General Discussion Triathlon Talk » Open water swim tracking on my phone? Rss Feed  
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2019-11-20 3:32 PM

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Subject: Open water swim tracking on my phone?
Good evening all.

I do not have access to a pool near where I live, but since I'm on an island, the beach is an easy 6 minute drive from my home. Thus I do all my "swim training" as open water beach swims. Whilst I use my phone (NikeRun and Map my Ride) to track my runs and rides, I have not been able to figure out a way to track the distance I swim. Thus, for the past 6 months, I have simply been logging the duration of the swim and the strokestyle used, usually about 25 minutes freestyle and 25 minutes breaststroke.

I am interested in perhaps participating in some local single sport events, since there seems to be only 1 triathlon hosted in my country per year. 5K and 10K run events offered every weekend and cycle events offered every 2 months. There are about 4 open water swim events at distances 1 - 10K per year.

At the moment, since I have no idea how far I swim, I'm not sure how to go about training to increase speed. I have a swim-buoy dry bag, so I thought maybe I could put my phone in it.... and have the NikeRun app track my distance..... and it didn't. The Apple series seems to be the watch best rated at open water gps tracking, however, the exchange rate for US to my currency is about $8... an Apple watch lightly estimating the shipping and import taxes will set me back about $2500. Thus I am determined to find a fiscally responsible alternative.

Does anyone know of an app that I can use on my phone to track the distance covered in an open water swim....... And if all options are exhausted I guess a reasonably priced watch capable of tracking open water swims in salt water

Thank you very much


2019-11-20 9:19 PM
in reply to: smallras

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Subject: RE: Open water swim tracking on my phone?
What I did before I bought a very cheap Garmin Vivoactive watch was to pick out a landmark on the shore a bit away from where I was going to start my swim. Then I would swim along the shore until I reached said land mark and then turn around and swim back to where I started. After the swim was complete, I would use my phone to track me jogging along the shore to the landmark so I would know how far it was. I am sure it wasn't the most accurate way to measure, but it was close enough for me. And it gave me a run workout after a swim!

I bought my Vivoactive used on Ebay for about $60 shipped if I recall. It's an old obsolete model, but it does everything I need it to do. This particular model doesn't track open water swims (just pool swimming), but I just set it to running, and it tracks the distance. Using it like this, it won't count your strokes , and I would be surprised if the calories were right, but it gives me the distance and time. It may be worth the time (pardon the pun) to look on the used market. I would think any waterproof fitness watch could track open water swimming in the same manner as mine.

Hope this helps,

J White
2019-12-02 4:49 PM
in reply to: Jwse30

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Subject: RE: Open water swim tracking on my phone?
thank you so much..... I will look into this
2019-12-03 5:16 AM
in reply to: smallras

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Subject: RE: Open water swim tracking on my phone?
I've never done it but there doesn't seem to be any reason why any live tracking app wouldn't work. If you use a waterproof bag like a swim buoy and start a tracking app like strava...I don't see why it wouldn't work. I think that the swim buoy would keep the phone above the water and let it connect to GPS.

Any Fenix or forerunner like 935 should track pretty well or Suunto.
2019-12-04 12:51 PM
in reply to: smallras

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over a barrier
Subject: RE: Open water swim tracking on my phone?
New wave swim buoy has a version w/ a dry bag. You could put your normal device in that bag and tow the buoy.
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