Reply To: How do I time myself?

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I’m currently using an old iPod Touch with a waterproof case and an app called Seconds. It’s an interval timer so I can set the swim intervals and the rest intervals separately. It will allow programming of the warm up interval, a cool down interval, as well as a preparation interval of 10 seconds if you need it. It displays nice big digits and lets me know what interval I’m on. For 50’s it’s ideal since I only need one timer, so I prop it up against the starting blocks. I can’t stand wearing watches when I swim, and I don’t like the idea of having to quickly pull my arm up to see the time; with the timer right at the pool deck just inches from the wall, I can see it instantly.

For 25’s, it gets a little trickier. I need two of them (iPod Touches 4th gens are cheap on eBay though), one on each end. And they need to be synced. When doing multiple 25 sets, it’s best just to program my entire workout with the timers, including the rests, and sync them just once before I swim. I’ll program in, say, 5 minutes rest between sets so if I can’t get the proper volume in on one set, the rest may be more like 10 minutes. If I do get all the volume in, 5 minutes rest is usually enough anyway. This way it saves me from having to get out of the pool and re-sync the timers.

One negative is that it can only use whole seconds. However, it’s not hard to judge half seconds with the timer. Again, a waterproof case is mandatory. Even small drops of water getting on the screen will activate the touch screen and may stop the timer. One idea is to use an iPad with a much larger screen and put the iPad farther out, away from spray. I’ve done this and it works quite well. You could get all techie and project the timer on a wall, etc.

Seconds app link here.