Thread: Swim Computers
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Old 11-21-2014
machelett machelett is offline
Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 68

Originally Posted by Polish TI fan View Post
Hi Guys,

Having read this tread and also many reviews on the web, I purchased Garmin Swim and had my first session in the pool with it yesterday.

While the count of lengths, distance, no. intervals etc. seems to be coming out OK, the stroke count seems to fail. I am doing 12-14 stokes swimming TI freestyle, but the watch counts 9 or 10...? It's given me 9 strokes average and in Garmin Connect I can see it even counted 7no. strokes for some lengths, which really can't be true.

Do you have any experiences in this matter? Is it that the watch is designed to count the old freestyle strokes, not TI's? I mean, that it somehow does not recognise the patient hand movement, for instance, and so miscounts strokes?

I would be grateful for your comments.

You may be surprised but the "7" that you mentioned is what you were looking for. :)

You have to think about what exactly the watch can detect. Since you wear it on one wrist only, it cannot sense the motions of the other arm. Therefore, it will only count the strokes of one arm. This is fine for fly or breaststroke. For freestyle, obviously, you have to multiply the number by 2.
Unfortunately, that is still not an accurate number because it highly depends on which arm you start stroking with and with which arm you end the lap.
So, let's imagine you Garmin Swim is on the left wrist and let's assume you need 5 strokes to finish a lap.

1st lap, start with left arm: Left-Right-Left-Right-Left
2nd lap, start with right arm: Right-Left-Right-Left-Right

The first gives you 3 strokes with the wrist the Garmin Swim is on, the second 2.
If you double that to account for your other arm, your resulting stroke count will either be 4 or 6, even though you swam with 5 strokes at all times.

And any other involuntary arm movements, maybe during turns or before you press the pause button, may be counted as a stroke as well.

What can you do about that? You could try to always start swimming with the same hand. Be careful not to wiggle your hand before you pause and execute all intended movements with authority.

Other than that, I can only suggest that for the laps where you need to know your stroke count reliably, you use the traditional method and count them yourself.
That'll also give you an indication over time how far off your watch tends to be and you can take that into account and subtract 2, 3 or whatever from your calculated stroke count for a better guesstimate.

Sorry that I can't give you any feedback that is more comforting . :)
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