Open water swimming in Runner 3 — TomTom Community

Open water swimming in Runner 3

brufjebrufje Posts: 4 [Apprentice Traveler]
It seems the runner 3 is set for indoor lap swimming. How to use it for open water swimming? I wish to reserve freestyle for windsurfing. So it would be desirable that swimming is still swimming. ..


  • tfarabaughtfarabaugh Posts: 15,788 Superusers
    brufje wrote:
    It seems the runner 3 is set for indoor lap swimming. How to use it for open water swimming? I wish to reserve freestyle for windsurfing. So it would be desirable that swimming is still swimming. ..

    The watch does not support open water swimming using GPS, it is for pools only (it never has a likely never will). Supporting open water swimming is much more complicated than pool swimming (which involves counting strokes and figuring out the stroke length). GPS cannot be detected underwater so it would need to time the GPS signal attainment with the split second the watch is above water on each stroke (assuming you are doing a stroke that brings your arms out of the water). What most users who want open water swimming do is to use freestyle mode and put the watch in their cap or on a safety buoy behind them so it stays out of the water. You will then get distance but will lose swim specific metrics, however. You can later go into MySports and edit the activity, changing the activity type from Freestyle to swimming.

    I hope this helps, please let me know if this answered your question. If it did, please mark it as a solution so others can look for it if they have the same question.
  • HakuhideHakuhide Posts: 3 [Apprentice Traveler]
    Well, it can be done something about it. Garmin does have Open Water mode and detect GPS and makes trace map so why not TomTom cannot do it? I understand what difficulties are because I am an engineer as well as Multisport player. But we love to have these features in TomTom GPS watch as well. We are not asking/expecting 1 m accuracy GPS trace map, correct stroke counts etc. It's not a pool swim.
    5, 10 or maybe 50 or 100 m tolerance will be acceptable at Open Water swim anyway.
    Yes, I am using "Freestyle" mode at Open Water swim but the problem soon as I change the activity type from "Freestyle" to "Swim" by using that data after uploaded, the map disappears. We need the Map! That is the whole point.
    Also, If I use this "Freestyle" mode information and share to Facebook, it appears as "Walk"...this is very frustrating. It is not "Walk" activity but "Freestyle". (if it shows a changed type activity, even better!)
    Can TomTom do something about it?
  • nephewtomnephewtom Posts: 4 [Master Traveler]
    Why is this marked as SOLVED?
    Hakuhide pointed to the right issues, that can possible have an easier solution.

  • HakuhideHakuhide Posts: 3 [Apprentice Traveler]
    Hi Nephewtom,
    Not sure why this is SOLVED...however TomTom has not been replying anything. Sad...
    I wonder how this issue is lighten up to TomTom engineering team.
  • tfarabaughtfarabaugh Posts: 15,788 Superusers
    It is marked as solved because the original poster chose to mark it that way. It was not necessarily a solution to their issue but it was an answer to their question. The watch does not support open water swimming and never has and just because Garmin chooses to or is able to do something does not mean TT can or will. Garmin does not support open water swimming on all their devices, particularly the lower end ones that TT competes with, and just because 100m tolerance is fine for you, it may not be for everyone else. Considering swimming is the least used activity in the watches I doubt TT is going to change anything, and even if they do, it will not likely be for the MultiSports which are over 4 years old and are not in production anymore and not getting further updates. If anything, I imagine this would be a feature of a new model meant to drive new sales.

    I do not care either way myself and it would be great if they added it, but it is not likely to happen. If open water swimming support is a vital feature to you, I would suggest looking at brands and models that do support it, not counting on TT to add a feature to their lineup, particularly the old, discontinued ones.
  • nephewtomnephewtom Posts: 4 [Master Traveler]
    Well, I just bought the watch a couple days ago...
    So for me it is not a matter of not being in production or not.
    They sell it and I bought it, and I expect that they care about their customers.
    Otherwise, next time I won't buy Tom Tom, and I won't recommend it. Just that.

    I considered buying a Garmin Swim, since I swim often.
    But I also was interested in the 24/7 HR, and gym possibilities.
    So I decided to get this one, as I mostly swim on pool.
    But just by chance, I will be doing open water swimming tomorrow.
    So I would expect it at least to measure something.

    Hakihide response made clever assumptions and pointed to the right direction.
    We are not asking for swimming precision features, just common sense.
    Anyway, I understand that the watch was not initially prepared for this.

    So, for open water swimming, what do you recommend, Hakihide?
    Try to use "Freestyle" and see if it records something useful?
    I am guessing Swim mode will not be useful.
    I will appreciate your recommendation.

    Best Regards.
  • tfarabaughtfarabaugh Posts: 15,788 Superusers
    Which model did you buy? Your profile does not have the model listed, was it a MultiSport or one of the Spark lineup?
  • nephewtomnephewtom Posts: 4 [Master Traveler]
    It is a Tom Tom Runner 3, that according to what I have read, it is the same as the Spark 3.
  • tfarabaughtfarabaugh Posts: 15,788 Superusers
    Hakuhide has a MultiSport, which is a discontinued model and those comments were directed at them. The Spark3 is still fully supported, although you are not likely to see any change in swimming for the reasons mentioned already. The technological limitations of using GPS in the water along with the very low usage of the device for swimming means that they are not likely to change this, as the cost to do so would outweigh the customer demand.
  • Claudio AraujoClaudio Araujo Posts: 6 [Master Traveler]
    I'm frustrated, I bought my tomtom spark 3 and the product box and website did not report at any point that it could not be used for open water swimming.
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