Swimming Inaccuracy

xfiledavid
xfiledavid Registered Users Posts: 11
Legendary Explorer
edited January 24 in TomTom Sports
I would like to know if TomTom are aware of an issue with the accuracy with swimming.
have used 25m and 50m pool sizes and the stats vary and seem quite inconsistent.

example from tonight's swim 400metres in a 50M pool = 8 lengths, 3 times in a similar manner.

Lengths; 12/16/15 (Shouldn't this be 8, instead 3 different numbers,also this data is not visible on mysports)
Distance; 0.60/0.81/0.80 ( shouldnt this be 0.40, 2nd 3rd seem close, but how if lengths are different 16 & 15)
strokes; 18/24/33
speed km/h; 3.75/4.82/4.71
Spl; 19/14/13
swolf; 49/38/37

Any other of you spark owners also experience swimming issues?, there are a few posts with people having the same issues but not too much recently
https://en.discussions.tomtom.com/spark-and-runner-2-473/spark-swimming-992405
https://en.discussions.tomtom.com/spark-and-runner-2-473/tomtom-runner-2-swimming-performance-991731

Comments

  • tfarabaugh
    tfarabaugh Posts: 16,938
    Superuser
    xfiledavid wrote:
    I would like to know if TomTom are aware of an issue with the accuracy with swimming.
    have used 25m and 50m pool sizes and the stats vary and seem quite inconsistent.

    example from tonight's swim 400metres in a 50M pool = 8 lengths, 3 times in a similar manner.

    Lengths; 12/16/15 (Shouldn't this be 8, instead 3 different numbers,also this data is not visible on mysports)
    Distance; 0.60/0.81/0.80 ( shouldnt this be 0.40, 2nd 3rd seem close, but how if lengths are different 16 & 15)
    strokes; 18/24/33
    speed km/h; 3.75/4.82/4.71
    Spl; 19/14/13
    swolf; 49/38/37

    Any other of you spark owners also experience swimming issues?, there are a few posts with people having the same issues but not too much recently
    https://en.discussions.tomtom.com/spark-and-runner-2-473/spark-swimming-992405
    https://en.discussions.tomtom.com/spark-and-runner-2-473/tomtom-runner-2-swimming-performance-991731

    Swimming lap count accuracy has been an ongoing issue for all the watches and is due in large part to differences in stroke between swimmers and how they do turns, etc. 25m pools seem to be more accurate than 50m for some reason. It comes down to using a consistent stroke (freestyle preferred), making sharp, powerful turns, really thrusting the hand out, starting right against the wall and not pausing at all mid-length. It may still be off a bit but these steps should help minimize it. It would also help if they added a calibration feature so you could update it to the correct number afterwards if it is off. If you search in the Runner and MultiSport forums you will see many more posts about swimming accuracy.

    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.
  • gl00
    gl00 Posts: 965
    Revered Pioneer
    yes, they probably are aware : it's been an issue since their first multi sport :(
    for some reason only 50m pools are impacted (it's ok in 25m, and so-so in 33m, anyway... I stopped using tomtom for swimming a while ago)

    probable reason it's not reported more often : there are not that many 50m pools (the 2 50m pools close to me are most of the time divided in 2x25m...) plus there are not many club swimmers who appear to use watches anyway (at least not where I live)... So I guess tomtom saved itself the pain to fix that for later (waaaaay later) :( A shame really since swimming is a feature pretty well supported by all other manufacturers I tried...
  • nevincohen
    nevincohen Registered Users Posts: 15
    Outstanding Explorer
    It has nothing to do with strokes. I've tested Tomtom against Garmin on the same wrist and the Garmin is accurate while the Tomtom is not.
  • gl00
    gl00 Posts: 965
    Revered Pioneer
    Update on my comment which dates from 4 months ago:
    Since the last update, my pool swims (50m) are now properly recognized, same accuracy as my vivoactive HR.

    Nevincohen: make sure you watch is up to date and that you push a bit hard against the wall when you turn to make sure turns are properly recognized (maybe set autolap to match your pool length so the watch buzzes when it registers the turn: this has helped me get better accuracy when the watch was inaccurate... but now I feel like I don't need that anymore)
  • nevincohen
    nevincohen Registered Users Posts: 15
    Outstanding Explorer
    Thanks, but as I've said I have worn both my old Garmin and my up to date Tomtom on the same wrist, getting one accurate reading and one inaccurate one. It isn't how hard I'm pushing off the wall, but rather the software or hardware in the Tomtom that doesn't register the turning properly. Setting the buzzer isn't a solution because if I have to pay attention to the watch to make sure it is counting properly, what's the point? Might as well just keep count in my head.
  • CzK
    CzK Registered Users Posts: 12
    Outstanding Explorer
    nevincohen, you're perfectly right. As of today, despite what TomTom pretends and how their marketing team sale this watch, TomTom Runner 2 / Spark doesn't work properly as a swim watch.
  • Hallvard the Horrible
    Hallvard the Horrible Registered Users Posts: 1
    Apprentice Traveler
    Just got myself a Tomtom multiwatch, and from my first test in a swimingpool it is compleatly useless!!!
    According to the watch the stats are:
    Swimtime: 1hour 5mins, (well I did actually swim for about 1 hour, then played around for a short while)
    Distance 0.72km! (I have not been swimming in a pool for a while, but when I did I used to cover about 1km in less than 30minutes, I do not think my shape has decreased that much. I have been cycling a lot in the mean time..)
    Then it claims I have burned more than 1400kcal during this time! If this was the case, I would not weigh close to 140kg!!!
    Unless somebody can inform me what I am doing wrong, I will return this product for a refound because it simply doesn't work at all.
  • nonno
    nonno Registered Users Posts: 6
    Master Traveler
    I was one of the complainers on this forum about inaccuracy of length count 6 months ago. HOWEVER, I'm encourage that over the last few weeks, the length count is off by maybe one length in 40 to 46 that I've swum in each of my workouts. I'm not sure if that could be attributable to the upgrade in software that came in Sept. or to my focus on 4-5 strong strokes after each turn. That's to make sure the accelerometer, which is how TomTom works, detects an increase in speed associated each turn. It used to be that TomTom underestimated by lengths by 25-50%. I would also recommend using the LAP TRAINER as a good way to keep track of laps if you don't trust the lengths data. First you need to estimate your pace closely. I set the lap time to be a little slower than my actual time. Then I notice where I am in the lap when I feel the vibration on my wrist. For instance, if I'm faster than the set time, the vibration is not felt until after the turn for 1 lap. The vibration continues to be felt later and later than at the turn. If I do a workout when I get a full lap ahead of the vibration, then I add 1 lap to the counter at the end of the workout to get distance swum. Actually, I got two laps ahead today so I know by pace is improving!
  • Japan_Hiker
    Japan_Hiker Registered Users Posts: 3
    Apprentice Traveler
    The same issue exists with the Adventurer. Sometimes laps are not counted at all. Also the distance is not correct. Apple Watch 2 registers accurately (checked it with each watch on a different arm).
  • ranjitsawale
    ranjitsawale Registered Users Posts: 1
    Apprentice Traveler
    Hi Friends,

    I don't see any solution about inaccurate swim timings by Tom-tom Adventure watch. I can see 0 points as well after finishing swim.

    Can someone guide me please

    Thanks.
  • tfarabaugh
    tfarabaugh Posts: 16,938
    Superuser
    Hi Friends,

    I don't see any solution about inaccurate swim timings by Tom-tom Adventure watch. I can see 0 points as well after finishing swim.

    Can someone guide me please

    Thanks.
    You will never get Fitness Points for swimming. They are only calculated for running and cycling, as they require a VO2Max estimation which requires HR data which is not available in swimming mode.

    Miscounting laps is common with most swim watches to some extent. It is using an accelerometer to try and figure out when you are reaching for the wall to turn, but you need a very strong turn to trigger it. It also counts after the first turn, so the total is the laps completed so it will always be one short until the end. It is likely you did not register the final lap as you probably coasted to the wall. Make sure on the final lap that you have a strong finishing motion so it registers the movement. It may be worthwhile to simply turn on the final lap and then stop so it registers the turn and hence the lap. You also need to be consistent in your stroke (freestyle works best), do not pause or slow at all mid-lap, among other things. It counts strokes in the same way it counts laps, by the accelerometer, so any variation in stroke may cause it to miss a stroke. Just like with lap counting, it is meant to give a rough estimate, it will never give you a perfect count, the technology just isn't there yet. If you search for swim accuracy or swimming laps and similar phrases on the forums you will see plenty of posts on it with a lot of suggestions to improve it (more than I can repeat here).

    There will likely be no changes to the watch as it relates to swimming. It is the least used function and considering TT has left the wearables market and is not producing any new devices (and never even released the Adventurer in the US), I would assume at this point any updates will be limited to bug fixes (and even that may be limited - it has been over six months since the last update broke connectivity for many users and introduced battery drain issues and that is still unresolved). I would not expect much more development and certainly not something major particularly on the watch side (they may continue to tweak the MySports site and app, but not the watches themselves).
  • borisdevries
    borisdevries Registered Users Posts: 1
    Apprentice Traveler
    nonno wrote:
    I was one of the complainers on this forum about inaccuracy of length count 6 months ago. HOWEVER, I'm encourage that over the last few weeks, the length count is off by maybe one length in 40 to 46 that I've swum in each of my workouts. I'm not sure if that could be attributable to the upgrade in software that came in Sept. or to my focus on 4-5 strong strokes after each turn. That's to make sure the accelerometer, which is how TomTom works, detects an increase in speed associated each turn. It used to be that TomTom underestimated by lengths by 25-50%. I would also recommend using the LAP TRAINER as a good way to keep track of laps if you don't trust the lengths data. First you need to estimate your pace closely. I set the lap time to be a little slower than my actual time. Then I notice where I am in the lap when I feel the vibration on my wrist. For instance, if I'm faster than the set time, the vibration is not felt until after the turn for 1 lap. The vibration continues to be felt later and later than at the turn. If I do a workout when I get a full lap ahead of the vibration, then I add 1 lap to the counter at the end of the workout to get distance swum. Actually, I got two laps ahead today so I know by pace is improving!

    Thanks, that's good advice. I haven't been able to get any use from the SWIM mode of my Spark 3 Cardio despite the fact that I'm an experienced swimmer. I did a 3000 yard workout in a 25 yard pool yesterday, 500 warmup - freestyle , 5 x 400 free on 6:00 minutes, 4 x 100 free on 1:30min, 4x25 easy. Total workout time just shy of 48 minutes, the Spark 3 recognized 2301 yards. That's pathetic. Based on your comment I'm inclined that my freestyle stroke pattern may be just too even for the device to recognize that I made a turn. Nevertheless, my old Misfit Shine uses the same technology in respect to hardware but a different algorithm that had been developed together with the swimwear maker Speedo. It rarely misses a lap in the pool as long as you maintain the correct pool size in the device settings. I'll try the LAP TRAINER based on your recommendation. I really like my Spark 3 Cardio for running and cycling, the swim function has been very disappointing.