Devices that can record heart rate whilst swimming are in fashion. I think one of the Garmin chest straps can record it & then sync it out of the water. I think there is a Wahoo strap that can also & a polar strap that uses a different frequency to transmit real-time data. I've had variable success with a MIO Fuse optical HRM (essentially works 75% of time, but there is a 5 minute at the start where it doesn't, I think because of reduced blood flow to the skin). Particularly for endurance swims it is nice post swim to be able to see heart rate was constant at a sensible level. For C$$ swims it is nice to see that the peaks aren't silly high. There is a flashing LED that changes colour, but I've never managed to see it when pushing off from an edge. Until my one stopped working I found most useful the Finis Aquapulse ear pulse sensor, as it seemed more reliable and has live feedback, so you would know if you're pushing it too hard or taking it too easy.
The US Federal Comunications Comission have tweeted their assessment of a new Finis device: "element"
It isn't on the Finis website, but I guess they have to have a radiation safety assessment as it has blue tooth. Helpfully it includes pictures and the quick start manual. Given it connects via blue tooth, which doesn't transmit far in water, it must have a memory. The internal photos have quite a lot of chips, so it will probably have further functions, but the quality isn't good enough to identify them. Hopefully one is a vibration monitor so you can get live feedback. The description of the phone app mentions sharing data, suggesting it has a export function. The App already exists in the Apple App store, so it can't be that long from release.
TBH I'm a bit of a sucker for gadgets & have forced myself to wonder whether knowing heart rate is really a step up from perceived exertion, particularly as I am not aware of any swim books or coaches who recommend it? I do find heart rate useful for running & it still has a place on the bike; is it an area that endurance swim coaching will develop into? What do you think?
From looking at the App FAQ it looks like the watch doesn't have GPS (or they are not anticipating questions about it). Not sure about that either, although accuracy is problematic.
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