Jun 23, 2006 4:34 PM
Who's Counting?

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How do you guys do your workouts with out loosing count of which lap your on? I keep humming the same # over and over but then as soon as I hit the wall I ask myself..
"Did I just finish 18 or am I just starting 18 or was I just counting my arm strokes or, or, ah, crap...Where the heck am I? How much more time in here do I need to make this a decent workout?" Help
I usually just count each length and divide by two... I do tend to lose count if I am thinking about other stuff so usually I just try and think about my breathing and strokes...I have tried to count 3 or 4 sets of 10 laps (2 lengths) which seems to work well but I don't know of any sure fire method that will keep you from losing count every so often...sometimes I just swim continuously for 3040 minutes and leave it at that... good question, though...I am eager to read other people's ideas/tricks to keep from losing count.
if you are just doing 50's or 100's, the i usually push all of the lane line things down, and pull one towards the wall for each 50 or 100. if it wont stay, i usually put something that is easy to remove between my finished and unfinished laps.
sami<3
are you just swimming straight thru for a certain amount of time?
and are you aiming to do a certain number of laps (vs. converting it to yardage like 2500 or whatever)?
you could just think of your workout in terms of 100s.
so then you can count by 100s, which makes it easier.
hope that makes sense.
lisa
A master's coach tought me to count the alphabet as one arm enters and stroke count with other. It helps cadence.
ex: Aone A two, start the stroke count over at the wall, B becomes the next 50 etc. ( A J is 500, T is a 1000)
Hope this helps.
Some of these methods sound very confusing. I always count by 25s/100s, not by laps. If there is a visible clock, check your splits and this will help you to remember how long you've been swimming. If you know you're holding a certain pace, you can just multiply/divide to get the time. When I don't have a visible clock, I lose count of laps easily.
I'm not a seasoned swimmer by any means, but I simply have my watch track my laps/lengths. I just hit the split button on my watch after each lap (down&back). That way I can alway see what lap I'm on. I wear the Timex Ironman Triathlon watch.
I'm infamous for losing track of things (keys, days of the week ...) but I'm pretty good with counting in the pool  I've made it past 54 laps without losing track.
I do two things. First off, for some reason fractions work well for me so I think of each 25m length as a quarter, ie .25, .50, .75 then 1 etc. Somehow that makes it easier to count.
Secondly, I think very forcefully when I push off the wall "This is length 2.5 (or whatever)" so that it sticks in my head. Also, if I'm doing a long set I'll restart my count at a benchmark distance  say 500m. If I'm doing 1500m I can break it down into 3 500m parts and it isn't catastropic if I lose track near the end.
I don't count laps while I swim, instead I wait until after I finish swimming and then use the elapsed time on my watch to determine how many laps I swam. I typically swim for an hour and each length of the pool takes me 27 to 29 secs. So when I glance at my watch after swimming 8 or 10 lengths the displayed seconds will have reduced by 16 or 20 seconds, which means after I swim about 28 to 30 lengths the seconds for the total time should roll through 0. When the seconds roll through 0, I press the lap button once. For a typical one hour swim, I will press the lap button a total of 4 times (at 14min, 28min, 42min, and 56min). To calculate the laps that I've swum I take the time on my watch and round up to the nearest minute, multiply that by 2. Then take the number of times you pressed the lap button and multiply that by two and add to the previous number of calculated laps. For example, when I finish a swim my watch might show a total time of 60:16 with a total of 4 lap button pushes. So to calculate my laps I round 60:16 up to 61, then multiply by 2 for a total of 122. Then I take the number of lap button pushes (4 total) and multiply by two for a total of 8 which I add to the 122 for a total of 130 laps in 60:16 for a per lap average of 27.8 sec per length. There's no way I could count laps for an entire hour, the absolute boredom would kill me within the first 10 minutes of swimming. It's a lot more fun to let my mind wander for the entire hour, and then after finishing the swim spend a minute calculating the laps.
I got this as a gift this past holiday. It fits on your finger and is a lap counter along with other great features. Check it out if you are interested in other stats then just how many laps you have done. The rule that I have always used when counting laps for swimming, is that if I lost count, I add another 2 laps. I would rather finish know I probably went over, then thinking I shorted myself on the distance.
The website you may find it at with the description of all the features is at www.swimtowin.com
The item is called a SportCount Lap Counter Basic.
Finis Inc. just came out with a product that is a miniature pace clock that you can either mount underwater or on the side of the deck. Not sure how it works quite yet (they just sent it to me yesterday), but it keeps a running time and it counts your laps. It has a ton of other useful functions too.
I'm not sure if it's up on the website yet, but if not, it should be soon. Check out www.swimyourbest.com. Enter the discount code: "openwater" for 20% off at checkout.
I hit my lap button on the watch every 100 meters. Just by looking at the elapsed time, I know which lap I am on. Good luck!