Tag: water

The dive watch – a history

The oceans have always held a powerful fascination for mankind, accounting for the fact that the history of diving may have started as early as 5,000 B.C., making it as old as human civilization itself. Even today, the sea holds so many secrets and it is doubtful that we will ever fully understand it.

“More people have walked on the moon than have been to the deepest place in the ocean.”

This statement by explorer Don Walsh describes perfectly how little we know about the sea – but as is the spirit of mankind, humans always try to satisfy their curiosity. In order to further explore the marvellous beauty of the sea, all those people who are brave enough to do so, share the need for reliable devices as without them, there would be no diving as we know it today. One of these devices is the diving watch.

Confronted with today’s overwhelming choice of dive watches, we might sometimes forget about the progress this special timepiece had to go through before it arrived at the point where it is today.

Compared to the time span that comprises the history of diving, the history of the diver’s watch seems ridiculously short. But being a mere hundred years in the making, the dive watch underwent an astonishing development, bringing it from a fragile novelty to a robust and reliable companion.

The very first diving watch

Nowadays, several big names of the watch industry claim to have been the first to develop a dive watch and so far no agreement has been reached. Rolex insists on having invented “the first waterproof and dustproof wristwatch [which] marked a major step forward” while Blancpain declares the year 1953 the “creation of the first modern diver’s watch” thanks to its Fifty Fathoms and Omega boasts about having “created the first true dive watch.

But let us have a look at the facts:
Although the first efforts to waterproof watches were already made in the 17th century, no real progress was made until three centuries later. In the beginning of the 20th century, water was still one of the biggest enemies of the watch (together with dust, shock, magnetic fields, and general abrasion).

Then Hans Wilsdorf appeared on the scene of the watch industry – the founder of Rolex, who would play a remarkable role in the development of the dive watch – and changed the course of history – it could be called the genesis of the modern diving watch. In 1926, the ambitious genius developed a wristwatch that was waterproof as well as dustproof thanks to its winding crown, bezel, and case back that could be screwed down against the middle case, heralding a new era: a century of unstoppable development that finally lead to the wide range of watches that accompany divers to the most spectacular and mysterious parts of the oceans.

This watch named Oyster – the forefather of today’s famous Rolex Oyster collection – was put to the test on 7 October 1927 when British endurance swimmer Mercedes Gleitze who attempted to cross the English Channel. During this daring swim, she wore the Rolex Oyster on a chain around her neck. The public was certainly surprised when the watch not only survived more than 10 hours in the freezing water, but still worked with a precision and accuracy that was astonishing, making it the first water-resistant watch in history.

Great minds think alike: Omega, Panerai, and Blancpain

Omega SA was the first company to industrially produce and commercially distribute a diving watch in 1932. Being the predecessor of today’s successful Seamaster collection, the Omega Marine was tested on the wrist of Charles William Beebe, a famous naturalist and explorer, and survived a water depth of 14 metres.

In 1935, at request of the Royal Italian Navy, Officine Panerai joins the ranks of those who dedicated themselves to creating the perfect dive watch and starts developing its own waterproof watch – the Panerai Radiomir. Its name derives from the radium-based powder that gives the numerals and markers of this watch its luminosity. Back then, only ten prototypes of the watch were made – all of them equipped with a Rolex movement that was protected from water with a case back and winding crown that could be both screwed down.

Two years after equipping the Royal Italian Navy with this water-resistant watch, Officine Panerai started mass-producing the Panerai Radiomir, which is today considered to be the first underwater military watch worldwide.

The well-established watch manufacturer Blancpain was not one to be left out in this race for the best water-resistant watch. In 1953, a watch was launched at the request of the French Navy: the Fifty Fathoms. This watch – one of the first timepieces waterproof up to 100 metres – can also be seen on the wrists of Jacques Cousteau and his team in the famous underwater film “Le monde du silence” (“The Silent World”).

The success story continues: Rolex dive watches in the 20th century

Rolex took another step forward when the Rolex Submariner was presented in 1953 – the first watch impressing with a water-resistance of up to 100 metres. This number would later increase to 200 metres and finally to 300 metres. Additionally, the Submariner is equipped with a uni-directional rotatable bezel, making it ideal and safe for measuring diving time.

The Rolex Submariner collection rose to fame, when it was featured in a number of James Bond movies, e.g. on the wrist of Sean Connery in “Dr. No”, the very first film about the British Secret Service agent. Ian Fleming, the author of the James Bond book series, stated about the spy: “He could not just wear a watch. It had to be a Rolex.”

The French company COMEX (Compagnie Maritime d’Expertises) – a pioneer in saturation diving – let Rolex equip its divers with the Rolex Submariner. From 1963 onwards, the Rolex Sea-Dweller was the company’s dive watch of choice because of its innovative case with the imperative helium escape valve and its waterproofness of up to 610 metres – or 2,000 feet, earning the watch the name Sea-Dweller 2000.

From this point, the development continues with an unprecedented speed:
In 1978, Rolex develops the Sea-Dweller 4000 with a water-resistance of 4,000 feet (1,220 metres). 30 years later, the Rolex Deepsea is created: a watch that can survive 3,900 metres (12,800 feet) under the surface – 100 deeper than the human body.

Rolex’ diving adventures

Only seven years after the launch of the Submariner, Rolex entered unknown territory. Aboard the submersible bathyscaphe “Trieste”, the aforementioned Don Walsh and the oceanographer Jacques Piccard set out in 1960 with the intention of exploring uncharted waters: they traveled to the deepest point of the ocean, the Challenger Deep at the southern end of the Mariana Trench. On their way to the ocean floor – to a terrifying depth of 10,916 metres (35,800 feet) – the two pioneers were accompanied by the Rolex Deep Sea Special strapped to the outside of the bathyscaphe. Having successfully completed the adventure, Jacques Piccard sent a telegram to the Rolex headquarters that read: “Happy to announce that your watch works as well at 11,000 metres as it does on the surface.”

Half a century later, the next expedition gets under way, making 26 March 2012 a historic day for the world of diving: James Cameron sets out for the world first solo dive to the Mariana Trench – the first manned dive since the adventure of Don Walsh and Jacques Piccard. All alone in the submersible Deepsea Challenger, the famous film director is only accompanied by the experimental watch Rolex Deepsea Challenge on the outside of the boat. Reaching an incredible depth of 12,000 metres, Cameron and the Rolex watch go down in the annals of history.

Dive computers: the future is now

Dive computers (personal decompression computers, decompression meters) first arose in 1957 and have since then partly replaced the separate equipment needed for dives.
In the development of this device, the Finnish company Suunto holds a special position: founded in 1936, it started its success story with the distribution of liquid-filled compasses and half a century later, the first dive computer was launched: the Suunto SME-ML. Merely a decade passed until these essential devices reached the size we know today.

However, the dive computer has not superseded the diving watch – nor will it in the foreseeable future. Today, the diver’s watch is as reliable and popular as never before and the innovative drive of the watch manufacturers is in full swing. Their accuracy and functionality as well as their elegance is ever increasing, making the diving watch the ideal companion both under water and on land.

Top 6 dive watches today

The Rolex Submariner is probably the best-known dive watch – and not only for being worn by James Bond. The iconic design combined with the extraordinary quality that made Rolex famous makes for a reliable wristwatch water-resistant to 300 metres.
But the “Sub” is not the only celebrated dive watch by Rolex: the Sea-Dweller and its more expensive sister model, the Rolex Deepsea, are every bit as reliable and precise as the Submariner.

Having created the first modern dive watch, Blancpain has outdone itself with every Fifty Fathoms watch it has launched since presenting the first model in 1953. This collection of dive watches features a wide range of different designs, offering the right watch for everyone.

Paying tribute to the original Breitling Superocean, the Superocean Héritage is a popular choice for divers. The choice of different models – all of them equipped with a COSC-certified movement – of this collections satisfies every taste.

Its angular case makes the legendary Panerai Radiomir collection easily recognisable. But Officine Panerai has another ace up its sleeve: the dive watch Panerai Luminor is younger than the Radiomir, but that does not take away from its continuous success – especially after being seen on Sylvester “Sly” Stallone’s wrist in the movie “The Expendables”.

Introduced in 1967, the IWC Aquatimer has been reinvented numerous times and several special editions have been launched. The innovative IWC SafeDive System as well as a separate internal and external bezel make diving even safer.

Finally, the Oris ProDiver must not be forgotten. The version Oris ProDiver Date outperforms all watches for amateurs and aims directly at professional divers. Equipped with the Oris Rotation Safety System, this dive watch will never let its wearer down.

An honorable mention goes to: Suunto. Even though the Finnish company does not technically produce dive watches, no such list would be complete without a word about Suunto – especially as there is a whole range of watch-sized dive computers.

5 MOTIVATIONAL SWIMMING POSTERS TO GET YOU FIRED UP

1. UNLEASH GREATNESS.

Whatever greatness in the pool means for you, whether it is making your first sectionals or provincials cut, this poster will remind you to unleash your inner greatness every single day.

Swimming Motivational Poster 02 - Copy

It is produced on glossy, high quality paper, and comes in at 2 feet by 3 feet, which means it can not only remind you to be great, but also cover up any unfortunate holes or otherwise unsightly portions of your wall.

“Be not afraid of greatness.” — William Shakespeare


2. I ONLY FEAR NOT TRYING.

It’s shocking how many swimmers are more afraid of the hardship of the journey than of the regret they would face if they don’t try at all.

Don’t be that swimmer.

Swimming Motivational Poster 03

Be the athlete who gives it their all, and who can walk away from the pool knowing that they gave it their absolute best, and can do so without regrets or fear.

“In the end, we only regret the chances we didn’t take.”


3. CHALLENGES ARE THE DOORWAYS TO EXCELLENCE.

How often have you stopped cold after a setback? Or been demoralized by a defeat? If you are like me, more than a couple times.

This poster is designed to remind you that all too often success is just on the other side of the struggle and grind.

Swimming Motivational Poster 01

In other words, if you want excellence, you gotta be willing to punch through a few challenges on the way.

“We don’t grow when things are easy. We grow when we face challenges.”


4. DREAM BIGGER.

It can be hard to create big goals when we are surrounded by small-minded friends, family, and swimmers. For every athlete that accomplished something worthwhile there was someone who told them it couldn’t be done.

That they should think smaller, and dream smaller. This is your reminder to think big. To dream big. And to act big.

Swimming Motivational Poster 04

“…with hard work, with belief, with confidence and trust in yourself and those around you, there are no limits.” –Michael Phelps


5. DECIDE WHAT YOU WANT.

The most freeing moment is making a firm and unwavering decision to after a goal. To have the end goal specified, a plan to get there, and the determination to see it through.

After all, it all begins with a decision. Once made, everything else seems to fall into place.

Swimming Motivational Poster 05

This poster is designed to remind you to live up to your decision on a daily basis.

 “Once you make a decision, the universe conspires to make it happen.” –Ralph Waldo Emerson

How Can I Learn to Swim by Myself?

The shallow end of a swimming pool is a good place to learn to swim by yourself. Swimming involves breathing, kicking with your legs and stroking with your arms. These are things you can practice one at a time in shallow water. Possibly the simplest stroke for a beginner is the forward crawl. Once you understand how to propel yourself across the top of the water, you can practice and learn other strokes.

Step 1

Stand with your back against the end of the pool, take a breath and bend forward at the waist until your face is completely in the water. Your ears should be at the water line. Hold this position for two seconds, slowly turn your head to one side and exhale into the water as you do. Return to a standing position.

Step 2

Hold your arms out from your side, palms down with your fingers together. Take a breath and bend forward as before. With your face in the water, bring your right arm up and out of the water, and reach in front of yourself. When your hand contacts the water, pull your arm straight down and make a circular motion underwater until your hand is behind you and at your right side. Your palm should be up at this point. Turn your head to the right and draw a new breath through your mouth without lifting your head. Turn your head back and exhale with your face in the water.

Step 3

Repeat the stroke and breathing exercise until you are able to make a stroke with each arm and one complete breath without lifting your head out of the water. Looping or irregular strokes underwater will cause you to work harder in order to cover the same distance when your swimming. The arms propel the front of your body and kicking your legs will prevent your torso from sinking.

Step 4

Face the side of the pool and place both hands on the edge. Extend your arms, lift both legs together until your arms, body and legs are in a straight line away from the edge. Turn your head to one side and draw a breath through your mouth. Do not lift your head straight up. Hold your knees straight and kick your legs from the hip. Kick relatively fast and make the smallest splashes possible. Your feet should not come out of the water. Exhale underwater, turn your head and draw a new breath. Continue your kicks and breathing until you are comfortable breathing while kicking.

Step 5

Stand with your back to the side of the pool, facing across the shallow end to the opposite side. Bend at the knees, extend your left arm in front, take a breath and push away from the side with your legs. As you move away from the side, your face should go in the water and your legs should begin to kick as you take a forward stroke with your right arm.

Step 6

Continue kicking as you make concentrated strokes, bringing each hand back until the palm is at your side as you reach ahead to stroke with the other arm. Make two strokes with each arm, turn your head and draw a breath, return your head to straight and continue. Practice this until you feel comfortable with the breathing and you are able to swim the width of the pool without having to stop.

10 Ways to Improve Cold Water Tolerance

By: Tim Moss

Cold water swimming is something I’ve written about before, particularly with regards to its health benefits, but here are a few tips for acclimatising to cold water, adapting to the icy water and improving tolerance for those winter swims:

  1. Get regular swimming exposure in cool or cold water. The more you do it, even if only briefly, the more you’ll improve your tolerance.
  2. Wear a swimming cap or two, and/or a neoprene hat, as your head will suffer the most in the cold water.
  3. Gain some weight. Fatter people stay warmer for longer and have better tolerance as a result.
  4. Use a wetsuit if you want to do a longer winter swim (and don’t consider it “cheating”).
  5. Wetsuit gloves and socks are excellent additions, with or without the main suit, as hands and feet can get painfully cold.
  6. Use a bigger swimming mask rather than little goggles as they’ll cover more of your face when it goes under water.
  7. Try cold showers and baths at home to help with your body’s cold water adaptation.
  8. Build up your brown fat supplies. Not very practical but an interesting area of research
  9. Train to be a stronger swimmer. Muscles create heat so if you’re able to work hard in the water, you’ll stay warmer.
  10. Enter slowly and/or splash yourself a bit first. It’s argued that this gives your body a chance to react more than if you jump straight in (which Lewis Gordon Pugh advocates).

5 Health benefits Of Swimming In Winter

Overweight, lethargic, bad skin, thin hair. These are not adjectives often associated with those crazy freezing water enthusiasts. Try: athletic, youthful and toned with good complexions and lots of energy. So, what’s their secret? What are the real beneficial health outcomes of regular exposure to cold water and are they available to normal people without masochistic tendencies?

 

1. Boosts your immune system

For your body, a sudden and drastic change in temperature constitutes an attack – as anyone who’s ever fallen overboard in British waters will concur. And, whilst “attacking” your own body may not sound like a good thing, there is no harm in keeping it on its toes. In fact, quite the opposite.

Scientists from the Czech Republic immersed witting subjects in cold water for one hour, three times a week and monitored their physiology. They found significant increases in white blood cell counts and several other factors relating to the immune system. This was attributed to the cold water being a mild stressor which activates the immune system and gives it some practice.

2. For an all-natural high

Winter swimmers talk a lot about the ‘high’ they get from cold water – a feeling of wellbeing that’s so encompassing that it becomes quite addictive (who doesn’t want to feel truly good, at least once a day?) The cause? Endorphins.

Endorphins are the body’s natural pain killers and, in the case of a cold dip, it uses them to take the sting away from your skin. So, to get high on your own supply, all you need to do is jump in a river.

And if you think that sounds dangerously close to the pleasure/pain barrier then you’re probably right. The two other primary causes for endorphin release are pain and orgasm.

The cold will also stimulate your parasympathetic system, which is responsible for rest and repair, and this can trigger the release of dopamine and serotonin. These neurotransmitters are a vital part of keeping us happy and low levels of them are linked with depression. Couple this effect with the endorphin rush as you take the plunge and it should make for a warm glow and a wide smile when you re-emerge.

3. Gets your blood pumping

Being hot brings blood to surface. Being cold sends it to your organs. Both extremes work your heart like a pump. That’s why the whole sit in the sauna, roll in the snow, sit in the sauna thing makes people glow. But why is increased blood flow good for you?

Well, it helps flush your circulation for starters, pushing blood through all your capillaries, veins and arteries. It will exfoliate your skin and flush impurities from it, thus helping your complexion (firm-bodied women of all ages around pool sides say it stops cellulite). Evidence also demonstrates that your body adapts to the cold with repeated exposure and this may improve your circulation, particularly to your extremities – no bad thing in the winter months.

You could get these benefits by switching between the hot and cold taps in your shower (or the sauna, snow, sauna thing) but that doesn’t sound nearly as fun as quick dip in your local pond followed by wrapping up warm afterwards.

 

4. Improves your sex life

The suggestion of a cold shower might bring forth images of hot-headed young men trying to quell wanton urges but research paints a different picture.

In a study with a similar format to the one described above, participants took daily cold baths and were monitored for changes. In addition to some similar results to their Czech counterparts, these researchers also found increased production of testosterone and oestrogen in men and women respectively.

In addition to enhancing libido in both sexes, these hormones also play an important role in fertility. In fact, one technique recommended for men looking to fatherhood is to bathe their testicles in cold water every day.  Whatever your procreative desires, a dip of a different sort certainly could add an edge to your sex life.

5. Burns calories

We all know that swimming is great exercise but there are some extra benefits from doing it in the North Sea that you just won’t get from a warm wade in the Med.

Swimming in cold water will make your body work twice as hard to keep you warm and burn more calories in the process. For this sort of exercise, fat is your body’s primary source of energy and the increased work rate will increase your metabolism in the long run.

Ledecky in sizzling 200m freestyle win

Los Angeles – Five-time Olympic champion Katie Ledecky clocked the fastest 200m freestyle time in the world this year on Friday, hours after announcing she’d inked her first professional sponsorship deal with TYR.

Ledecky has broken 14 world records and won six Olympic medals, but the 21-year-old didn’t turn professional until after the NCAA collegiate championships in March.

California swimwear manufacturer TYR said in a statement on Friday that their deal with Ledecky “represents the most lucrative partnership in the history of the swim industry,” although no terms were revealed.

In Friday’s Pro Swim meeting sponsored by TYR, Ledecky won the 200m free in 1:54.56.

That improved on the previous best of 2018, the 1:54.81 set by Canadian Taylor Ruck at the Commonwealth Games in April.

Melanie Margalis was a distant second in 1:57.99.

“That’s exactly where I was hoping to be,” Ledecky said.

“I felt like I could go a 1:54 tonight, after going a 55 this morning. I just wanted to put together a really great race and make some adjustments off of this morning’s swim.”

Ex-champion Magnini faces 8-year doping ban

Milan – Italy’s anti-doping prosecutors have requested an eight-year ban against former two-time world swimming champion Filippo Magnini, according to reports on Wednesday.

The Gazzetta dello Sport reported that NADO prosecutors requested an eight-year ban for Magnini and four years for his relay teammate Michele Santucci, who are being investigated for allegedly using banned substances.

Magnini, 36, who is retired, and Santucci, 29, were questioned last October over their relationship with nutritionist Guido Porcellini, who is being probed for allegedly distributing illegal drugs.

Four-time world medallist Magnini won the 100m freestyle at the 2005 and 2007 world championships and a relay bronze at the 2004 Athens Olympics.

Both swimmers have protested their innocence, and a lawyer acting on their behalf would not comment.

“It is important to specify that this is a request, far from being a definitive judgement on the issue,” said Italian Olympic Committee (CONI) president Giovanni Malago.

“Commenting would be a mistake on my part, Nado Italia is independent of CONI. In reading this news I am a spectator, even if an interested one.”

 

Source: News24

Top Father’s Day Gifts for Swimmer Dads

Father’s Day is just around the corner! Here’s a couple gift ideas for Father’s Day, but specifically for those dads that are active swimmers:

Underwater Audio Waterproof iPod

Hydroharmony with silver iPod on woodUnderwater Audio Waterproof iPod – this is a great gift, because it allows you to listen to your favorite music while swimming laps, training, or even relaxing in the spa after a long day.
Bonus: the Waterproof iPod also functions as a regular iPod! It can be used while running, snowboarding, walking, or lounging around the house. It’s a must for all those active dads!

Swimbuds Sport Waterproof HeadphonesEarbud Headphones

Earbud Headphones – what would a Waterproof iPod be without headphones?!
You can purchase the newest and latest earbud sport headphones. You can also buy them in bundles, which gives you more for your money.

Family Swim Day

Floating Water Radio

Floating Water Radio – this is perfect for parties or family days at the pool. Everyone can enjoy their favorite music while splashing around the pool all day.

Waterproof Stop WatchWaterproof Stopwatch

Waterproof Stop Watch – a must have for all those professional or swim training dads. They can keep track of their time and speed each time.
Which allows them to push themselves harder and beat even their best time!

Water Joggers and Resistance Cuffs

Water Joggers and Resistance Cuffs – an amazing new way to train in the water. The joggers and resistance cuffs add the extra resistance to training, but without being too hard on your body.

Swimming For Kids With Special Needs

Teaching kids with special needs to swim is not only a good idea, it’s essential.  Swimming lessons help kids with special needs in a number of key areas, including greater muscle strength and physical endurance, increased flexibility, more self-control, and, in many instances, improved behavioral outcomes.

Creating an effective swimming program for kids with special needs takes a patient understanding of each swimming student as well as a well-thought-out plan for how the lessons can be adapted to each child.  Here are some tips on teaching swimming lessons to kids with special needs:

  • Give each child individualized attention — Because swimming with be a new experience for most of these children, they may be hesitant or reluctant to “take the plunge” at first.  Be patient, and work with kids at their own speed to get them adapted to being in the water and moving in the water.  Additionally, children with epilepsy with need “spotters” at all times.
  • Utilize appropriate adaptive equipment — Some students may benefit from adaptive equipment that makes the water experience more positive for them.  Life jackets other flotation devices like floating mats may sometimes be used to help children with motor disorders enjoy swimming safely.  For children with tubes in the ears, specialized swim plugs or caps will need to be used to prevent the water from doing damage.
  • Limit distractions — Special needs children often do better in areas of the pool with no distractions.  Try to limit harsh lighting or background noises.
  • Be consistent — Since many special needs kids thrive with specific, predictable routines, it is essential that instructors be consistent in their teaching times and methods.  Any necessary deviations from normal schedules should be planned in advance.
  • Adapt to the needs of each child — Some children may benefit from visual cues (for instance, with flash cards or diagrams) as opposed to verbal instructions.  Other children may learn better with physical demonstrations.  It is important to adapt the lessons to match the ways in which each child learns best.
  • Emphasize basic water skills — Before attempting to teach swimming via traditional strokes, it’s important to make sure that each child masters basic water skills like breathing, maneuvering underwater, and flotation.  These skills will not come naturally for many children, which is why a patient, consistent teaching method is best.
  • Make it fun — Getting into the water for the first time can be a scary experience for many special needs children.  Try to reduce water anxiety by making their experience fun and giving them plenty of praise and encouragement.
  • Plan for safety — Make sure that safety is a top priority in your swimming program.  Safety measures include having a small class sizes, clean water, good leadership, qualified swim instructors, and a documented emergency plan.

Swimming is an important skill that can save the lives of special needs children.  Parents and educators can work with swimming instructors to create adapted swimming programs that fit the need of each child individually.

Written by: Teressa Dahl

Brush Up on Your Pool Talk With This Handy Swimming Glossary

By Alex Kostich

On the bottom, we’re going to descend 5 x 200 at 3:00, even split, 3:1 with full gear.

If the above sentence makes no sense, it may be time for you to brush up on your swimming vocabulary. Regardless of whether you are a Masters swimmer or a weekend warrior who trains alone, it is helpful to familiarize yourself with swimming lingo should you come across a situation that requires it (you know, cocktail parties, Who Wants to Be a Millionaire, or simply using Active’s Swimming page).

What follows is a brief list of terms that can handily be printed, posted, or memorized should you venture onto a pool deck and feel the need to blend in!

50: generally refers to 50 yards or meters, a common repeat distance for sprinters and endurance athletes alike.

100: twice the length of a 50, and a common pace distance.

500: 500 yards or meters, this is a longer distance common in many endurance workouts (equivalent to 0.33 of a mile).

Short course: a 25-meter/yard pool where four lengths (or two laps) equal 100 meters/yards.

Long course: a 50-meter pool where two lengths or one lap equals 100 meters. Also referred to as Olympic distance. Nonexistent in yard format.

Length: distance swum in one direction in any given pool.

Lap: distance swum up and back in any given pool.

Set: a grouping of distances composing part of a workout or drill; 5 x 100 is a set that is 500 meters long; 500, 400, 300, 200, 100 is a set that is 1,500 meters long.

Interval: the time given to complete a certain drill. A 2:00 interval for 100 meters means that if you can swim 100 meters in 1:40 minutes, you will have 20 seconds of rest before repeating the next one.

Repeats: the components of a set; 5 x 100 is a set of 100 repeats.

Threshold: the maximum time you can hold, or repeat, for a given distance during a highly aerobic set.

Pace: the time per repeat you can hold consistently during a set, and ideally the time (per 100 meters, for instance) that you can hold during a race.

Negative splitting: the act of completing the second half of a set distance faster than the first half.

Even splitting: the act of completing both the first half and last half of a set distance at equal speeds.

Descending: increasing one’s speed incrementally during a set distance (She is descending her one-mile race by 100 meters).

On the top: starting a set on the 12 o’clock (or 60-second) mark on a poolside pace clock.

On the bottom: starting a set on the 6 o’clock (or 30-second) mark on a pace clock.

Tapering: the act of paring down your workouts (in length and intensity) for the weeks or days leading up to a specific race.

Full gear: all pulling equipment (buoy, tube, paddles) worn simultaneously during a pull set. The best way to get an upper-body swim workout.

Buoy: flotation device used to stabilize the legs and correct body position in the water.

Tube: a basic inner-tube from a small wheel used to bind your ankles while wearing a pull buoy; prevents kicking and helps keep legs together (and buoy from slipping).

Paddles: plastic hand-disks used to maximize an upper-body pulling workout. Available in several shapes and sizes, depending on your skill and preference.

Dragsuit: a baggy, nylon unisex swimsuit, worn over a regular practice suit to add resistance to everyday training.

Band training: dry-land workout using rubber stretch cords to strengthen muscles used in all four strokes.

Hypoxic training: any type of set where a breathing pattern is the focal point of the drill.

3:1: Breathing pattern where you take one breath for every three strokes; this is a bilateral breathing pattern (you breathe on both left and right sides).

2:1: Breathing pattern where you breathe once for every two strokes (you only breathe on one side, your left or right).

Circle swimming: swimming in a lane in a standard counter-clockwise direction, up the right side and back down the left. Preferable when more than one person is sharing your lane.

Catch-up stroke: special drill where basic crawl (freestyle) is altered so that each arm catches up with the other before completing the next stroke (one arm is stationary above your head, in beginning-stroke position, while the other completes a full stroke rotation).

Sculling: special drill using only your hands (not your arms) to scull your way through the water; arms at your sides, with your wrists whipping back and forth in a waving motion (designed to develop feel for the water). Good workout when lap swimming is not an option (hotel pools, crowded slow lanes).

Vertical kicking: special drill executed in deep water (diving wells and deep ends of hotel pools when lap swimming is not an option) where one kicks in a vertical position with arms crossed over chest, or extended above head for various intervals/sets.

Apple Watch for Swimming: A Review from the Lap Pool

Unless you live under a chlorinated rock you’ve heard of the Apple Watch. Like it’s brother and sister products the iPad, iPod and iPhone, it’s a ground-breaking piece of electronic gear that made smartwatches mainstream.

Since then other players have jumped in, including Garmin (and their Garmin Swim watch as it related to swimmers), along with FitBit and their waterproof watches, and others including Speedo (and their MisFit Shine 2).

The Apple Watch, however, is a true smartwatch: a device that runs as a digital home on your wrist for everything from playing tunes, sending and receiving text messages and adding third-party apps that can do just about anything you can think of.

As it relates to swimmers and crushing their swim workouts, the Apple Watch is also a massively powerful tool for measuring and tracking your swimming.

Whether you use the native app that comes bundled with the smartwatch, or pick up one of the popular third-party apps that add workouts and videos to the logging features, the Apple Watch is one of the best waterproof fitness trackers for the casual and competitive swimmer.

The first Apple watch was announced in 2014 and launched in the spring of 2015. New editions have followed since then, with the most recent Apple Watch being the Series 3.

The Apple Watch is a fancy-pants smartwatch. There’s no question about that. We could get endlessly lost in its capabilities and features.

Instead, we will talk exclusively about how powerful the Apple Watch is for swimming laps.

The Apple Watch Series 3 for Swimmers

It’s surprising to think how long it took most of the wearable makers to show up when it came to creating devices and apps for swimmers. With the millions of people that hit the pool every day, from casual lap swimmers to triathletes to competitive swimmers, the market for this audience is massive.

The first edition of the Apple Watch was not made for swimming: the Series 2 and Series 3 editions, however, are not only water-proof but come fully loaded with their own app for swimmers.

The Apple Watch Series 3: What Does It Track?

The fancy-pants engineers at Apple installed an accelerometer and gyroscope to capture all the rollicking and rolling we do in the water with our wrist, and as a result can quickly figure out what we are doing (backstroke, freestyle, breaststroke) and quantify it.

While the accelerometer tracks velocity and motion, the gyroscope helps figure out what stroke you are doing judging by the angle of your wrist. The gyro also helps to figure out when you are doing a flip-turn.

The Apple Watch will track total time swum, the number of meters or yards completed (all you have to do is input the pool size before getting in the water), how many strokes you are taking per lap (a barometer for efficiency), the type of stroke you are doing, lap time, and somewhat (but not really) heart rate data.

Critically, it can also sense when you start and stop and will keep track of your bouts of rest.

Fun Facts About Swimming with Your Apple Watch

The app provides all the basic features you would expect from a waterproof fitness tracker: you get your total time elapsed, splits, stroke count

The screen locks once you start a workout. When you kick off a swim practice your Apple Watch screen locks. The reason for this is that you will register fewer disruptions in the monitoring of your session in the water from unintentional tapping of the screen against the water.

Set pool distance before you start. Seems obvious but plugging the length of the pool before you start swimming will give you more accurate results. If you are unsure, ask a lifeguard or the fast swimmer in the pool—they’ll know.

How do you pause the workout mid-swim? Because the screen is locked when in waterproof mode, the normal way to pause a workout is out the window. Apple has thought this through—pressing on the side button and the crown at the same time will pause your practice.

Apple Watch Swimming

It will try to measure your heart rate. Like most fitness smartwatches the Apple Watch struggles to measure heart rate while swimming.

Although a lot of waterproof fitness trackers have leaned away from having a heart rate monitor (the Garmin Swim does away with this feature completely, for example) the Apple Watch measures your heart rate in the water. Just don’t expect the results to be perfectly accurate.

Water inevitably slides between your watch and your wrist, making detection difficult. Apple themselves note that this feature doesn’t work that well (“Water might prevent a heart-rate measurement”). If you are really serious about tracking heart rate while swimming check this guide to water-proof heart rate monitors.

It will track pool length of any type. And I mean any type. You can set the pool length to be as short as 1m. Which is great news for all you bath-tub athletes who are crushing laps in the bathroom.

But in all seriousness, this would come in handy when swimming in random hotel pools, which come in all shapes, sizes and lengths. Before you get in fire up the swim app and you will be prompted for a pool size. Punch it in, and off you go.

It’ll GPS your butt in open water. Fancy yourself some open-ended swimming in your local lakes and ocean? The Apple Watch can track you while you do that too.

Although the GPS chip doesn’t broadcast through water, once your arm breaks the surface it will ping the satellite signal each time you perform one of those majestic arm strokes.

Third Party Logging Apps

One of my favorite features of the Apple Watch is the availability of third party apps. Swim logging apps like MySwimPro and Swim.com can give you much more information than the workout app that comes stock.

If you are using your Apple Watch for straight bouts of freestyle swimming these added features won’t matter much, but if you are doing different strokes, drills, kick, and want more flexibility in your workouts and want to try some expertly-crafted sets, than the added features of the third-party apps can come in handy.

MySwimPro and Swim.com come packaged with workouts and sets. You can upload your own favorite sets and workouts to the watch as well. This is probably the best feature, particularly for you swimmers who train on their own and like to have a clear idea of what’s being served at practice when you step onto the pool deck.

The Apple Watch for Swimming: In Conclusion

The one thing I will say about the logging and tracking abilities is that the Apple Watch is highly, highly accurate. Probably the best I’ve seen among the smartwatches, and even when compared against the swim-only wearables that are available.

I love the third party apps—both outstanding in their own right and developed by former competitive swimmers, making them intuitive as well as feature-rich.

The only downside to the watch?

If you are buying it solely for swimming it’s a bit of a kick to the teeth when it comes to cost. It retails for $300-400, which makes it the second most expensive watch I’ve tried out (the Garmin Fenix 5 being the priciest at $600+).

If you plan on wearing it outside of the pool (and why wouldn’t you—it’s a badass watch), then it’s a bit of a no-brainer.

Where to buy the Apple Watch Series 3:

Apple Watch Series 3 Swimming

by:  Olivier Poirier -Leroy

Swim Schools in Roodepoort and Randpark Ridge

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Swimming Schools in the Randpark Ridge and Roodepoort Area

Name Address Area Contact
Aqualand SA Swimming School 18 Catalenti Road Randpark Ridge 0825212360
Splashmates Swim School 47 Medlar Road Randpark Ridge 0117935904
Happy Feet Swimming School 1834 Scott Avenue Randpark Ridge 0783709698
Aquarius  Aquatics Swim School 1083 Chateau Avenue Roodepoort 0114752313
Amanzi  Scuba and Swim Centre 21 Beverly Drive Roodepoort 0832689777
The Swim School 88 Alexandra Street Roodepoort 0116742530
I Can Swim – Swim Academy 1085 Kajuit Turn Allens nek 073594407
Mony Swim School 4 Rowan Place Constantia Kloof
Aquanauts Swim School 190 Wilgespruit Street Roodepoort 0832561774