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Review: Life in the Finis Fast Lane with Swimsense

paul tyler finis watchWhen it comes to swimming in a triathlon, I'm like the slightly above-average golfer - I'm always looking for a tool that will take a second or two off every lap in the pool. As the weather finally gets colder, I will have more time than usual to focus on my catch and glide in the local YMCA pool. This season will be different. I'll be working with a new coach - one strapped to my wrist: the Finis Swimsense watch. And I bet it will take more than a second or two off my T-time this year!

For those triathletes who have lived in the cave for a year, this watch was probably one of the most innovative core products to hit the market in 2011. In 2012, it was finally time for me to give it a try. The watch is a truly remarkable tool. The internal accelerometers not only keep track of your laps, but also can actually count the type of laps you swim and compute your DPS and pace. I had to try it to really understand its capabilities.

On January 1st, I met Ken, my training buddy at the normal 5:45 a.m. time at the YMCA. I was surprised at the number of people that day who chose not sleep in on the official holiday. I used the watch for the first 45 minutes. Ken used it for the last 45 minutes of the workout.


finis swimsenseThe screen on the watch itself is extremely intuitive. I didn't even need the manual to figure out how to configure the watch and start it. The watch does require that you set the dimensions of the pool. In our case, we were swimming the short course in 25-yard lanes. I realized very quickly that it is necessary to pause the watch during recovery periods to keep accurate counts of your laps. Both of us found the buttons on the watch easy to use in the pool.

Though you can pull up the history of your workouts, the wealth of information really comes when you upload the data to the Finis website. The site offers a very creative interface that visually depicts the timing, length, pace, and recovery periods for each workout, for each set, and for every lap within each set. I could see how my pace changed within each set and also tell where I took too long to recover.

Finis Swimsense Analysis

The information is exceptionally valuable for a self-coached athlete. I'm also guessing that coaches working remotely will find the information very useful to help their athletes improve times. Better yet, the cradle and software worked flawlessly on my MacBook Pro.

Find more information on the Finis Swimsense watch at: www.finisinc.com/swimsense

Author: Paul Tyler

Paul Tyler is the founder of Triessential.com and a contributor here at TRIJUICE. Triessential offers an iPhone application that provides training tips and motivation every day throughout the entire year. Follow Paul on Twitter @triessential
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