What the experts say about swim gadgets

What the experts say about swim gadgets

Soon after I started testing Apple Watch and the other swim gadgets, I was overwhelmed with data.

The devices tracked not only how far and fast I swam, but they bombarded me with all kinds of other information, like my distance per stroke, stroke rate and swim golf score — a statistic derived by adding up both the number of strokes and the time it takes to swim a particular distance.

I didn’t know what to make of it all. So I reached out to some experts for help, and asked: How useful is this stuff?

Kim Musch, head swim coach at UC Santa Cruz, had a positive view. The data can give you a baseline to measure yourself, he said. Trying to improve those scores over time can be an excellent way to get better, he added.

Swimming at a faster pace without increasing your heart rate, for example, is a signal that you’re getting in better shape. And increasing your distance per stroke and decreasing your swim golf score can indicate that your technique is improving.

But Marcia Benjamin, who coaches MEMO, an adult swim team in Oakland, said that data is only useful up to a point.

“Really? I’m going to look at a 12-page printout after an hour practice? I don’t think so,” she said.

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Published at Sat, 15 Apr 2017 15:00:43 +0000