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Swimming metrics

Swimming metrics help you analyze each swimming session, and follow your performance and progress in the long run.

Pool swimming

When using the Swimming or Pool swimming profile, the watch identifies your swimming style and records your swim distance, time and pace, stroke rate and rest times. In addition, with the help of the SWOLF score you can keep track of your development.

Swimming Styles: Your watch recognizes the following swimming styles, and calculates style specific metrics as well as totals for your whole session:

  • Freestyle
  • Backstroke
  • Breaststroke
  • Butterfly

Pace and Distance: Once the watch has recognized your swimming style as one of the four swimming styles mentioned above, it will be able to detect your turns and use this information to give you accurate pace and distance. The pace and distance measurements are based on detected turns and the set pool length. Every time you turn, one pool length gets added to the total distance swam.

Strokes: Your watch 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.

Pool Length setting

It’s important that you choose the correct pool length, as it affects pace, distance and stroke calculation, as well as your SWOLF score. The chosen pool length is shown in pre-training mode. You can change the pool length in from the quick menu. 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 chosen is 20 meters/yards.

Open water swimming

When using the Open water swimming profile, the watch records your swim distance, time and pace, stroke rate for freestyle as well as your route.

Freestyle is the only style that the open water swimming profile recognizes.

Pace and Distance: Your watch uses GPS to calculate pace and distance during your swim.

Stroke rate for freestyle: Your watch records your average and maximum stroke rates (how many strokes you take per minute) for your session.

Route: Your route is recorded with GPS, and you can view it on a map after your swim in the Flow app and web service. GPS does not work underwater, and because of this your route is filtered from GPS data acquired when your hand is out of the water or very close to the water surface. External factors such as water conditions and satellite positions can affect the accuracy of the GPS data, and as a result data from the same route can vary from day to day.

Measuring heart rate in water

Your watch automatically measures your heart rate from your wrist with the new Polar Precision Prime sensor fusion technology, offering an easy and comfortable way to measure your heart rate while swimming. Although water may prevent the wrist-based heart rate measurement from working optimally, the accuracy of Polar Precision Prime is sufficient to allow you monitor your average heart rate and heart rate zones during your swimming sessions, get accurate calorie burn readings, your Training Load from the session and the Training Benefit feedback based on your heart rate zones.

To ensure the best possible accuracy of your heart rate data, it’s important to wear the watch snugly on your wrist (even more snugly than in other sports).

Note that you can't use a Polar heart rate sensor with a chest strap with your watch when swimming because Bluetooth doesn't work in water.

To get the most accurate information, make sure your have set which hand you wear your watch on. You can check that you’ve set which hand you wear your watch from the product settings in Flow.

Swimming metrics on Grit X

For more information see Swimming metrics in Polar Grit X User manual.

Swimming metrics on Grit X Pro

For more information see Swimming metrics in Polar Grit X Pro User manual.

Swimming metrics on Ignite

For more information see Swimming metrics in Polar Ignite User manual.

Swimming metrics on Ignite 2

For more information see Swimming metrics in Polar Ignite 2 User manual.

Swimming metrics on Pacer

For more information see Swimming metrics in Polar Pacer User manual.

Swimming metrics on Pacer Pro

For more information see Swimming metrics in Polar Pacer Pro User manual.

Swimming metrics on Vantage M

For more information see Swimming metrics in Polar Vantage M User manual.

Swimming metrics on Vantage M2

For more information see Swimming metrics in Polar Vantage M2 User manual.

Swimming metrics on Vantage V

For more information see Swimming metrics in Polar Vantage V User manual.

Swimming metrics on Vantage V2

For more information see Swimming metrics in Polar Vantage V2 User manual.

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