2023 Swimming Notes

I’m back into a regular swimming routine this year, until pool season ends in late September. This past week was an exception, as we had some abnormally cool and dreary weather that knocked the pool temperature down to a chilly 74°. By this afternoon, it had bounced back to 79°, so I got in for the first time in 6 days.

Last year, I was kind of obsessed with trying to swim every day. This summer, I’m toning things down a bit and shooting for 3 to 4 days a week. I’m also trying to focus on keeping my ankles looser, as I was having some issues with tight calf muscles last year, which I think may have been due to not flexing my ankles enough while kicking.

I am still swimming with a tether, and with my Apple Watch. I track my workouts by stroke count rather than distance. Unfortunately, Apple Fitness does not have a setting for tethered swimming. Last year, I used the “pool swim” setting. With this, the watch counts my strokes fairly accurately, but I’d get an inaccurate distance measurement and lap count, because the watch expects me to me moving, not stationary. I’ve always counted strokes in my head either way, so my first thought was just to ditch the watch altogether and go back to recording my stroke count manually in Apple Health. But, then I wouldn’t get a record of workout time or calories burned, unless I entered those manually also, which is rather tedious. To make a long story short: this year, I’m wearing the watch, tracking my swims using the “other” workout type setting, and manually recording my swim strokes after I finish. So far, it seems like a workable compromise.

A typical swim session for me is 720 strokes, which takes me just over 30 minutes. I swim sets of 60 strokes at a time, then switch to a different stroke for the next set. The order I’ve been doing lately is: breaststroke-freestyle-breaststroke-butterfly-freestyle-breaststroke-freestyle-butterfly-breaststroke-freestyle-breaststroke-butterfly. One of these days, I want to start mixing in some backstroke as well.