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  #1  
Old 01-02-2012
ernewill ernewill is offline
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ernewill
Default Need advice on Swimming watches - Swimsense and Poolmate Pro

I would like to purchase a swimming watch to count laps and monitor other swimming metrics. Does anyone have experience with the Swimsense by Finis or the Poolmate Pro by Swimovate? Pros and Cons?
Thanks,
Ted
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  #2  
Old 01-02-2012
dshen dshen is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ernewill View Post
I would like to purchase a swimming watch to count laps and monitor other swimming metrics. Does anyone have experience with the Swimsense by Finis or the Poolmate Pro by Swimovate? Pros and Cons?
Thanks,
Ted
i posted a review of both products here on my blog post, FINIS Swimsense Review (and Comparison with the Swimovate).

i personally am big on technology for training and think the swimsense is one of two of the most advanced watches out there. the second is the garmin 910XT which nobody can get their hands on since they seem to be out of stock everywhere at the moment. the swimovate isn't as advanced and the user interface is very confusing. so the swimsense is the most readily available watch and i use it every time i swim.

you should also note that it doesn't do everything we TIers want it to do. it only counts one arm strokes so you can't tell if 8 strokes is really 15, 16 or 17 2-arm strokes. it's algorithm for determining when you turn at the wall is pretty good, but i am not so sure on its time determination per length.

it has a great new feature called the iiM mode which can detect when you stop at a wall so you don't have to keep pushing the lap button. this is pretty neat feature if you want to just swim and not have to worry about pushing the lap button at the wall.

all in all it's pretty good for recording what you did in a workout but some of the details it presents aren't detailed enough for real TI work. still i love it since it records workouts and i usually download the CSV file and note other details like tempo on my TT.

also, as Terry as noted, using technology doesn't exercise the brain as much. I am still amazed at how he has trained his brain to keep all his swim stats in memory and can recall them at the end of a long workout. this is times, tempos, SPL - it's pretty amazing. so this is food for thought as you bring more technology into your training.

if you go to amazon.com, i have found that the swimsense is popping up in their lightning deals area every now and then at 33% off.

if you get one, please let us know what you think of it!
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  #3  
Old 01-02-2012
CoachSuzanne CoachSuzanne is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dshen View Post
i posted a review of both products here on my blog post, FINIS Swimsense Review (and Comparison with the Swimovate).

i personally am big on technology for training and think the swimsense is one of two of the most advanced watches out there. the second is the garmin 910XT which nobody can get their hands on since they seem to be out of stock everywhere at the moment. the swimovate isn't as advanced and the user interface is very confusing. so the swimsense is the most readily available watch and i use it every time i swim.

you should also note that it doesn't do everything we TIers want it to do. it only counts one arm strokes so you can't tell if 8 strokes is really 15, 16 or 17 2-arm strokes. it's algorithm for determining when you turn at the wall is pretty good, but i am not so sure on its time determination per length.

it has a great new feature called the iiM mode which can detect when you stop at a wall so you don't have to keep pushing the lap button. this is pretty neat feature if you want to just swim and not have to worry about pushing the lap button at the wall.

all in all it's pretty good for recording what you did in a workout but some of the details it presents aren't detailed enough for real TI work. still i love it since it records workouts and i usually download the CSV file and note other details like tempo on my TT.

also, as Terry as noted, using technology doesn't exercise the brain as much. I am still amazed at how he has trained his brain to keep all his swim stats in memory and can recall them at the end of a long workout. this is times, tempos, SPL - it's pretty amazing. so this is food for thought as you bring more technology into your training.

if you go to amazon.com, i have found that the swimsense is popping up in their lightning deals area every now and then at 33% off.

if you get one, please let us know what you think of it!

I have a nearly brand new swimsense used 5 times that you can buy from me at 30% off retail + shipping. Because if the problem's David noted, I just don't like it. I'm too much of a perfectionist, and it's not perfect. And unlike my power meter, I KNOW when it's not perfect so it's more frustrating than useful to me. Otherwise I plan to return it
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  #4  
Old 01-02-2012
ernewill ernewill is offline
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Thanks Dshen and Coach S,
Coach S, when you say you are a perfectionist, what is the Swimsense not doing for you?
I am not a competitive swimmer. I like open water swims and compete against myself. So, I was hoping one of these watches could help put some "general" measure to my workouts....lap counting, strokes per length, avg time per lap, etc. Will they do that?
Ted
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  #5  
Old 01-02-2012
CoachSuzanne CoachSuzanne is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ernewill View Post
Thanks Dshen and Coach S,
Coach S, when you say you are a perfectionist, what is the Swimsense not doing for you?
I am not a competitive swimmer. I like open water swims and compete against myself. So, I was hoping one of these watches could help put some "general" measure to my workouts....lap counting, strokes per length, avg time per lap, etc. Will they do that?
Ted
I should clarify...perfectionist in my training logs, which isn't always ideal. As david said, it counts cycles, not strokes so a length of 8 cycles could be 15, 16, or 17 strokes. It cacluates tempo based on when you left the wall, therefore pushoffs before you start stroking go into the calculation.

What it does to well is record your total workout & sets. ie 5 x 50 rest, 10 x 100 rest, 3 x 200, etc... it will record all of those sets & reps that you can upload and review your workout that way. But for details of stroke count & tempo, it's not accurate. And sometimes I wonder about the pace...

Occasionally it doesn't grab a turn, you need to be very crisp with starts & finishes, which is great for a pool competitor, but sometimes I am focused on something else, where a strong fast pushoff isn't needed or maybe detrimental to the practice focus...then it drops a 25 adn the whole workout is skewed.

Last thing is that it doesn't always pick up my breast stroke, adn I do a lot of IM's , so i'll have 25 Fly, 25 Back & 25 Free for my IMs, which is frustrating.

its easier for me to just not even use it
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Suzanne Atkinson, MD
Level 3 USAT Coach
USA Paralympic Triathlon Coach
Coach of 5 time USA Triathlon Triathlete of the Year, Kirsten Sass
Steel City Endurance, LTD
Fresh Freestyle

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  #6  
Old 01-04-2012
ernewill ernewill is offline
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Coach S,
I may just buy it from you. At a "discount" it may be worth playing around with. I do mostly freestyle and it sounds like it will capture some interesting data. I will contact you through your website.
Ted
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  #7  
Old 01-04-2012
swim2Bfree swim2Bfree is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CoachSuzanne View Post
its easier for me to just not even use it
I agree with this assessment of swim watches generally... with one exception: long continuous swims. When I do a long steady-state swim (or a set of long repeats), I like having a watch to keep track of the lap count and monitor my DPS & Stroke Rate over the course of the swim. For interval training or anything else, I agree with Suzanne - it's more trouble than it's worth.

I own a Swimsense and find it to be very accurate for lap count, somewhat less accurate for stroke count (but not far off). The user interface is intuitive. I also like the ability to upload workouts to the FINIS server (like a Garmin watch).

Last edited by swim2Bfree : 01-04-2012 at 03:01 AM. Reason: typo
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  #8  
Old 01-04-2012
andyinnorway andyinnorway is offline
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I purchased a poolmate pro 8 months ago and it dropped laps all the time. I had a nice dialogue with the owner of the company and inventor of the watch and she admitted it needed 6 to 7 cycles to register a lap, so that can mean mistakes even up to 16SPL if you alternate your lead hand for first breath.

Also, the clock stops everytime you upload to computer so over a month the watch will lose 8 minutes or so.

I don't want to dismiss a great UK invention but for me its a prototype that has been put out to retail because of demand, not a finished product.

You need 100% confidence that the watch works every lap, otherwise your 800m time could be 750 or 850 and that defeats the object of the time?

Dare I say it, its made in China and often this is the case. Great innovative ideas (I once had a 2 sim chinaphone that had iphone software and a TV tuner on it for 100$ but the touch screen was clumsy and the tv tuner didn't work in europe) but not attention to detail in production.


If you want to count SPL and lengths then use numbers and letters

Lap 1:- 1 Apple, 2 Apple, 3 Apple
Lap 2:- 1 Banana 2 Banana 3 Banana
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  #9  
Old 01-05-2012
ernewill ernewill is offline
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ernewill
Default Thanks for all the feedback

Great feedback. Thanks everyone.
Coach S, I sent you an email via your training site.
Ted
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  #10  
Old 01-05-2012
dshen dshen is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ernewill View Post
Great feedback. Thanks everyone.
Coach S, I sent you an email via your training site.
Ted
by the way, i just bought a 2nd swimsense. i'm going to play with putting one on each wrist to see if it will count total strokes correctly....

stay tuned...
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