GOING THE DISTANCE POOL TOY
GARMIN SWIM WATCH
N* x 200 m with 10-sec rest * equals the maximum number you can complete in the time you have. I might mix in a healthy measure of pull buoy/paddles to the set depending on the athlete and where they are in their training or in relationship to their next “A” race.
This session may seem painfully obvious or boring, but boring training makes great athletes. As the former Czech national swimmer, Petr Schmidt, once said, “If there is too much writing on the board I know it’s a poor session.”
These three sessions address speed, strength and endurance in a time-crunched swim program.
When your pool time is limited, don’t waste that time. Get in the water, get in the work and measure the gains.
Clint Lien is a high performance coach for the Victoria-based Mercury Rising Triathlon Club. As a coach I’m constantly telling my athletes to lose their watch during group swim workouts (“approach your workouts as if you’re a member of a swim team,” I’m always telling them), but if you’re not lucky enough to have a group to swim with, the Garmin Swim Watch might be just the tool you’ll need to improve your swimming.
The Garmin Swim keeps track of your laps in the pool and can even figure out whether you’re doing fly, back, breast stroke or free style. Where it really shines is in tracking your swim efficiency by figuring out how many strokes you’re taking each length. (I often have athletes do a drill called “golf” where they add up their time and number of strokes it takes to do a 50 – Garmin refers to this as a “swolf” score, and the Garmin Swim watch provides that information, too.)
The Swim is lightweight and comfortable to wear, and comes with a replaceable battery that lasts a year. It also comes with an ANT+ adaptor that allows you to connect it to a computer and then use Garmin Connect to upload all your training info to the program of your choice (Training Peaks, etc.), providing the same connectivity you’re used to with your bike computer or Garmin tri watch.
For the price, it should come as no surprise that this isn’t a GPS watch, and is only useful in a pool, not open water. For those swims you’ll want to look at something like the Forerunner 920 XT. If you do a lot of your training alone (and in a pool that’s longer than 16.5 m) and are looking for feedback to improve your swimming, the Garmin Swim is an excellent bet.–