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Counting lengths


Surely I can't be the only person who can't count...

I have real difficulty remembering how many lengths I have done. How do people keep count (lame question I know but it's starting to get annoying!!)


  • JulesJules Posts: 987
    I'm always losing count, I'd like an answer too!
  • woodywoody Posts: 52
    Counting laps was always my downfall, solved that with 'sport count lap counter' from http://activeplanet.co.uk/scindex.php really great and I use it every time I go to the pool now, knowing how many lengths I've done each session.
  • GGGG Posts: 82
    I cant count either [:@]

    This could quite possibly be bad advice but if im just swimming ill do an hour / 90mins and forget about counting.

    If im counting 400m ill set off up and back and count that as one on touching the wall. Then I only have to count to 8!

    800m. 1 to 8 twice.

    Might work for you, I still forget!


  • Hi folks

    Yes I have the same problem....

    But also I get to the point where I forget my stroke count and am not looking at where the end of the pool is and then swim straight into it.....OUCH.....

  • Thank God. I thought it was just me!!!

    If in any doubt i take lengths off,so at least i'm doing more than i think.[:D]

  • TommiTriTommiTri Posts: 879
    you may have better luck counting distance, i.e. every 4 lengths say to yourself 100m etc. then it should be harder to go wrong!
  • treefrogtreefrog Posts: 1,242
    I also count lengths but think I get it wrong - so I add an extra one every time I doubt myself - this concentrates the mind. Anyway I figure a few extra lengths will do no harm
  • GGBGGB Posts: 482
    After my first swim today, in 20 years, I know where you are coming from - even trying to count how many 100 metres I had covered left me wondering If I had counted right ... I think I shall be investing in one of the lap counters like what you have linked to.
  • nivaghnivagh Posts: 595

    Wow! Impressed (and more than a little reassured) that I'm not alone in this!!

    I have a drills oriented solution that I thought up this morning - start off with fists, and stick one finger out every two lengths - that's 250m.

    Wouldn't recommend doing that in a race though! [:D]
  • I have the same problem. Lo and behold though, flicking through the latest 220 magazine there's a lap counter reviewed in the 'Test Centre' section. 8 out of 10 and 20 quid... Might just make my xmas list in time.
  • woodywoody Posts: 52
    thats where I saw the lapcounter originally back in the summer. did have an email a few days ago offering a discount code, unfortunately must have deleted it, so can't let you have it.
  • DaveCDaveC Posts: 15
    Just count to 10 then hit the lap counter on your watch ( assume you are using one) . This then means you are only ever counting to 10 and you have a much better idea of how you are swimming. I tick along at 4 mins 15 per 10 lengths so know know what time I hit the wall at length 7 etc. When you review the splits afterwards it is also obvious if you mucked up on the count. Try it - works for me.

  • ardkeenardkeen Posts: 152
    Good tip I used it.
  • I used to really struggle with counting lengths as well until my friend suggested i read this:


    It wasnt cheap but it was well worth it.

    Hope it helps [:D]
  • husslerhussler Posts: 237
    I count every 2 lengths, upto the half way point of what i am swimming, then count back down again for the short distances...400, 800 etc

    If im doing say a straight 1500 or more, ill do it in blocks of 20 ie every 500m then hit the lap button.

    Also for the longer stuff i know what i should be hitting for 400, 800, 1500 and 2k so as longs as my times are within 15-20s of this time it is quite accurate.

    So if im doing a steady 2k ill lap every 500m, count to 20, and depending on effort level i know i should be hitting 500 on 8mins and 1k on around 15:30 as i continually practise negative splitting. Then 2k around the 30:30 mark.

    If all else fails then i do extra lengths and work out averages from there, then i know if i have done extra from the times.

  • I did 2 extra lengths in my first Tri!

    I couldn't remember if I'd done 14 or 16 - didn't want to get disqualified, so did 2 more.

    My mate told me later I did 18 in all! Doh![:@]
  • JulesJules Posts: 987
    Just found out the 25 yard pool is closed and I will have to use the 20 yard pool this lunchtime. Losing county will be a certainty!
  • CalimaCalima Posts: 35
    From experience on a warm up of 400/500 every 4th length do either backstroke/breastroke, that way you only have to remember the odd strokes to count your 100's. I also count in batches of 10 (I train in a 50m pool) to remember 500m, and then start again.

    Everyone is different so good luck.....

  • I have recently joined my local Tri cub and after discussing this every issue, a couple of the members have told me they are in the process of launching a product that will solve this very problem, see there website: http://www.swimovate.com/index.html but basically their watch will count and display the following (completely automatically much like the popular running and cycling computers):






    and much more.

    Existing lap counters are still manual and require the swimmer to press a button, or the like, at the end of each lap. These products are completely automatic- the swimmer simply presses a button to start and that's all. The watches work with all strokes- Breaststroke, Front crawl, Back crawl, Butterfly all abilities all sizes of pool without calibration.

    I believe that the Watches will be launched soon. I've already preordered one...


  • jonEjonE Posts: 1,113

    Saw these advertised a few years ago but they never seemed to make it onto the open market.Probably need a device the size of a Garmin gps to make them work.
  • When doing a decent chunk of lappery, you might find it useful to vary the pace (especially now when you are laying down a decent base). Through a 1500m, I will swim 100m slightly under race pace (about 75% effort) and then 100m slightly above (about 85 to 90% effort). At that pace, you know when 100m is up (as your body is starting to shout at you). The following 75% effort 100m should be just enough to get your heart rate down again before you launch into the next higher intensity effort. I find that with this variation I pretty much never lose count of the laps.

    This also has a hidden advantage as you are effectively banishing junk laps. Not only is it good to vary the pace frequently (which helps you to avoid getting stuck in a pace rut, which limits your ability to consistently lower lap times), but this is also anaerobic threshold training, which will in itself help you to go faster for longer.

    When swimming time trials I tend to play mind games, concentrating on one particular point of the stroke for 100m then changing to another aspect for the next 100m and so on. In this way you subconciously keep a track of the laps (especially if you decide what you will concentrate on for each 100m before hand), you are also focused on stroke mechanics at a time when you most need them to be perfect.
  • MGMG Posts: 470
    I got a little digital lap counter/stop watch that fits on you index finger, stores up to 100 laps and gives fastest, slowest, average lap times at end. Cant be arsed withall that counting rubbish, I just have a scan at the lap counter every so often and the jobs a good'n. Cant remember what the websites called where I got it from but its a funky little thing!!!
  • I have one of the little counters which fit on a finger too. I got it for Christmas so not used it too much, but I swam 1.5km today with it and it is sooo refreshing to not need to think about it at all. You can concentrate completely on what you're doing and know that at any point in time you can look and know where you're at. The one I have is from http://www.sportcount.com/productsNew.php?category=SportCount and I have the chrono 100. It is great cos it does all the lap times etc which will be really goodd for doing the shorter faster stuff, but I'm training for ironman so its really the distance I want to know. If this is so the lap counter may serve your purpose just as well and its that much cheaper. I think the chrono is the best one foor all types of tri though and I certainly won't be going swimming without mine from now on.
  • bennybenny Posts: 1,314
    Just ordered one of these, Zookeepa.

    I'm really done with all that counting stuff, annoyed by it,gets the focus of the real importance.

    Hope it's any good!
  • bennybenny Posts: 1,314
    Got the thingie Zookeepa pointed us out yesterday by post.

    Took it for a spin in the pool yesterday evening.

    It filled in all my expectations, I'd recommend it to anyone who hates that lenght-counting obligation.

    I didn't have to bother anymore about it, I automatically forgot to count and focussed on the important stuff.

    On the other hand that, means I'll have to get better at swimming soon[&:]

    Thanks people,

    of to run now!!!
  • Brok999Brok999 Posts: 10
    I use one of these Zoggs watches


    all it takes is a tap of the watch face on each turn/glide
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