New brain fry…figuring out the Swimsense data

Well, I may have met my match in over-the-top detail with my new Swimsense…and I thought that the PowerTap on the bike had endless data.

My first swim with the Swimsense worked out very well…very easy to use:

  • click swim to start swimming
  • click pause between intervals…and it keeps rolling, counting the time as a rest interval between laps
  • until you click swim again
  • and even knows when you make a turn without me doing anything else, so tracks separate data for every 25 yard length within a set, so you can see what happens every 25 yards separately within a 200 yard interval by way of example

Remarkably accurate for both stroke count and time…a few laps had weird data, but just about all, were right on…a person sitting beside the lane, counting and recording each stroke and lap time would be more accurate…and maybe count those laps that were 21 strokes instead of 20 or 22…and may get that touch to each wall more exactly…but other than hiring somebody to sit there and do that for every workout, this is as good as it gets

…our pictures for today from my actual workout…cool!

I’m going to have to decide on a standardized way to handle drills, and warmup and cooldown periods…a bit of a speed wobble with the data in the beginning as I was playing with the watch

…while swimming, I still have to figure out some of the various display options, and can’t see really the numbers on the watch when swimming…also noted in multiple reviews…would need my reading glasses for that…I’ve read that you can get goggles with a reading lense…maybe next up

…and I did find myself still counting strokes on most laps…out of habit…although a number of times I was able to ‘release’ my mind to focus on some stroke elements that were coming apart…and it was _really_ nice to know that I didn’t have to worry about remembering any of it

sooo, here’s the link to my workout as uploaded into the online analysis program…this is the ‘public’ summary…the data in the actual log has a number of other display, report and export options…if you’re brave enough, you can click on any of the bars in the box at the top of the analysis…you can scroll (drag the box) along to the right to see all the data…and it will tell you everything that you need to know about each 25 yard length in my 2,050 yard workout today, as well as the info for each interval

…I’m going to have to look at it closer to figure out the easiest way to pull meaningful data from the flood of information

This is going to take some getting used to…two thing that are different from how I’ve been approaching my stroke count:

it counts the left hand entry, so my target stroke count of 22, is actually 11 since it only counts the one arm…you can see the majority of laps at 11 or less…today averaged 10 it says, so very nice 🙂

…and therefore, my time per stroke on the TempoTrainer is doubled, so 1.3 seconds per stroke, becomes 2.6 seconds per stroke

The best thing about it, is simply that it records all the data that one would want to know, without having to remember or write it down either during or after the workout…a tough thing about swimming

…and there’s no hiding from the relentless time ticking along…sometimes those rest intervals can stretch a bit if you don’t watch it…and with every stroke being counted, it’s another set of eyes on my swim workout, and another level of self-induced accountability…and on some days, downloading and seeing the results of a good workout, is as good as the workout itself…now this ‘joy’ is extended to swimming

…of course all of this in only important if you’d like to know what your stroke rate, and stroke count really is, and want to easily record your lap times, and have it all automatically upload into your training log, without having to figure anything out, or type out anything, and track your exact progress over time…some folk just go out and swim

…and interestingly enough, when I went to the Total Immersion (TI) website, and searched for the term ‘Swimsense’…this is a natural for the TI focus on stroke count and stroke rate…it gave me “0 results found”, so all this technology ‘stuff’ isn’t for everyone apparently…since I _can’t_ be the only one that knows about it 🙂

…I do think though, that Masters in particular, have a narrower window for performance increases than our younger athletic friends, and can’t absorb as much Intensity and Volume of training each week in that quest, so anything that tightens up the training, to get as much as possible out of each minute of each workout, allows us to squeeze out as much improvement as possible without blowing up

…even after one swim, I can see how the Swimsense can help me get there by not only recording the data, but ‘knowing’ that it’s doing that helps keep focus on every stroke on every lap

…ok…it’s also a _really_ cool toy 🙂

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4 Responses to New brain fry…figuring out the Swimsense data

  1. Casey says:

    You now having me cruising Craig’s List and eBay looking for a PowerTap. Even though my swim needs A LOT of help, I don’t see me buying one of these Swimsense devices anytime soon. The ‘public’ data was a little overwhelming.

    • Dad says:

      Casey, you’re right, in that you’d _really_ need to be into swim numbers to want a Swimsense

      I’ve used a PowerTap for years…invaluable for training _and_ racing…even just using the numbers ‘casually’
      …and books written on the deeper analysis and what to do with it…’Training and Racing with a Power Meter’ by Allen and Coggan one of the bibles on the topic

  2. Anne Boone says:

    Man, that’s a lot of thinking for my feeble brain. I think I’ll stick with trying to cut 5 minutes off my “once-around-the-lake” swim..

    How much swimming (total/week) were you doing for your previous IMFL’s?

    • Dad says:

      Anne, from July 1 – October 31…most weeks:
      2010: 3-4:00 hours / 3-4 miles
      2009: 3:00’ish / 3-4’ish miles
      2008: 2:30-3’ish / 3-4 miles
      2007: 3-4:30 / 3-4’ish miles

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