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Counting laps in pool w Garmin Forerunner 935
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How might I use this watch to avoid swimming a 400 or 500 yd distance for time and stopping too soon or too late? Looking at the watch and reading seems impossible, an alert might work but what would really suit me is a "bell lap" feature or equivalent whereby their is a clear notification made with 50 yards remaining before completion.

Other insights or experiences?
Last edited by: lombardi3g: Mar 27, 18 9:57
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Re: Counting laps in pool w Garmin Forerunner 935 [lombardi3g] [ In reply to ]
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Hah, great question. Despite having swum competitively for a very long time I seem to be incapable of counting past a 200 before I lose focus and the count. I have been able to sneak a look on my 935 in the middle of a flip turn, which has solved the issue for me. Yes, your residence time on the wall is just a tiny bit longer, but in a 400 or 500 you should only have to check once. Keep count until you lose it, then check on the next turn, continue to count to finish (break up counting by 100, or 50, or whatever works for you). No idea how long this would slow you down in reality but over that distance I'm betting it's a very small percentage of the total.
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Re: Counting laps in pool w Garmin Forerunner 935 [lombardi3g] [ In reply to ]
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The obvious answer is use the pace clock, though perhaps there isn’t one?
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Re: Counting laps in pool w Garmin Forerunner 935 [lombardi3g] [ In reply to ]
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I use the Sport Count Lap Counter. That way I just tap it end of each lap and it keeps track. Quick glance tells me when I forget how many I've done.
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Re: Counting laps in pool w Garmin Forerunner 935 [lombardi3g] [ In reply to ]
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The 935 should have a distance alert that you could set to 450yds (if you're looking at a 500yd set, for example); I do this with my 920XT, since I primarly train at 500m sets for my sprint pool races. :)

- JB
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Re: Counting laps in pool w Garmin Forerunner 935 [ In reply to ]
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And it will alert prior to finishing that distance, usually about 10 yards before the wall. The vibration is completely noticeable while swimming. It, however, gets overridden by any intervals or lap buttons you press, so in my experience, you can do one or the other.
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Re: Counting laps in pool w Garmin Forerunner 935 [jmb667] [ In reply to ]
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jmb667 wrote:
The 935 should have a distance alert that you could set to 450yds (if you're looking at a 500yd set, for example); I do this with my 920XT, since I primarly train at 500m sets for my sprint pool races. :)

+1

Set the alert for 500. Assuming you are in a 50 yd pool, when you push off the wall at 475 you'll get a buzz a few seconds later.

Even better, set up a workout. It'll buzz as you complete the last lap of each leg. I usually program my workouts, turn my brain off and just swim.
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Re: Counting laps in pool w Garmin Forerunner 935 [lombardi3g] [ In reply to ]
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I set distance alert to either 100 or 200, depending on the sets I am swimming that day. Will vibrate a few meters before wall.
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Re: Counting laps in pool w Garmin Forerunner 935 [lombardi3g] [ In reply to ]
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Several non-technical options:

If there is a pace clock in sight, look at it for counting. If you need corrective lenses, wear contacts or buy prescription goggles.

If you have a whole lane to yourself, divide the lane into three parts (swimming next to one rope, swimming over the black line, swimming next to the other rope) and swim a 50 or 100 per 1/3 of the lane, and work from one side to the other and back. Going by 100's, you'll finish 500 on the same 1/3 of the lane you started in.

If you have half a lane to yourself, swim tight next to the rope for a 50 or 100, and swim a bit closer to the black line for 50 or 100.
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Re: Counting laps in pool w Garmin Forerunner 935 [wcb] [ In reply to ]
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wcb wrote:
jmb667 wrote:
The 935 should have a distance alert that you could set to 450yds (if you're looking at a 500yd set, for example); I do this with my 920XT, since I primarly train at 500m sets for my sprint pool races. :)

+1

Set the alert for 500. Assuming you are in a 50 yd pool, when you push off the wall at 475 you'll get a buzz a few seconds later.

Even better, set up a workout. It'll buzz as you complete the last lap of each leg. I usually program my workouts, turn my brain off and just swim.

How could you push off the wall at 475 if you are in a 50 yd pool? :)

I've never seen a 50 yd pool :) :)
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Re: Counting laps in pool w Garmin Forerunner 935 [lombardi3g] [ In reply to ]
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I'll do the following if I am about to knock out a lot of continuous laps:

1 - determine target time before starting - I target a pace / total duration for swim and use the pace clock. This lets me swim with occasional glances at the clock and I stop when I get to the target time. If the target pace is ambitions, I might do a ten lap sample a few times in the course of the swim to validate if the pace is still on and the target time is as planned. The benefits are being able to swim without counting, of course, but you do have to be pretty familiar with your pacing efforts. The 10 lap interim sample is a good number because its long enough to give you an honest representation of your pace (without exuberant accelerations) and short enough to count...and helps the mental math (I think).
2 - count by 10's - I just count the laps by tens and stack sets of 10's depending on what total distance I'm trying to swim.
3 - flip turn watch glance - If I'm trying to get an exact distance (i.e. race simulation) I'll have a look at the watch (but usually only after I'm getting close to target time with method 1 above).

A few weeks ago I did a HIM race simulation and I employed method 2 and 3, counting 85 laps by 10's...I do things like break it up into blocks of 20 - 40 as well to serve as triggers when I might want to ramp up effort or pace, and it seems to help with the counting.
Yesterday was IM swim for time and I used method 1 and 3, looking at the watch as I was approaching the 25min mark on the pace clock to see how distance was stacking up and if pace adjustments were needed.

On my watch I display yards and not laps.
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Re: Counting laps in pool w Garmin Forerunner 935 [jaretj] [ In reply to ]
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jaretj wrote:
wcb wrote:
jmb667 wrote:
The 935 should have a distance alert that you could set to 450yds (if you're looking at a 500yd set, for example); I do this with my 920XT, since I primarly train at 500m sets for my sprint pool races. :)


+1

Set the alert for 500. Assuming you are in a 50 yd pool, when you push off the wall at 475 you'll get a buzz a few seconds later.

Even better, set up a workout. It'll buzz as you complete the last lap of each leg. I usually program my workouts, turn my brain off and just swim.


How could you push off the wall at 475 if you are in a 50 yd pool? :)

I've never seen a 50 yd pool :) :)

Doh - 50 / lap. Guess that's a 25 yd pool, isn't it.
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Re: Counting laps in pool w Garmin Forerunner 935 [lombardi3g] [ In reply to ]
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I use COUNTU Goal as my swimming tracker. It can work as timer and lap counter, and the most important function is vibrate alarm function, which vibrate your finger to alarm that you already achieve your workout. It's easy to use. Recommended.

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Re: Counting laps in pool w Garmin Forerunner 935 [lombardi3g] [ In reply to ]
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I have a fenix 5 but it should work the same. The problem is, the watch does not always count the right way (sometimes it „forgets“ a lap or it counts a lap double), such that you can only know for sure what you swam when you arive at home and analyze it in the computer: if the watch forgot a lap than you will see that one lap had the double time.
So I do not think that the watch makes less mistakes as you when you count yourself. But as I said, it registers the time such that you can be 100 % sure at home.

I count myself (upto 400m I hardly make a mistake, but you can see that from the stopwatch anyway) , but if I do a 2000m I let the watch count too, and if it did not count 2000m too or if I‘m not sure I made a mistake, I check it at home behind the computer (at 2000m one or another day there can be 1 or 2 minutes difference depending on the shape such that you can not be sure only from the stopped time if you did 1900 or 2000 or 2100).
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Re: Counting laps in pool w Garmin Forerunner 935 [lombardi3g] [ In reply to ]
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I just do an open turn every now and then when my left arm (watch arm) gets to the wall first. It’s usually enough to let me keep a correct count. No one will think less of you for not doing a flip turn occasionally and it doesn’t really slow you down. I haven’t really tried using the timer/distance alarms. I am a terrible swimmer and I haven’t had an issue with my watch missing a lap in as long as I can remember.
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Re: Counting laps in pool w Garmin Forerunner 935 [lombardi3g] [ In reply to ]
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Don't know about the 935 but my VAHR is set for lengths. It buzzes me about halfway through a final length. So if I have it set to 10 lengths (500 yards) like others have said I get a buzz at 475. Actually it probably comes through about 480 or so as it's a couple seconds after my push off. I do open turns, and as advice from DC Rainmaker says (paraphrasing) push off hard and don't do anything weird and it should record fine.

I still lapped everyone on the couch!
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Re: Counting laps in pool w Garmin Forerunner 935 [lombardi3g] [ In reply to ]
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I don't flip turn and I will periodically look at my watch just before or after I hit the wall. You become accustomed to just how bad people are at counting laps who swim with you, especially once you get in to longer sets. With that being said, I only look at the time of the lap and use the cardio function. The swim function of the newer devices I do not like.


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Re: Counting laps in pool w Garmin Forerunner 935 [lombardi3g] [ In reply to ]
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One trick that works for me, is instead of counting, I go through the alphabet thinking about different objects each 50, and a pick a different type of object for each long set.

For example --
Fruits: Apple = 50, Banana = 100, Cherry, Date, Elderberry, etc
Vegetables: Asparagus, Brocolli, etc
Animals: Anteater, Beaver, Chicken, etc.
Countries:
Ex Girlfriends
Etc.

And I know that J = 500 yards, etc.

It's easier to keep track of where you are if you picture a fruit, an
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Re: Counting laps in pool w Garmin Forerunner 935 [wintershade] [ In reply to ]
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I do something similar. I pick a theme like "fruits" and try to think of as many as I can per lane/lap. (A: apple, apricot...and even if I drift off thinking of an apple pie...I still know i'm at "A"). Pick a new theme if you need to go beyond 26 lanes/laps.
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Re: Counting laps in pool w Garmin Forerunner 935 [lombardi3g] [ In reply to ]
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Y'all have some complex schemes.

Garmin 910/920/935 history:
I just create a single field screen that shows either interval length or interval distance

I can pretty easily catch a quick glance as I streamline off the wall (all flip turns for me) every once i a while when I feel like I have lost count. Really not that hard to see as a single field.

As to counting laps, they have all been very good with the 910 as the worst of the bunch. With proper turns, I can say that I honestly haven't had a missing or double lap in the last year and a half or maybe two swimming three days a week. It's shockingly accurate across the three models.
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Re: Counting laps in pool w Garmin Forerunner 935 [iamuwere] [ In reply to ]
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I dunno, I just count by 50. Every so often I’m off by a 50 if I’m doing something over 400, but I don’t often do intervals that long, so no big deal.

I don’t use a watch.

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Last edited by: JasoninHalifax: Feb 22, 19 17:17
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Re: Counting laps in pool w Garmin Forerunner 935 [JasoninHalifax] [ In reply to ]
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I just take a glance at it when I think I'm starting my last 25m. The screen seems to automatically illuminate by some magic when I move my wrist to a 'look' at it. The screen I have default showing is the one with the time on top half and distance on bottom half, and either of those are enough for me to know. Oh, lightly tinted or clear goggles help visibility a lot.

And I've had 99.9% accuracy in terms of the watch counting the lengths correctly. Possibly not great at the exact timing of the lengths, with one sometimes being recorded a few seconds late and the next a bit 'short', but over the manually timed interval I think I've spotted one missed length in the last year, which strava tells me is about 130km of swimming.
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Re: Counting laps in pool w Garmin Forerunner 935 [lombardi3g] [ In reply to ]
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I tried automatic detecting device, such as Garmin products, but always lost track. I purchased a COUNTU Goal counter/timer for about $38 from Amazon and have been very pleased. It's small (you wear it like a ring) and easy to use: just push a button at the end of every lap (or length if you prefer) and it counts them and keeps track of the total elapsed time and the average, fastest, and slowest laps. It's small and light enough that it's not noticeable while swimming.
And COUNTU has unique function, vibrate alarm function. If you preset a time goal or lap counting goal, it can vibrate to alarm you when you achieve the goal.
There are sensor-based watches that automatically determine when you are swimming and when you are done with each lap or length but they cost a lot more (over $100) and are larger and more obtrusive. However, they isn't suit for everyone, like beginner, elder or crowded swimming lane.
So according to my experience, COUNTU is my recommendation.
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Re: Counting laps in pool w Garmin Forerunner 935 [swimpp] [ In reply to ]
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I find spam works really well too.
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Re: Counting laps in pool w Garmin Forerunner 935 [jaretj] [ In reply to ]
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jaretj wrote:
I find spam works really well too.

slice off piece of spam.

Divide into as many pieces as there are 50's in the swim if short course, or 100's if long course. So if you are swimming a straight 1000, you should have 20 pieces of SPAM.

Then, every 2 lengths of the pool, do an open turn and eat a piece of SPAM. When you are finished the last piece, that means you are done.

This also takes care of nutrition during the swim for you.

Easy peasy.

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