Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Counting laps when swimming

Just a quick post to answer Mich's question:

One thing that helps me count laps is that I always start on the same side of the pool, so there's an "even" side and an "odd" side. I also generally do groups of sets -- I used to do my workout as a series of sets of 4, but now I do them as a series of sets of 10, mostly because the 10s are easier for me to remember. I also do think of the numbers when I'm swimming. So as I'm swimming I think "1" as I'm doing the first lap, etc. I guess this answers Watching and Weighting's question too -- I count up, not down. I have gotten into the habit of doing a couple of kickboard laps as a break between sets, which also helps sort of set the number I'm on in my head. Yesterday, I did two kick laps after the first 10, two after the second 10, one after my set of 30, two more after the next 10, and then four after my last 10 (because I didn't want to end on a weird number like 76). I don't really count the kick sets as part of my mile because I do them at a low level of effort.

I do get confused sometimes, but not that often. Yesterday I wasn't sure if I was on 33 or 35 (as I was heading down to the odd side of the pool) so I just counted it as 33.

There are lap counting gizmos but I've never researched them. I don't know how -- or if -- they work or how much they cost. The ones I've happened to see in magazines always seemed expensive. I figure it's not that important to me. I used to get more confused when swimming was harder for me, because I was focusing so much on technical stuff that I had less brainpower left for counting.

Eventually I should really lengthen these out and mix things up. I've been doing all freestyle but supposedly doing the other strokes is good for balance and endurance. I have a decent backstroke and breaststroke, but my butterfly looks like I'm drowning in a washing machine.


  1. When I ran laps inside at the gym I used to rhyme them to help keep track. It was dumb but helped (ex: 1 for fun, 2 for you, 3 for me, 4's a bore, 5's alive, etc.)

  2. I scoot the rope floats. There is usually 2-3 inches space I can take advantage of... does that make sense?

    Love your crawl description- I think that's the right way to do it. Hahaha.

  3. oooh interesting! Loving the swimming chat! I am sooooo weird about how I count laps! First off I decide whether I will count back from 30 or 40 - usually depending on how much time I have in the pool (I swim @ lunchtime, then when I get to zero I do another 10, making sure 4 of these are on my back, just kicking - but I can only do these on 'even' lengths - and then I start counting from 14 again and do 4 of these just arms - again only even lengths - how WEIRD!!!!!

    Thanks for letting me unleash my inner freak on your blog!!

    Happy swimming

    BigFatPie xxx


"Count your calories, work out when you can, and try to be good to yourself. All the rest is bulls**t." -- Jillian Michaels at BlogHer '07