Swim Garmin Mini-Review

IMG_0203Last Saturday, Poppy (that’s the name I gave my Swim Garmin) was in distress – chirping every few minutes and displaying a “replace battery” message. It’s been almost a year and half since Santa left her under the tree for me, certainly beyond the “average one year of battery use” Garmin estimate, so it was time to sort out a battery change.

Looking online for information is my typical first-response to any new task. After being reassured by the short (less than two minutes) Garmin YouTube clip that battery replacement would be easy to do myself at home, I got to work.

Before removing the old battery (an easy-to-find and totally affordable model), I synced all recent workouts, which proved to be a smart move because I did lose my custom page settings, had to reset date and time, and re-enable drill mode and countdown.

Before attempting Poppy’s transplant surgery, I worried that her waterproof seal would be compromised, but it hasn’t been a problem so far. She was pretty confused first swim back though – she recorded a near-80% breaststroke workout, something I’d never do as a lifelong “breast is my worst stroke” swimmer.

Poppy going down recently was a good assessment point. Foremost, contemplating a swim without her had me slightly panicked while also wondering how I functioned so long old school. Math has never been a strong point; thanks to Poppy, I don’t have to calculate, let alone remember, every repeat or practice totals. Now my brain can focus solely on technique, turns, and meeting set goals. Second, Poppy relieves a lot of my “can’t see the clock” issues. A quick check in with Poppy lets me know if I am on or off pace. Third, Poppy offers me immediate feedback as I work on improving my breast and back – which tech tweaks translate to the fastest stroke.

Sure, sometimes I space and forget to click a start/stop for a repeat. Sometimes Poppy gets confused, especially if I forget to switch to drill mode for drill and kick sets. Her band is getting a little loose (with my tiny wrists, there aren’t many notches for a fit to prevent her sliding around while swimming.) And I certainly could learn much more about Poppy’s functions and reporting to further assess each workout and track progress (or lack of it as a motivator.)

I read the inserted instructions cover to cover when I first opened Poppy on Christmas Day, but the recent foray into Garmin-YouTube has shown me that the videos are easier for me to digest – short, clear, easy to see what they’re talking about. Not only do I hope that Poppy is with me for a long time to come, I want to make a habit of watching Garmin clips. Learning how to optimize Poppy’s functions as well as interpret the reports better is a small investment for a big return in faster, more efficient swimming!

Next week: Reducing Chemical Exposure & Why


Swim Garmin Mini-Review

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