I’ve been thinking a lot lately about my swimming. Sometimes, I feel like I’m not improving as fast as I’d like. As you know, I’m a big fan of the Total Immersion program that focuses on less drag and a reduced stroke count. However, it’s easy to get into the pool for a 2,000 meter swim and simply lose focus after a few a laps, forgetting your lap count and letting your form deteriorate. This past week however, I began playing with an existing feature on my Garmin 910xt (there are cheaper toys to buy that do the same thing). This feature has my watch vibrate at a time that I set, for example, every 54 seconds. Now, why is this helpful? Well, here’s the math. Currently, the Brown University pool is set for long course, which is another term for 50 meter lengths. Now, I often go to the pool and swim 2,000 meters (about 1.3 miles). My average time for a 2,000 meter swim has been about, and bit over 37 minutes. That’s 2,200 seconds for 40 lengths of the pool, or 55.6 seconds per length (not super impressive). Now that I set my watch to vibrate every 54 seconds, it helps keep me focused the whole time in the pool. I try to swim each lap at the 54 second interval, and if I’m late hitting the wall, my watch reminds me. Although I started to feel tired somewhere around 1,200 meters and began feeling the watch vibrate before I hit the wall, I still ended up swimming a 36:12 (maintaining 54 seconds per length would have been 36 minutes flat), almost a minute faster than my average, for no other reason than I was able to know my pacing and I was able to keep my focus. I believe this will be an excellent tool to use in my swimming and I will undoubtedly adjust the time as I improve.
Please let me know if you have any questions.