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Re: Ok Fishes, here is the interview we were all waiting for!! [stevej] [ In reply to ]
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stevej wrote:
domingjm wrote:
stevej wrote:
domingjm wrote:

So again, I completely understand if you're not interested in the data that a swim watch provides, but many of the reasons listed above for not using one are a little silly.


What useful data does a swim watch provide that a pace clock doesn't?


In addition to my previous responses, a pace clock can't ​provide a detailed historical record of training and performance (including rest and speed), record your heart rate or provide lap alerts.

What can a pace clock do that a swim watch can't?

And when you travel, what happens when your pool doesn't have a pace clock?


The original question was....

Quote:
I have heard this before. Why do "real swimmers" not use a watch in the pool? Do they not find value in recording performance or sharing that data with a coach?


And my answer is that a pace clock is all one really needs. There is zero value to swimmers in all the other metrics a watch provides because they have an extremely high understanding/feeling/awareness of themselves in the water and are able to tell those other metrics on their own without a device. Swimmers can tell when a 50 yard or 100 yard split is 0.5 sec slower or faster than the previous one during 500 yard repeats without anyone or any device telling them. That's how much awareness swimmers have in the water. I haven't swam competitively since I graduated college 10 years ago and I can still tell anyone the splits I've held in training from 10-20 years ago. There's also the fact that a watch is extremely inaccurate at recording those metrics.

I'm not saying that people shouldn't wear a watch. I'm just answering the question on why swimmers don't wear one which boils down to just "they don't need it".

If a pool doesn't have a pace clock, absolutely wear a watch or put a watch right next to your lane. I swim in a pool that doesn't have a pace clock so I'm forced to wear a watch. But I never look at any of the data.

I don't think you appreciate how many swimmers you're calling "not real swimmers". My apologies for nitpicking, but the definition of a swimmer is eluding me. While your Mensa-level recollection of your gradeschool splits are impressive, is that really a criterion for a real swimmer? Finally, as I responded above, I don't know in what capacity Lucy Charles relies on her watch, but she's often pictured swimming with it. Are you really prepared to tell her she's not a real swimmer?

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Re: Ok Fishes, here is the interview we were all waiting for!! [domingjm] [ In reply to ]
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Like, really, how difficult is it to press a button when you start and press the same button again when you stop?

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Usually 1/2s difference. Maybe your good at it and maybe your not. Like I said, I dont care if my athletes wear watches on not. When I'm on deck, I always note my own splits that I get from them, not their garmin, as it's always slower. I've never had a swimmer swim a same or faster split when using a garmin that a wall/stop watch on deck gets.

ETA: I do want accuracy. I hate when I know the what the split was and the garmin shows something like 0.42s or 0.63s difference, when I have the split on my coaching stop watch. I also think it's not built for accuracy. You cant stop and start in good position and get an accurate split.

Brooks Doughtie
-USAT Level II
Last edited by: B_Doughtie: Oct 24, 18 10:41
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Re: Ok Fishes, here is the interview we were all waiting for!! [domingjm] [ In reply to ]
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domingjm wrote:


I don't have any experience with the start/stop detection algorithms. But pressing a button takes a fraction of a second before and after. We're talking less than 1% error on a typical set of 100s. Is that really not accurate enough for you?

I do agree though that there's something to be argued for start and finish technique if you're overly focused on the watch though, so there's that.


I think the time it takes to stop a wrist watch after a proper finish takes the better part of a second, if not more. Furthermore, the variability is probably pretty substantial. Surely there's a big difference in how quickly you can get it stopped when you touch with one hand vs. the other. Add in the delay from start button push to actual start (which is probably more consistent, but is still introducing further inaccuracy), and your getting data that's not very clean.

On a set of 300's, that margin of error probably isn't that critical. On 100's, it is, never mind 75's, 50's, and 25's.

If you get something useful out of a swim watch, with or without automatic stop-start detection, great for you. I wouldn't tell you not to use it. Just know that the data isn't very granular. And because it's not very granular, it's not valuable to a high-level swimmer.

"They're made of latex, not nitroglycerin"
Last edited by: gary p: Oct 24, 18 10:49
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Re: Ok Fishes, here is the interview we were all waiting for!! [B_Doughtie] [ In reply to ]
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B_Doughtie wrote:
Like, really, how difficult is it to press a button when you start and press the same button again when you stop?

-------

Usually 1/2s difference. Maybe your good at it and maybe your not. Like I said, I dont care if my athletes wear watches on not. When I'm on deck, I always note my own splits that I get from them, not their garmin, as it's always slower. I've never had a swimmer swim a same or faster split when using a garmin that a wall/stop watch on deck gets.
.

And having swam through college on scholarship and done many years of masters teams afterwards, how many times do “real swimmers” leave ON THE TOP? My experience has been every single time they leave early( 1-2 seconds), so those clock times are less accurate than a watch. The real world of swimmers is not what many think, especially in a group.
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Re: Ok Fishes, here is the interview we were all waiting for!! [ggeiger] [ In reply to ]
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The master's group I coach twice a week is roughly 16-17 people in 4 lanes. I have 2 "real swimmers", sometimes 3, but everyone else is a triathlete/adult onset swimmer. I actually don't care when they leave, as I note when they leave. So if they leave early and come back in on the 9, that's not 59, that's a 60 split....if they want to claim it as 59, I cant stop them, I'll call them on it and mark it as a 60. Within that group, I personally coach 9 so, everyone there is "honest". But again, my masters is very freestyle/triathlon focused sets. We aren't doing IM much, we aren't doing breaststroke etc etc.

So if they leave early, which none of my do, I simply would call their BS time out. Most dive under/bend to push off when the clock hits the 9 and pushes off on the top.

ETA: I do laugh when my athletes look down on their watches when they are going on an interval, when the big ass pace clock is 10 yards away easily seen. That drives me nuts when they do that....about once every 3 months they'll get wrath from me "stop looking at your damn watches and go off the pace clock when on an interval".

Brooks Doughtie
-USAT Level II
Last edited by: B_Doughtie: Oct 24, 18 10:55
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Re: Ok Fishes, here is the interview we were all waiting for!! [domingjm] [ In reply to ]
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domingjm wrote:

I don't think you appreciate how many swimmers you're calling "not real swimmers". My apologies for nitpicking, but the definition of a swimmer is eluding me. While your Mensa-level recollection of your gradeschool splits are impressive, is that really a criterion for a real swimmer? Finally, as I responded above, I don't know in what capacity Lucy Charles relies on her watch, but she's often pictured swimming with it. Are you really prepared to tell her she's not a real swimmer?

Show me where I called anyone not a real swimmer, especially Lucy?

Someone asked why "real swimmers" (deem that whatever you will) don't wear watches. I provided an answer. I'm not sure what else you want.

I wear a watch on all my swims like I said before. Does that make me a not a real swimmer? I don't think so....

blog
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Re: Ok Fishes, here is the interview we were all waiting for!! [B_Doughtie] [ In reply to ]
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Man, this thread sure took a turn in a direction I never thought it would. And it took me about 2/3 of it to figure out that you all were not talking about my timex ironman watch. I figured that Jan was talking about time only, like I was thinking, but you all are talking about gps tracking, lap counting, and timing!! Way over my head..

I think having time and distance is great, but only in "real" time. Dont really see much benefit at all to have these metrics hours later in a data base, especially when you can't really trust them with todays technology. But even if you could, what the hell are you thinking about during your swims while some computer is watching and recording your every move? For me it is meditative to count my strokes, and virtually every lap I flip on the same exact spot, could do it blindfolded even. And I think about my pull, kick timing, and a few other things that slip away if you dont pay attention. I can't imagine thinking about anything else outside of what I'm doing at that moment, do you all with gadgets daydream out there..

Anyway good stuff, how about that set of 10x400's he did?? (-;
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Re: Ok Fishes, here is the interview we were all waiting for!! [monty] [ In reply to ]
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i think its a fantastic achievement by jan, given that he is not a full time athlete .
at the same time its a triathlon and he did not train for a triathlon ( but i guess non of the guys in the fastest top 10 swim splits have come close to top 10 overall .... )


besides iam very surprised that you dont cry foul given its a shorter swim now given that you were so outspoken about it the previous years lol

so i see it a bit from both sides amazing as very very few atletes that qualifiy for kona could do that even if they just focused on swimming , but also if i want to swim fast why not do a swim meet as his bike was MOP and run BOP times .
of course i see the marketing potential for his company etc so i totally get it. at the same time when you not focus on the overall time its not triathlon. i

so maybe we should have a best triathletes record ( you have to be top 10 overall or in age group to count) I guess diettrich would still be fastest (?) and a swim record for people that are fast for the swim prime but not neccesarily for overall placing.

I would be actually quite interested who has the 10 fastest swim times while finishing in the top 10 i assume besides diettrich farris and potts would be in there ?

and i guess in the female race in 8 years time it could well be lucy holding all top 10 positions ... and maybe wendy ingraham one or two ?

for the rest of the thread which makes me smile ..
i dont care about pace clock or watch but what i do care about is when people flaffing around with their watch when they should be focusing on their stroke and what they could do better , and on the task on hand .
and as a wise man once said if you cant rember your swim set your set is to complicated ....
and quite frankly its pathetic if people think you need a sport watch to see that your stroke falls apart after 200m ... i feel that excatly without a watch if i have a normal push off the wall but dont hit the wall as i would expect to so as long as i have the flags in the pool i know whats going on. and if i dont have them i dont care either. and the only argument for a watch i can see is his point he uses a gps watch to see how straight he goes. at the same time its hard for a swimmer like him to go of course as there is usally loads of buoys in races but for leser swimmer i see this as a good argument to imporove swiming straight , a it never fails to amze me how many people get lost in races in the swim .

often i wonder if people that dont have the co ordiantion to tumble turn get lost more often in the water ?
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Re: Ok Fishes, here is the interview we were all waiting for!! [monty] [ In reply to ]
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Anyway good stuff, how about that set of 10x400's he did?? (-;

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What I took more from any of that is how dialed in with specific set to get him most dialed in. I could see the 400 being a really good value because you can swim "hard" but still long enough that it translates well into open water and good for long swims.

2nd thing I took away- Just how close his ows splits (was it 1:12/100 or atleast he mentioned it in the story that's what the split came to) was to his swim splits in the pool he wanted to do. I find that fascinating as hell, that's mozart level of "perfection" imo.

Brooks Doughtie
-USAT Level II
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Re: Ok Fishes, here is the interview we were all waiting for!! [domingjm] [ In reply to ]
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domingjm wrote:
I just take issue with the general assertion, in any context, that "real XX don't XX". It's elitist and frankly unimaginative.
Well, except it's not elitist in this case because real swimmers don't wear a watch to track their swim workouts. They just don't. It's as close to a fact as an opinion can get.
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Re: Ok Fishes, here is the interview we were all waiting for!! [domingjm] [ In reply to ]
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domingjm wrote:

There were two pretty important observations I made, that I wouldn't have caught without a detailed record of my data. First, my swim performance (and thus perceived exertion at a given pace) are substantially improved if they occur between about 4 and 8 hours of a long bike or run. I can't explain why, but it's a robust trend. So that's when I swim.
Second, during sets of 400 and 500yd, I noticed that my efficiency (say what you will about the usefulness of SWOLF, but it was helpful for me here) declined pretty dramatically at about 200yd.


The first of these could have been found with a paper training log, never mind anything digital.
The second is something a swimmer would have noticed without a watch, and probably not have paid much attention to. SWOLF is an artificial metric, times and split times are much more interesting.

As monty says though, we're not even talking about watches here, but the newfangled time-wasters, GPS etc.
The pool distances are predetermined and exact, swimmers can remember interval and split times well enough to log them afterwards. GPS etc doesn't buy us anything.

I used to wear a watch swimming alone, since my eyes are too bad to see the pace clock. It's not helpful for timing intervals but it let me leave on the right time. I didn't wear it in masters' swim since the watch can catch on the lane lines and sometimes on other swimmers. Once prescription goggles became available cheaply I didn't use the watch at all.

Most interesting to me in the Sibbersen interview is his analysis of conditions - basically perfect, may be many years before this alignment of the stars occurs again.
Last edited by: doug in co: Oct 24, 18 11:34
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Re: Ok Fishes, here is the interview we were all waiting for!! [ggeiger] [ In reply to ]
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how many times do “real swimmers” leave ON THE TOP?
---

IME- pretty much always. We were taught to drop under on the 58-59, pause, and push off on the 60. Dropping under on the 60 means that you don't push off until the 01. There's a difference between planting your feet and actually leaving.






Take a short break from ST and read my blog:
http://tri-banter.blogspot.com/
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Re: Ok Fishes, here is the interview we were all waiting for!! [Mike Alexander] [ In reply to ]
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Swimmers are conditioned to check the clock on the deck.

Triathletes are conditioned that a session only counts when it is on strava and that you only get the adaption when Training Peaks measured your TSS.

10k - 30:48 / half - 1:06:40
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Re: Ok Fishes, here is the interview we were all waiting for!! [JasoninHalifax] [ In reply to ]
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JasoninHalifax wrote:
I guess another thing is that I don't really want to know or care about every split in the workout. I find I'm using the pace clock less and less, and going more on feel than ever before. The nature of a lot of my swims (and I haven' been in much for the last couple of months, taking a little break til the holidays for mental sanity) is that I do a lot of builds and sets where the pace changes mid-length (eg sprinters game). Stroke count per length, pace per length, or any other metrics that a watch could capture wouldn't tell me anything about how well I executed the objectives of that set. And because of these types of sets, the watch could indicate that you are improving when in fact you are regressing, or vice versa.

If that motivates you, great. I've thought about getting a watch many times, and it always comes back to "what will I do differently if I had this data?" My answer has always been "nothing". So I have yet to adopt.

Funny how this same logic would never be accepted by the masses here if it were to be applied to the other sports we do. We bitch and moan how accurate our different power meters are and how closely the different ones are, what our CDA is and the rolling resistance of our tires, how fast that last set of 400 meter repeats on the track were, and yet we throw away that argument in the pool. Comical. Wouldn't you like to know what your splits were for a set of 200's with varying 50's hard (example, 1st 50 then 2nd, and on...) descending? Perceived effort does not tell the story as you become fatigued. You cannot see fading while you are in the middle of an interval. Yes, you are one of the few examples, but most cannot.

I would venture to guess that we have a VERY small number of "real swimmers" here on this forum, and with good reason.....we are triathletes. We don't run and train like runners, we don't train like cyclists and we are not swimmers. Technology has changed that immensely. Real swimmers would never wear jammers to train (only speedos and drag suits) either, but that is not our world.

Now, back to Monty's actual amazement of the work set.......
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Re: Ok Fishes, here is the interview we were all waiting for!! [gary p] [ In reply to ]
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gary p wrote:
domingjm wrote:


I don't have any experience with the start/stop detection algorithms. But pressing a button takes a fraction of a second before and after. We're talking less than 1% error on a typical set of 100s. Is that really not accurate enough for you?

I do agree though that there's something to be argued for start and finish technique if you're overly focused on the watch though, so there's that.


I think the time it takes to stop a wrist watch after a proper finish takes the better part of a second, if not more. Furthermore, the variability is probably pretty substantial. Surely there's a big difference in how quickly you can get it stopped when you touch with one hand vs. the other. Add in the delay from start button push to actual start (which is probably more consistent, but is still introducing further inaccuracy), and your getting data that's not very clean.

On a set of 300's, that margin of error probably isn't that critical. On 100's, it is, never mind 75's, 50's, and 25's.

If you get something useful out of a swim watch, with or without automatic stop-start detection, great for you. I wouldn't tell you not to use it. Just know that the data isn't very granular. And because it's not very granular, it's not valuable to a high-level swimmer.

Holy crap Gary. No, if you possess any dexterity at all, it takes a small fraction of a second to start and stop your watch. Less than 1% error on 100s. Come on.

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https://connect.garmin.com/modern/profile/domingjm
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Re: Ok Fishes, here is the interview we were all waiting for!! [Tri-Banter] [ In reply to ]
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Tri-Banter wrote:
how many times do “real swimmers” leave ON THE TOP?
---

IME- pretty much always. We were taught to drop under on the 58-59, pause, and push off on the 60. Dropping under on the 60 means that you don't push off until the 01. There's a difference between planting your feet and actually leaving.

Then you're the minority based on my 60+ years of observation. Little matter anyway, we're not swimmers.
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Re: Ok Fishes, here is the interview we were all waiting for!! [ToBeasy] [ In reply to ]
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lol.

Chiming in here. I swim 4x a week with a masters group. I'm the only dufus using my watch while everyone else uses the pace clock. I wear it because if I can measure it, I'll do it. It's a crazy tick I know. The one benefit I will say is the SWOLF score. Whether it's a good measurement or not, sometimes I'll check it to see if my over # was up or down from my historical average.

I will also say it's nice sometimes to say, "nope. we got 1 more set. Unless we just 8x50 at some ridiculous time."

With that said, my daughter has been swimming on a team since she was 6. I refuse to let her wear a "watch" in the pool or anything on her arms for that matter.
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Re: Ok Fishes, here is the interview we were all waiting for!! [stevej] [ In reply to ]
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stevej wrote:
domingjm wrote:


I don't think you appreciate how many swimmers you're calling "not real swimmers". My apologies for nitpicking, but the definition of a swimmer is eluding me. While your Mensa-level recollection of your gradeschool splits are impressive, is that really a criterion for a real swimmer? Finally, as I responded above, I don't know in what capacity Lucy Charles relies on her watch, but she's often pictured swimming with it. Are you really prepared to tell her she's not a real swimmer?


Show me where I called anyone not a real swimmer, especially Lucy?

Someone asked why "real swimmers" (deem that whatever you will) don't wear watches. I provided an answer. I'm not sure what else you want.

I wear a watch on all my swims like I said before. Does that make me a not a real swimmer? I don't think so....

By your own admission, you answered the original question in the context of defining the uselessness of a swimming watch to "real swimmers". You explained why real swimmers like you don't need a swimming watch. It seems to me that if a person does need to use a swimming watch, you're implying that they're not a "real swimmer". If that's not the case, I'm happy to hear it.

In all seriousness though, can we talk about how impressive it is that you remember splits from 20 years ago? I'm impressed as shit. I can't even remember a fraction of the girls names I hooked up with in undergrad, let alone a notebook of splits. Flawless victory.

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Re: Ok Fishes, here is the interview we were all waiting for!! [ripple] [ In reply to ]
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ripple wrote:
domingjm wrote:
I just take issue with the general assertion, in any context, that "real XX don't XX". It's elitist and frankly unimaginative.

Well, except it's not elitist in this case because real swimmers don't wear a watch to track their swim workouts. They just don't. It's as close to a fact as an opinion can get.

Let's talk about this Rip. I'm pretty sure your loose definition of a real swimmer revolves around their thoughts on swimming watches. No?

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https://connect.garmin.com/modern/profile/domingjm
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Re: Ok Fishes, here is the interview we were all waiting for!! [doug in co] [ In reply to ]
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doug in co wrote:
domingjm wrote:

There were two pretty important observations I made, that I wouldn't have caught without a detailed record of my data. First, my swim performance (and thus perceived exertion at a given pace) are substantially improved if they occur between about 4 and 8 hours of a long bike or run. I can't explain why, but it's a robust trend. So that's when I swim.
Second, during sets of 400 and 500yd, I noticed that my efficiency (say what you will about the usefulness of SWOLF, but it was helpful for me here) declined pretty dramatically at about 200yd.


The first of these could have been found with a paper training log, never mind anything digital.
The second is something a swimmer would have noticed without a watch, and probably not have paid much attention to. SWOLF is an artificial metric, times and split times are much more interesting.

As monty says though, we're not even talking about watches here, but the newfangled time-wasters, GPS etc.
The pool distances are predetermined and exact, swimmers can remember interval and split times well enough to log them afterwards. GPS etc doesn't buy us anything.

I used to wear a watch swimming alone, since my eyes are too bad to see the pace clock. It's not helpful for timing intervals but it let me leave on the right time. I didn't wear it in masters' swim since the watch can catch on the lane lines and sometimes on other swimmers. Once prescription goggles became available cheaply I didn't use the watch at all.

Most interesting to me in the Sibbersen interview is his analysis of conditions - basically perfect, may be many years before this alignment of the stars occurs again.

A paper training log? I take all of my post-exercise notes on my stone tablet written in charcoal. It seems more and more evident that a defining characteristic of a "real swimmer" is being inherently archaic.

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https://connect.garmin.com/modern/profile/domingjm
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Re: Ok Fishes, here is the interview we were all waiting for!! [ggeiger] [ In reply to ]
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ggeiger wrote:
JasoninHalifax wrote:
I guess another thing is that I don't really want to know or care about every split in the workout. I find I'm using the pace clock less and less, and going more on feel than ever before. The nature of a lot of my swims (and I haven' been in much for the last couple of months, taking a little break til the holidays for mental sanity) is that I do a lot of builds and sets where the pace changes mid-length (eg sprinters game). Stroke count per length, pace per length, or any other metrics that a watch could capture wouldn't tell me anything about how well I executed the objectives of that set. And because of these types of sets, the watch could indicate that you are improving when in fact you are regressing, or vice versa.

If that motivates you, great. I've thought about getting a watch many times, and it always comes back to "what will I do differently if I had this data?" My answer has always been "nothing". So I have yet to adopt.


Funny how this same logic would never be accepted by the masses here if it were to be applied to the other sports we do. We bitch and moan how accurate our different power meters are and how closely the different ones are, what our CDA is and the rolling resistance of our tires, how fast that last set of 400 meter repeats on the track were, and yet we throw away that argument in the pool. Comical. Wouldn't you like to know what your splits were for a set of 200's with varying 50's hard (example, 1st 50 then 2nd, and on...) descending? Perceived effort does not tell the story as you become fatigued. You cannot see fading while you are in the middle of an interval. Yes, you are one of the few examples, but most cannot.

I would venture to guess that we have a VERY small number of "real swimmers" here on this forum, and with good reason.....we are triathletes. We don't run and train like runners, we don't train like cyclists and we are not swimmers. Technology has changed that immensely. Real swimmers would never wear jammers to train (only speedos and drag suits) either, but that is not our world.

Now, back to Monty's actual amazement of the work set.......

Real cyclists would never use a power meter.

---------------------------------------------------------------

https://connect.garmin.com/modern/profile/domingjm
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Re: Ok Fishes, here is the interview we were all waiting for!! [domingjm] [ In reply to ]
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Well...I am sorry I asked the question now! Some of these posts are hysterical. Ironically the one I can relate the most to was posted in pink "doesn't count if its not recorded and in TP and Strava".
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Re: Ok Fishes, here is the interview we were all waiting for!! [domingjm] [ In reply to ]
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domingjm wrote:
ripple wrote:
domingjm wrote:
I just take issue with the general assertion, in any context, that "real XX don't XX". It's elitist and frankly unimaginative.

Well, except it's not elitist in this case because real swimmers don't wear a watch to track their swim workouts. They just don't. It's as close to a fact as an opinion can get.


Let's talk about this Rip. I'm pretty sure your loose definition of a real swimmer revolves around their thoughts on swimming watches. No?
And your ability to rip off a 400 IM :)
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Re: Ok Fishes, here is the interview we were all waiting for!! [ripple] [ In reply to ]
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ripple wrote:
domingjm wrote:
ripple wrote:
domingjm wrote:
I just take issue with the general assertion, in any context, that "real XX don't XX". It's elitist and frankly unimaginative.

Well, except it's not elitist in this case because real swimmers don't wear a watch to track their swim workouts. They just don't. It's as close to a fact as an opinion can get.


Let's talk about this Rip. I'm pretty sure your loose definition of a real swimmer revolves around their thoughts on swimming watches. No?

And your ability to rip off a 400 IM :)

Two strikes against me.

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https://connect.garmin.com/modern/profile/domingjm
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Re: Ok Fishes, here is the interview we were all waiting for!! [domingjm] [ In reply to ]
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domingjm wrote:
Finally, as I responded above, I don't know in what capacity Lucy Charles relies on her watch, but she's often pictured swimming with it. Are you really prepared to tell her she's not a real swimmer?


Most of the photos and video I see of Lucy Charles has her swimming without a watch - there's maybe two photos total on her instagram/website where she's wearing one for a swim.

In addition to that - virtually no competitive swimmer (training for and competing in primarily swimming) would wear a watch in practice or competition - if a watch offered any benefit to them, don't you think they'd make use of it?

The lack of watch use boils down to three points for me as to why "real" swimmers don't wear a watch when doing lap swimming (open water is another story)
  • Lack of useful metrics/superiority vs. pace clock and memory - this has been touched on by a bunch of people in this thread, but there's both a lack of reliability in the current technology, as well as an inferiority to the simple technique of looking at the pace clock. In general, there are going to be one or two main sets where swimmers care about having their pace - Sibbersen's 10x400m for instance, and using the wall clock, combined with having a good feel for the swim, gives more useful metrics than analysing the watch data a few hours later (e.g. - my third and fourth 400s were slower because I sandbagged the middle 200m to try and save some juice for the last 100m, I can correct this for my 5th and 6th 400s and I'll remember this the next time I do the set. Looking at the splits hours later I would have no idea why those were slower, because I never made the connection at the time). I also don't care about my pace time for warmup, warmdown, and technical work, I don't need metrics for 20-80% of my practice depending on what's up for the day.
  • Annoyance - this is probably personal preference, but starting and stopping the watch on every interval is a bit tedious. This is especially true if you're doing 20x100 and barely coming in with 5s to breathe, collect yourself and go, takes away from resting and collecting yourself for the next rep.
  • Interference with stroke - part of this could be coupled with annoyance, and smacking the lane line or other swimmers sucks if that happens to you, but I'd argue foremost that the watch can introduce an imbalance in your stroke as you compensate for having an extra weight and geometry on one arm and not the other. I know watches are light, but if you're taking 1000s of strokes a week, for weeks on end, there's going to be an effect.
Even if the stroke interference is minor, coupled with the annoyance and lack of demonstrated superiority vs. a pace clock and memory, why would I add the inconvenience?
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