Garmin Swim (£129.99)
Katherine says: When I heard about the launch of a Garmin Swim watch, I got Christmas day butterflies at the prospect of reviewing its capabilities...even if it did mean properly analysing my swim stroke for the first time since I was a 14-year-old at swim club.
The start-up guide promised a quick and simple set up, and after inputting basic vital statistics and the pool size, I was ready to go. The navigation through the watch is surprisingly easy to grasp – excellent for technophobes like myself.
I found the watch incredibly light so I hardly noticed it while swimming. I did accidently knock the pause button once mid length but was surprised to find that the watch carried on recording my distance.
The watch analysed my total swim time, distance and calories, along with averages for the pace and stroke count during each session. My swim efficiency was reported through a swolf score. This is measured by adding together the number of strokes for a full length and the time taken. The lower the score, the more efficient the swim. This created a healthy competitive zeal to bring the score down each time I swam.
During an interval session, the watch recorded all of my statistics but also correctly identified the exact stroke type I used during each interval – just one of the many features which helps to improve a swimmer's efficiency and technique as well as provide a comparison when uploaded to Garmin Connect.
The biggest stand out for the Garmin Swim over others in the market is its drill mode. This allows you to practise drills while 'pausing' the efficiency-recording mode so that the drills don't affect your swolf analysis. In drill mode, the time and distance you spend on drills is recorded as a 'drill interval' and added to the total time and distance for your session but this doesn't count towards your swim efficiency stats.
Uploading the data to Garmin Connect is done via a USB and wireless technology, the manual states it can work from up to 9ft and it worked perfectly for me on the first attempt. The sessions are laid out to provide further analysis for each length, registering rest periods and allowing comparisons over a set period of time.
Garmin have once again delivered another impressive gadget to augment their sport range. Retailing at £129.99, the Garmin Swim is more expensive than its competitors but if you’re looking for a watch that will analyse every aspect of your swim training, giving you the confidence to concentrate on improving your technique, it’s worth every penny.
Find out more about the Garmin Swim.