View RSS Feed

Of Swimming Bondage

Garmin Swim T-30

Rate this Entry
by , July 30th, 2014 at 10:49 PM (64 Views)
After I saw the "beta" rollout of www.swim.com announced on SwimSwam, I decided that I should finally give a swim watch a try to see if I can incorporate them as a tool in my training. I bought the Garmin Swim watch and have worn it in a few practices lately, but moreso to get used to the feel of swimming with a watch. Today, I decided to do a cruiseful T-30 swim, upload the data and see what I could learn. Or, more accurately, see what metrics are tracked and develop some ideas about if and how I can use those metrics going forward.

Unfortunately, the detailed report, saved as a PDF, is too large to upload here. I think the watch has some potential for insight, but it also has some limitations that I will need to consider. Here are just a few thoughts based upon one workout and looking at the data:

Positives
  • As long as I am swimming full stroke, it does an excellent job of counting lengths. Were I ever to want to train to do one of the virtual championships like a T-30 or T-60, this could be a great tool to crank out swims and get the yardage.
  • It even does a very good job of differentiating the strokes from each other, tracking separately for fly, back, breast and free. That's damn impressive.
  • I can see how I could use the data from this on some of my test sets to then help me derive the right target number for my tempo trainer. This would work better in a 50M pool, though, where the limitations of stroke count capture would be lessened.
  • This will be a great tool for looking at stroke rate and efficiency on breaststroke and butterfly.


Room for improvement

  • Knowing how the watch works, I understand this limitation, but it only counts cycles of the arm on which you have the watch. While that is fine for fly and breast, it is limiting for freestyle and backstroke. I was swimming most of my laps at 11 or 12 SPL, but the watch always recorded them as "6" since it counts a full cycle. I realize I'd need to have two watches on to get an accurate count, but I'd prefer that since it will make a difference to me if I can hold an 11 SPL or 12 SPL over a longer race. I think what you would need is a primary watch with the face and buttons connected wirelessly to a secondary watch in order to have them each independently capture arm pulls. I realize this would make the watch system cost more than the ~$125 I spent on the single watch.
  • Maybe I'm old school or just out of touch with the latest in swim science, but, while I've heard of this metric SWOLF (https://support.garmin.com/support/s...00000000000%7D), I've never really heard of any "real" swimmers using it. Am I out of touch? Should I jump on the SWOLF bandwagon?
  • Capturing the stroke type when I am doing drills is limited, at best. That's not a big deal, though, and completely understandable.


For the time being, I think I'll wear the watch in most workouts and see how my perceptions change. I suspect that when I do a workout with a richer array of sets and intervals, the data will become more meaningful. I am particularly interested to see if wearing this during some of my test sets and then examining the data over time will provide a deeper level of understanding about my training.

Next up in my tech bag will be my new Corsuit -- http://blucoreswim.com/. Shout out to Sam James for hooking me up!

Submit "Garmin Swim T-30" to Digg Submit "Garmin Swim T-30" to del.icio.us Submit "Garmin Swim T-30" to StumbleUpon Submit "Garmin Swim T-30" to Google

Tags: garmin
Categories
Swim Workouts

Comments

  1. Karl_S's Avatar
    Maybe I'm old school or just out of touch with the latest in swim science, but, while I've heard of this metric SWOLF (https://support.garmin.com/support/s...00000000000%7D), I've never really heard of any "real" swimmers using it. Am I out of touch? Should I jump on the SWOLF bandwagon?
    Whether I qualify as a "real swimmer" is debatable, but I call this "swim golf" and I do such sets quite frequently. (Admittedly I learned the concept from my triathlete buddy.) IMO they are quite valuable.
  2. aztimm's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Karl_S
    Whether I qualify as a "real swimmer" is debatable, but I call this "swim golf" and I do such sets quite frequently. (Admittedly I learned the concept from my triathlete buddy.) IMO they are quite valuable.
    That's very helpful!
    I saw the post last night, and had absolutely no idea what SWOLF was, but every workout group I've swum with has done some version of swim golf (where you add your stroke count to your time, and try to get the lowest).

    I'm curious how the Garmin Swim Watch is... I briefly had their triathlete version (the 910XT I think), used it on a ride and a run, and it was very buggy, so I packed it up and sent it back. I didn't get a chance to use the swim functions, and truthfully, since I swim with the team most of the time (and when I don't usually in an inside gym pool), I don't know how valuable it would have been.