Swim pace illiterate

Someone please help me; lord I’m a lost cause when trying to figure out my swim pace!

And NO, I’m not even trying to figure it out in my head or old school by looking at the timer clock in the pool.  Maybe that is what I should be doing.  No, instead I’m relying on not one, but two, very expensive watches.  (Don’t ask why I wear two watches – it’s a long story).

A few weeks ago I went swimming at – what one of my watches told me was – a sub 3-minute pace/100 yards.  I can not swim that fast but a few of my laps were flipper aided or were other “drills” so I took my time to be pretty meaningless.  Expect for the fact that the laps I did “standard” seemed to also come up as sub 3:00.  But again, I know this isn’t possible.  That was my first red flag.

My .88 mile swim on Sunday took 54 minutes – give or take.  One watch calculated my pace per 100 yards at 3:04 while the other one said 3:33.  If you actually do the math, the 3:33 is more accurate.  But where did the 3:04 come from?  Three thirty-three has me missing the swim cutoff by about 10 minutes, but 3:04 has me making it by 10 minutes.  Now you can see why I need to figure this out.

I went swimming again this morning and once again did drills, some with flippers and registered a pace under 3:00 minutes – 2:48 to be exact on my watch on my left arm and my right arm watch gave me a pace of 3:19.  Seriously, how can this be?  As far as I know, they are both set up the same, I never set an auto pause on either watch.

So what can it be?  My pessimistic side says to always go with the watch that shows the slower time, just to be safe.  But come on, I need a win every now and then, so if I can actually see improvement in my swim speed, I’d sure like to be able to celebrate it.  But more importantly, I need to truly know what my swim pace is.  If I can’t even swim at a pace that gets me out of the water before the swim cutoff, as I’m swimming solo in a pool, how in the world can I expect to try a Half Iron or Ironman in open water where the conditions are more like a rugby match than they are a casual swim?

If anyone knows why my watches, an Apple Watch and a Garmin, are so far off, please let me know.

Until next time,

Gotta Run

 

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