Spark 3 - advice needed for swimming & spin classes

Pestria Registered Users Posts: 1
New Traveler
edited January 24 in TomTom Sports
HI everyone.

My wife bought me a Spark 3 watch for use with swimming and spin classes.

I think I've set it up correctly - ie entered my personal details and some basic information such as pool size and wheel size (which I didnt know so left it at the default position.

Unfortunately the watch seems to be acting like a random number generator - and also not returning all the information one might expect.

Can anyone give me some basic advice on setting up this watch - or is it simply no good at these activities (as suggested by some of the feedback on this forum)?




  • tfarabaugh
    tfarabaugh Posts: 16,953
    For swimming it is a bit hit or miss. Your best bet is to search the forums for "swim accuracy”, "stroke counting" and the like and you will find dozens of threads regarding this. In a nutshell, it is not your settings, it is the algorithm combined with the many variables that come into play swimming and it is somewhat accurate for some and wildly inaccurate for others (and sometimes both depending on the day). They do seem to be constantly tweaking to limited success. 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).

    For cycling your wheel size is irrelevant unless the bike has a speed/cadence sensor on it that is paired with the watch (which is unlikely in a spin class). For spin class you're best off using gym mode which will give you duration and calories burned based on your HR, which is really more the point, not the miles cycled necessarily.

    I hope this helped answer your question. If so, please mark it as a solution so others can look for it if they have the same question.