wrist, your only option is one of the triathlon watches such as Garmin 920XT or Fenix 3 or the Suunto equivalents. They aren't cheap unless you get a refurbished older model. However they are built to withstand the impact from freestyle strokes and have computer algorythms to calculate your path from the fleeting times that your wrist is above water. GPS doesn't work underwater. I personally use the Garmin 920XT. Your other option is to use any GPS based runner's watch or fitness tracker that is water resistant and put it in your swim cap or on a float that you tow. See DC Rainmaker for how to: https://www.dcrainmaker.com/2007/09/...orerunner.html. He also has thorough reviews of watches. When I did a a solo open water swim in nature, I wore the Garmin and my safety person following in the boat used a GPS app on my Iphone (in ziplock bag).

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    Re: gps tracker for swimming

    You could also use an Apple Watch series 2. It is supposed to have an open water mode although I don't know anyone who has used that mode. One of my master's peers uses it in the pool

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    Re: gps tracker for swimming

    I recently purchased the Garmin Forerunner 735XT on a Garmin-sponsored sale $315 instead of 449. It works very well in open water. The mapping on the course isn't perfect, but certainly good enough and the distance reported seems reliable. Very lightweight, it doesn't bother me at all while swimming. It takes a little time to understand all the set up options, but it was worth it.

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    Re: gps tracker for swimming

    I have used an inexpensive Garmin Forerunner 15 which I attach to my safer swimmer buoy. Here's an example of the kind of track data I get. (It says running but as you can see from the map it was swimming ) https://connect.garmin.com/modern/activity/1239642959

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    Re: gps tracker for swimming

    Quote Originally Posted by Gdavis View Post
    I have used an inexpensive Garmin Forerunner 15 which I attach to my safer swimmer buoy. Here's an example of the kind of track data I get. (It says running but as you can see from the map it was swimming ) https://connect.garmin.com/modern/activity/1239642959

    You can edit the activity type within Garmin connect. I have used my watch to track canoeing and hiking and just edit them from "swim" or "run" to "paddling" or "hiking"

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    Re: gps tracker for swimming

    Quote Originally Posted by MSK View Post
    You can edit the activity type within Garmin connect. I have used my watch to track canoeing and hiking and just edit them from "swim" or "run" to "paddling" or "hiking"
    Thanks MSK, I know. I'm just not bothered, as I'm not tracking multi-sport activities or using it as a log. If anything exciting or memorable happens, eg "shark evasion" or "hurricane swim", I'll probably edit appropriately

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    Very Active Member srcoyote's Avatar
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    Re: gps tracker for swimming

    So can I infer that if I use the Garmin Forerunner 15, it should be in my cap or in a buoy so it doesn't go underwater?

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    Re: gps tracker for swimming

    Quote Originally Posted by srcoyote View Post
    So can I infer that if I use the Garmin Forerunner 15, it should be in my cap or in a buoy so it doesn't go underwater?
    I can only say that it works just fine for me when it's on my buoy. I have never tested the performance wearing it on my wrist while swimming. (It's supposedly 5atm waterproof, so you could wear it on your wrist, but I don't know if that would adversely affect the tracking performance. I don't particularly like wearing anything on my wrist while I swim.)

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    Re: gps tracker for swimming

    Quote Originally Posted by srcoyote View Post
    So can I infer that if I use the Garmin Forerunner 15, it should be in my cap or in a buoy so it doesn't go underwater?
    Correct. GPS devices that are not specifically designed with swimming functions / i.e. running watches will not calculate distance accurately and some even be potentially damaged by the forces of the freestyle pull. Therefore they should be used in the swim cap or buoy. Actually, even the triathlon watches will measure distance more accurately if they are above water.

  11. #11
    Very Active Member srcoyote's Avatar
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    Re: gps tracker for swimming

    I went ahead and bought the Forerunner 15. At $70, it works well tucked in my swim cap on the back of my head. Swimming a relatively tight loop in a lake may have affected how it measured distance swum as it had me clocked at about 1:44 per 100m when I felt I was going a little more like 1:40 per 100m. I'll be using it in a 5K on a longer course next Sunday.

    https://connect.garmin.com/modern/activity/1885552852

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