Monday, 6 October 2014

Pool Tests with The Suunto Ambit3

As you will be aware I am now in possession of this great new device, at present I have only performed tests in pool environment albeit I am aware of the capability and functions it has to offer.

Initially, on first usage I utilised little more then the stopwatch and distance/lap counter. This proved to be a little frustrating with the occasional length of the 25m pool missed or rather a turn was missed, resulting in inaccurate totals for metres covered. This was addressed by the simple procedure of teaching the Ambit my stroke. (just a case of pressing a couple of buttons, selecting the appropriate stroke and swimming 25m.) Once I had gone through the 'teach phase' the device worked perfectly and never missed a beat.

The first real session was this weekend when we swam multiple 100s ie repeats of 4 lengths. It was as easy as selecting your exercise (openwater/poolswimming/running etc) and hitting the start button, the display clearly indicates the distance covered (saving me the hassle of trying to remember how many repeats, see Abacus Training!) The next line displaying the total time of the session, followed finally on the third line by the time per 100m. (It is personal preference as to what you have displayed and where). The device recognises when the swimming stops and rest periods begin and does the maths accordingly. It also counts the strokes per length and calculates your efficiency as a SWOLF number. (stroke rate plus time per length).

On conclusion of the set, the pause button is hit and the data is stored, immediately after doing so all of the figures can be viewed prior to even leaving the water. Once in proximity of your tablet or smart phone you pair the device and the data is downloaded almost instantly via bluetooth transfer.
Further analysis can then be performed, breaking down every length if you so desire, with multiple graphs and tables.

The only negative being the heart rate monitor on a standard belt style fitting slips down from the chest as one pushes off the wall. This will not be an issue outdoors and the monitor is able to store information until such times as it is in close proximity to your Ambit device.

Today I opted for the hour continuous swim, I use this set as a bench mark to measure my general fitness. I am quite pleased to not have lost too much pace over the summer (this is only my 5th pool session since April.)

Here is just one part of a screen shot whilst viewing your 'moves' via the 'movescount app' on your smart phone or tablet. As you can see, the vital stats are visible at a glance (average pace per 100m / average speed per hour, total time/distance, temperature and swolf.
There are all manner of comparables and analytic functions. Each length can be viewed as per below as can heart rate etc

Overall for pool swimming it is an absolute joy, frees my mind from troublesome mathematics, the display can be easily read on the move (at the turn) it is no more noticeable on the wrist than any other watch, it is simple to use and even motivates !

related post Openwater Testing 


Monica said...

Does it monitor heart rate real-time while swimming, or you have to sync to see your heart rate?

M said...

real time however if your wrist is away from the sensor for long periods (ie kick sets) you simply pair it for a few moments and it downloads to the watch info held in the sensor. make sense ?

Giridar said...

Hi Mark,
Was it a indoor pool or outdoor? I am trying to use it for indoor pool and the data is no use. Also can you help by providing details on how to teach the watch you have mentioned. Thanks in advance Giri