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Swimmers! Lap Counting?

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Old 07-05-2013, 12:32 PM   #1
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Default Swimmers! Lap Counting?

Alrighty, this is embarrassing but I can't be the only one that has this problem. I have been a long-distance swimmer my whole life. In high school I was a competitive swimmer and I swear, I would have never been able to do it if it wasn't for someone counting the laps for me with one of those GIANT flip chart counters. I can NOT count laps in the pool. I am terrible at it. My mind wanders and I think, "wait.... what lap was that?" I have taken to sprinting or swimming with people who do the counting for me.

I am thinking about doing this 3-mile open water swim and it means that I am going to have to spend a lot more time in the pool doing long distance swims (and open water swims, of course). Someone recommended the SportCount Chrono on a website I read. Any other recommendations?
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Old 07-05-2013, 01:00 PM   #2
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I use a plastic stitch counter ($2-$3) I bought at Michael's or JoAnn fabric in the yarn department near the crochet hooks and knitting needles. It it's a little cylinder about an inch long and half inch in diameter that can be threaded onto cording to wear like a bracelet or necklace. I didn't like it around my neck and a bracelet was awkward to use, so I pin the "bracelet" to the front of my suit and then advance the counter after every lap by rotating the end cap(s) of the cylynder to advance the digits. It can count up to 99.

There's also an all-plastic push button stitch counter (sold next to the little cylinders) that I believe has a three or four digit capacity (999 or 9999). This style usually is about 2-3 inches in diameter and about a half inch thick. It comes on a cord to wear around your neck and sells for $10 to $12.

Low-tech, yes, but they're cheap and don't require batteries or rely on tech that can fail, so they're virtually indestructible unless you step on them ( and the little cylinder usually survives even that).
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Old 07-05-2013, 02:38 PM   #3
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I've used sportcount lap counters, so that would be what I would recommend... But usually I have my pool workouts planned out... So after my warm up, I'll have a group of various intervals that I'll be doing and I'm able to keep track that way, since I only have to count for each interval e.g. 100y, 200y, etc...

The other suggestion I would have for training for a long open water swim is to just swim for time and what I mean by that is to time yourself for a mile swim and work up to swimming 3x that amount of time...

I did a 4 mile open water swim once and I had never swam more that 2.4 miles in open water before (in an Ironman) and since my Ironman swim spilt times were 1:10... I would train by doing 2 hr steady swims...

Is the the open water swim that you're planning in the ocean? Because I would highly recommend training with a group and do some specific workouts that simulate the conditions that you might expect on race day... This way not as many big surprises, if you know what I mean...
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Old 07-05-2013, 05:01 PM   #4
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I make rhymes. "eight is great" kind of thing. But my mind still wanders too. So I'm not sure if that would help.
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Old 07-18-2013, 03:01 PM   #5
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There are swimmer's watches (some are really expensive though) that count laps and some even tell you what stroke you're doing.
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