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Swimming metrics (pool swimming)

Swimming metrics help you analyze each swimming session, and follow your performance and progress in the long run. The metrics record your swim distance, time and pace, stroke rate, and also identify your swimming style. In addition, with the help of the SWOLF score you can improve your swimming technique.

To get the most accurate information, make sure you have set which hand you wear the M600 on. This can be set in the Polar Flow app under Devices > Polar M600, or in the Polar Flow web service from Your name/profile picture > Products > Polar M600 > Settings.

Swimming metrics are available in the Swimming and Pool swimming sport profiles. To get the swimming metrics, you must have at least Polar app version 2.0 on your M600.

Swimming Styles

The M600 recognizes your swimming style, and calculates style specific metrics as well as totals for your whole session.

Swimming styles the M600 recognizes:

  • Freestyle
  • Backstroke
  • Breaststroke
  • Butterfly

Pace and Distance

The pace and distance measurements are based on pool length. Therefore, to get accurate data always make sure you have set the correct pool length. The M600 recognizes when you turn, and uses this information to give you accurate pace and distance.


The M600 tells you how many strokes you take in a minute or per pool length. This information can be used to find out more about your swimming technique, rhythm and timing.


SWOLF (short for swimming and golf) is an indirect measure of efficiency. SWOLF is calculated by adding together your time and the amount of strokes it takes you to swim a pool length. For instance, 30 seconds and 10 strokes to swim the length of a pool will equal a SWOLF score of 40. Generally, the lower your SWOLF is for a certain distance and style, the more efficient you are.

SWOLF is highly individual, and thus should not be compared to SWOLF scores other people have swam. It’s rather a personal tool that can help you improve and fine-tune your technique, and find an optimal efficiency for different styles.

Setting pool length

It’s important that you set the correct pool length, as it affects pace, distance and stroke rate calculation, as well as your SWOLF score. The default lengths are 25 meters, 50 meters and 25 yards, but you can also set it manually to a custom length. The minimum length that can be set is 20 meters/yards.

You can see the pool length in the pre-training mode, that is, when you've scrolled the list of sport profiles on your M600 to show the Swimming or the Pool swimming profile. To change it from there, follow the instructions below.

To change the pool length

  1. Scroll the list of sport profiles on your M600 to find the Swimming or the Pool swimming sport profile.
  2. Tap the pool icon next to the sport icon.
  3. Tap one of the preset pool lengths. Or tap Customize if you want to use a custom pool length. You can set a custom pool length between 50 and 250 meters/yards. Tap to choose the length you want to use. You can also change the pool length unit by tapping the Pool length (m/yd) at the top of the list, and then tapping the unit you want to use.

Find out how to add new sport profiles to your M600 on your mobile from the Polar support pages.

To start a swimming session

  1. Press the front button of your M600 to open the Polar app.
  2. Tap Training or press the front button to open the list of sport profiles.
  3. Scroll the list of sport profiles to find Swimming or Pool swimming.
  4. Check that the pool length is correct (shown on the display).
  5. Press the front button to start recording your training session.

You can customize what is shown in the training views on your M600 in the Polar Flow mobile app or web service.

After your session you can view a detailed breakdown of your swim in the Polar Flow app and Polar Flow web service.