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-   -   How to keep count of swim laps . . . (http://www.totalimmersion.net/forum/showthread.php?t=6548)

sojomojo 07-20-2013 03:25 AM

How to keep count of swim laps . . .
 
As a senior citizen learning to swim, my ultimate goal is to swim a mile (1,650 yards) using this website as guidance:

http://ruthkazez.com/ZeroTo1mile.html

I swim in a 25-yard pool so thatís 33 laps. When I swim laps, I tend to zone out, so I lose count after only 5 - 6 laps. It then becomes a guessing game.

There are watches and other mechanical and electronic devices that can count laps, but most have small number displays which I canít read without my reading glasses. I also didnít want to spend that much money for something thatís of limited use out of the pool. It finally dawned on me that thereís an old tool that can be used for counting laps thatís low-tech, low-cost, easy to use, waterproof, damage-proof and idiot-proof.

If youíve been in the military or Boy Scouts, you might be familiar with the Ranger Pace Counting Beads (or the Army abacus). With the advent of GPS and the pedometer, itís not something thatís common in todayís high tech world, but Iíve found it very effective to keep track of how many laps that I have swum. It also gives me a quick visual feedback as to what Iíve swum and how many more laps I need to swim. Itís also a very good motivational tool. Oftentimes I want to give up until I see that I only need a few more beads so I suck it up and push on.

This is how I use the Ranger Pace Counting Beads to count swim laps.

The beads are divided into two sections of 4 (top) and 9 (bottom) beads.

1. Each of the bottom beads equals 1 lap (50 yards).

2. Each of the top beads equals 10 laps (500 yards).

3. After I swim a lap (or two or three laps), I pause to slide one bead for each lap from the bottom section down.

4. When all 9 beads from the bottom section have been slid down, I swim one addition lap and then slide one of the top 4 beads down to show that I completed 10 laps (500 yards). I then slide the 9 bottom beads back to their original position and start all over again.

To get to a swimmerís mile (1,650 yards), I need to finish with 3 of the 4 top beads down (1,500 yards) and 3 of the bottom 9 beads down (150 yards).

I put a small carabiner on my Ranger Pace Counting Beads and attach it to my flip-flop sandals which I keep at the edge of the pool. This keeps it anchored down making it easier to slide the beads and keeps it from getting lost. Iíve also attached it to the lane pool divider.

Hereís a couple of links on how to make and use the Ranger Pace Counting Beads for its intended use. I think you can see how it can apply to counting swim laps.

http://lifehacker.com/5850246/make-a...lking-distance

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4MEynCUua-0

The Ranger Pace Counting Beads are easy to make (be sure to get plastic beads; not metal or wood), but I purchased mine on eBay for $3.99 (with free shipping). Since I only needed one, I figured Iíd end up spending more than $3.99 if I went out and bought the paracord and the beads plus the cost of gasoline driving to the stores.

Hopefully, this tip will help those who need to count laps. It has helped me in my goal to build up my endurance to swim one mile. Itís also helped me to keep an accurate record of the total distance that I swim. I write down distance in my swim log since I want to see how much I can swim in one year.

Petunia 04-19-2014 10:02 PM

Counting laps
 
I purchased the beads used by beginner golfers to count strokes per hole. The plastic beads slide along a string and have a clip on the end which I attach to my water bottle. Each bead counts as 5 laps. When I stop to rehydrate after 5 or 10 laps, I slide 1-2 beads. 7 beads = a mile.

Talvi 06-15-2014 01:41 AM

There is also this little device if you only want to count lengths, but maybe the display is too small: http://www.sportcount.com/featureChart.php

wildman 06-15-2014 03:40 AM

At last a thread I can contribute to -- been lurking for about a year :)

I use a golf tee on the edge of the pool like the hour hand on a clock. Nudge it one number per lap 1 through 10 then go back to 1 and repeat. Cut a flat side on it so it doesn't roll around. So far, I have no trouble remembering my laps to the nearest ten.

I guess you can forget this method if you flip your turns!!!

CoachBobM 06-15-2014 06:50 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Talvi (Post 47041)
There is also this little device if you only want to count lengths, but maybe the display is too small: http://www.sportcount.com/featureChart.php

I have been using the SportCount Chrono 100 for many years. Its big advantage over the other methods discussed in this thread is that it doesn't require that you keep stopping to set it. It also gives you a total time for a set, an average lap time, a fastest lap time (and which lap it was), a slowest lap time (and which lap it was), and individual times for up to 100 laps (hence the name). You wear the watch on your index finger, and tap the button when you start and at the end of each length. After you stop, you press the button and hold it down, and it backs up to the end of the last lap and then lets you look at all the times.

I originally began using this watch when I was working on 800m freestyle. I was having to swim 35 lengths of a 25y pool (875y is approximately 800m), and while I could time myself using the second and minute hands of the pace clocks, it was hard to be sure at times whether I had counted the lengths correctly. I'd see an improvement in my time and wonder whether I had really improved or whether I had just miscounted pool lengths. I couldn't look at the watch while I was swimming, but at least when I finished, I could determine whether I'd counted correctly. It was also a lot easier than calculating my time from the pace clock, and it gave me lots of valuable pacing information.

The watch is available through the Store section of this site.


Bob

andrewuza 06-27-2014 04:22 PM

I swim the alphabet ... 1st wall touch A, second touch B, etc. I do still have to repeat it as I'm swimming ("n, n, n...") but even if I space out a little, I'm usually not more than a letter or so off so it's easier for me to keep track than it has been for me to keep track of numbers while swimming.

Talvi 06-27-2014 05:35 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by andrewuza (Post 47319)
I swim the alphabet ... 1st wall touch A, second touch B, etc. I do still have to repeat it as I'm swimming ("n, n, n...") but even if I space out a little, I'm usually not more than a letter or so off so it's easier for me to keep track than it has been for me to keep track of numbers while swimming.

BRILLIANT!!!!! :) For so many reasons.

p.s

@Wildman: congrats on losing your forum virginity :) I'm not a golfer, but your method seems, to me anyway, to be a really original and neat technique. I think I'd be way too clumsy though!

jenson1a 02-07-2015 11:25 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by CoachBobM (Post 47053)
I have been using the SportCount Chrono 100 for many years. Its big advantage over the other methods discussed in this thread is that it doesn't require that you keep stopping to set it. It also gives you a total time for a set, an average lap time, a fastest lap time (and which lap it was), a slowest lap time (and which lap it was), and individual times for up to 100 laps (hence the name). You wear the watch on your index finger, and tap the button when you start and at the end of each length. After you stop, you press the button and hold it down, and it backs up to the end of the last lap and then lets you look at all the times.

I originally began using this watch when I was working on 800m freestyle. I was having to swim 35 lengths of a 25y pool (875y is approximately 800m), and while I could time myself using the second and minute hands of the pace clocks, it was hard to be sure at times whether I had counted the lengths correctly. I'd see an improvement in my time and wonder whether I had really improved or whether I had just miscounted pool lengths. I couldn't look at the watch while I was swimming, but at least when I finished, I could determine whether I'd counted correctly. It was also a lot easier than calculating my time from the pace clock, and it gave me lots of valuable pacing information.

The watch is available through the Store section of this site.


Bob

Coach Bob

Is this really a watch or a ring? I had looked it up on finis and it looked as if it was a ring. My question would be the issue of sizing. Can you elaborate?

Sherry

terry 02-07-2015 01:37 PM

I believe it's a ring--it was the last time I checked, which has been a long time. To my recollection, the band is an adjustable fabric one.
I think I'll order one to give it a test.

Talvi 02-07-2015 01:38 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jenson1a (Post 50967)
Coach Bob

Is this really a watch or a ring? I had looked it up on finis and it looked as if it was a ring. My question would be the issue of sizing. Can you elaborate?

Sherry

Hi Sherry, it's a ring - see here: http://www.sportcount.com/featureChart.php

CoachBobM 02-10-2015 09:04 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jenson1a (Post 50967)
Coach Bob

Is this really a watch or a ring? I had looked it up on finis and it looked as if it was a ring. My question would be the issue of sizing. Can you elaborate?

Sherry

Yes, it's a ring. It fastens with an adjustable strap that fits around your finger. You can adjust it increments of about a sixth of an inch.


Bob

skelander 02-12-2015 07:52 PM

I never count laps. But I do count every two laps, i.e. every 50 meters.

Also, I mentally "check off" every 500 meters (10*50). So in the end all I need to remember are how many "500 meters" I've swum.

Works for me :)

Swimming Dutchman 02-25-2015 11:22 AM

Swimovate
 
Hi there

I don't like to count laps because there are better things to dwell about in between walls.

I bought a poolmate hr. Works perfectly. Software could be a bit better.
Best part about it is the vibrating alarm. I have it go off every 10 laps.

Never used the heart rate chest belt. Just looks plain stupid in the water.
Should have gotten the PoolMate Pro.

Marcel

caronis 09-05-2016 05:27 AM

Saved Me From Looking Like I Belong In The Baby Pool!
 
I appreciate this Post and it came in the nick of time because I recently ordered a child's abacus and was going to use it by the pool....I am so grateful to realize there is a more mature-seeming pace counter put out by the military....though I will avoid buying the one that uses beads that look like skulls....
I've used the SportCount in the past and generally like it, however, it is easy to lose because it's so small...
I actually did order a SportCount recently at the same time as the abacus because I do like to know my times for shorter distances.....however the abacus was for knowing my grand total of my laps....
Well...this came in the nick of time because I really wanted to avoid bringing out a child's toy by the pool....
I will, however, bring my favorite rubber ducky to the pool with me....I named him Terry in honor of my swim mentor....

novaswimmer 09-14-2016 11:55 PM

Going a mile!
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by andrewuza (Post 47319)
I swim the alphabet ... 1st wall touch A, second touch B, etc. I do still have to repeat it as I'm swimming ("n, n, n...") but even if I space out a little, I'm usually not more than a letter or so off so it's easier for me to keep track than it has been for me to keep track of numbers while swimming.

I just want to thank ANDREWUZA for this tip about the alphabet. My wife bought me an elaborate swim watch that apparently counts laps, but I don't have the patience to use it and I don't want to interrupt my stroke to punch a button each lap.

So I just swam nearly a mile tonight while 'counting' through the alphabet. There were some distractions, like when I noticed someone standing at the end of my lane and wondered whether they wanted to share it, but for the most part, I was able to keep count fairly well. With about every 2nd or 3rd stroke, I'd remind myself of the letter, or think of a word that began with it and 'announce' it to myself.

I made it through the alphabet once and then started over and went up to the letter I. So 26 + 9 = 35 laps = 1750 yards or .994 miles!

Thanks so much! I'll be using this again.

BradMM 06-21-2017 10:14 PM

I bought small glass beads at a craft store and keep them in a little draw string bag. Works great... I don't have to think about anything, just push a bead from one side of the bottom to the other each lap and just swim.

jamesdave 02-10-2018 12:13 PM

Beads are also a good way to count the lapse, not very expensive and surely water proof :D

alexblack 02-20-2018 11:11 AM

Thanks a lot

liolio 03-01-2018 08:54 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jamesdave (Post 64666)
Beads are also a good way to count the lapse, not very expensive and surely water proof :D

Where do you keep them?
I feel sorry even for asking... lol


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