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Swimovate Poolmate Pro

December 31, 2013 Leave a comment

I have a strong passion for gadgets and love the ability to collect training data for analysis. I have recently had the opportunity to try out the Poolmate Pro swimming watch from Swimovate.

The Poolmate Pro is easy to setup and you’ll be going within a couple of minutes, all you need to configure the watch for first use is your weight, length of the pool and which hand you’ll be wearing the watch on. So, with this information set and the choice of measuring specified (imperial or metric) it’s time to give it a bash.

In the water the watch feels unobtrusive and after a while it is easy to forget you are wearing it. After a set of ten lengths I stopped to see how the watch was getting on only to find I had it in a paused state – oops!

After that false start, I set the watch to go and off I went. I swam 60 lengths which the watch faithfully recorded, I had to remember had to stop the recording and complete the set as I had only skimmed the user manual.

I’m used to using my Garmin 310 for recording training data but with pool swimming all I would get is overall session time unless I manually set each set.

Having a watch that measures the laps accurately and automatically is a blessing as my mind easily wanders and I forget how many laps I have swum!

In terms of data recorded, reviewing the log in the comfort of the bar at the leisure centre it seemed to give pretty much what I was after. Swim time, number of laps and average stroke count were immediately beneficial, there is also a measure of efficiency although I haven’t checked this out.

On getting home, I downloaded the application to my Mac from the Swimovate website. I followed the instructions in terms of installation then connecting up the USB cradle but it wasn’t being picked up. I unplugged the cradle then reattached it – this then started some process but unfortunately caused the computer to reboot.

When the Mac came back up everything seemed to be working fine, I was able to open the application and I could see that the log had been loaded from the watch (docked in the cradle).

I will add a few images to this post later when I get round to taking some of the watch, cradle and application.

In conclusion, I like the Poolmate Pro and apart from the crash my Mac experienced I have no complaints about the actual hardware. My only wish is that at some point Swimovate issue an update for the watch to allow individual lap recording, this will be useful in determining lap time consistency.

Swim Training: Part 1

January 13, 2012 Leave a comment

Having had a long break from swimming I thought it time to start training again given that it is my weakest discipline.

Each lap is 100m, my warm-up lap is also front crawl.

My session today was a bit rubbish as the pool was really busy and in both roped off lanes there were people doing breast stroke so it didn’t look promising. Lap 07 was particularly bad as I was stuck with three people in the lane making it impossible to get into a decent rhythm or overtake them. Lap times:

Lap 01: 02:11.17 – Warm-up.
Lap 02: 02:36.20
Lap 03: 02:44.87
Lap 04: 02:42.67
Lap 05: 02:25.42
Lap 06: 02:41.22
Lap 07: 02:56.97
Lap 08: 02:29.61

Swim Session 13012012

Click for larger graph.

My previous session was a lot better in that the pool was quieter, although I forgot to hit the lap button so lap 7 includes extra two lengths! Here are my lap times:

Lap 01: 02:41.00 – Warm-up.
Lap 02: 02:26.8
Lap 03: 02:23.5
Lap 04: 02:41.50
Lap 05: 02:51.70
Lap 06: 02:32.47
Lap 07: 02:41.72
Lap 08: 02:32.37
Lap 09: 02:46.47
Lap 10: 02:43.02
Lap 11: 02:45.93
Lap 12: 03:56.27
Lap 13: 02:42.62
Swim Session 06012012

Click for larger graph.

Garmin Forerunner 310XT Product Review

October 28, 2011 2 comments

Link: Garmin Forerunner 310XT from BHIP Ltd.

The 310XT is a great multi-sport device designed for runners, cyclists and swimmers but most importantly, in my opinion, triathletes!

Garmin Forerunner 310XT

Garmin Forerunner 310XT

This is the first Garmin unit which actually feels as comfortable in the water as the user and is water resistant to 50m.

The unit records a whole load of data including pace, speed, distance, elevation, heart rate, cadence and more.

The optional heart rate chest strap, foot pod and bike cadence/speed sensors provide the numbers.

Strictly speaking, the HR chest strap isn’t necessary although I think you’d be missing out on some of the great features available such as heart rate zone training. Also, being able to monitor your HR while training, and indeed, use the HR zones is very helpful to ensure you meet your training objectives.

The GPS function can take care of speed, pace and distance etc if you do not want to shell out for the extra bike and foot sensors.

To record cadence (foot strike) when running you’ll need the foot pod and for cadence on the bike, the bike sensor is required. The bike sensor also provides backup in case satellite connection is lost – not that has ever happened when I’ve been out.

Additionally, the foot pod and bike sensor come in hand if you want to record data from treadmill runs and turbo sessions.

You can set alerts for speed, pace, cadence and heart rate (as mentioned earlier). These can cause the unit to vibrate so you can feel that you need to pick up the pace etc rather than having to keep an eye on the display.

Another nice touch for use in the water is that you can set a countdown to start the timer and also there is a setting that kind of takes into consideration the GPS signal during the swim. If you stow the watch under your swim hat then you should have a decent signal, however, if worn on the wrist then the signal will be sporadic at best as the unit will be in
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Last edited by pobby69 on October 28, 2011 at 10:29 pm
and out of the water all the time.

The display is very configurable, depending on the sport selected you can choose pretty much what you want to see. So, if you find while running that you want to see current pace, distance and heart rate, you can set it up to show that.

Virtual training partner allows you to set the average pace that you want to train at and the unit displays your progress in comparison. It shows you how many metres and seconds (or minutes) you are ahead or behind of your virtual partner based on the pace you set.

You can sign up to Garmin Connect – a great website that takes all your data and displays it as valuable information along with a Google map of your route which also allows you to “replay” the session or race.

The 310XT makes use of ANT+ technology which allows for seamless transmission of data from the unit to the computer and via the supplied USB dongle. Providing there is an internet connection, the data will be directly upload to Garmin Connect.

Overall – I really like the 310XT, it comes packed with pretty much all you could want. Having owned the Polar RS800CX I think I prefer the Garmin unit for sports use. One difference between the two units is that you could actually wear the Polar as a watch day to day. During the swim, the Garmin will not record the heart rate as the signal does not transfer through the water, this is also the case with the Polar.

Rating: 9/10.

Images are copyright and courtesy of BHIP Ltd.

Back in the UK, bring on End to End swim!

August 25, 2010 1 comment

Arrived at Heathrow 5am and already looking forward to getting back into training.

Having read the Tri-Anglia newsflash while away I’m keen to get along to the End to End swim at Whitlingham lake this coming weekend.

Will be doing the 1500 and trying to put some effort in to get an idea of what is needed for next season when I’ll be doing Olympic distances.

Info on training while away will be in subsequent posts…

Categories: Open Water Swim Tags: ,