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How to get more accurate pool swim tracking?

The following article will explain how the pool swimming sport mode works, and provide useful tips and troubleshooting steps.

How it works

During pool swimming your Suunto does not calculate the actual distance you are swimming (no GPS tracking). Instead, it calculates the number of pool lengths you swim, which means the distance from one end of the pool to the other.

  • Tip: Adjust the pool length (25m/yd, 50m/yd, etc.) in the Options menu below the exercise start screen of the Pool swimming sport mode.

Your watch first tries to detect if you are swimming by analyzing repetitive hand movement using the build-in accelerometer, a motion sensor. Once your watch has detected that you are swimming, it will try to detect when you make a turn by analyzing irregularities in your hand movement.

  • Important: To make sure your watch detects your turn correctly, end your turn by pushing against the pool wall and adding an extended gliding phase after the turn.


Keep in mind

Considering how your watch calculates distance, keep the following things in mind:

  • Make sure to keep the swim rhythm, speed and style steady for the full pool length.
    Changes in rhythm or style most certainly will create a turn. Even slowing down or picking up speed (in case you swim in a crowded pool) may create additional turns.
  • Avoid making sudden long gliding movements or other changes in swim rhythm in the middle of the pool. This may create additional turns.
  • Avoid stops in the middle of the pool to adjust swimming gear or other. This may create additional turns.
  • When making a turn, make sure to push against the pool wall and add an extended gliding phase after the turn.


Troubleshooting steps

  • Swimming distance is too short: In this case your watch missed turns. Make sure to make a proper turn following the tips above.
  • Swimming distance is too long: Your watch registered additional laps. Make sure to keep your swim rhythm, speed and style steady for the full pool length and follow the tips above.


Additional tips

Keep the software of your watch up-to-date: We continuously improve the software of our watches, add new features and fix bugs. Learn more about how to update your watch.

Outdoor pool swimming: We suggest using the Pool swimming sport mode over the Open water mode. The Open water sport mode uses GPS which may provide inaccurate tracking due to signal reflections.


Swimming with Ambit family watches

The following additional tips apply for Ambit family watches only:

  • Teach every style you swim several times and save after each pool length.
  • Avoid teaching styles you do not swim or use later.


How to teach a swimming style on an Ambit watch?

To teach your Ambit watch a swimming style:

  1. While you are in the Pool swimming sport mode, keep [Next] pressed to enter the options menu.
  2. Press [Next] to select SWIMMING.
  3. Press [Next] to select Teach swim style.
  4. Scroll the swimming style options with [Light Lock] and [Start Stop]. Select a suitable swimming style with [Next]. You can exit the setting and continue your exercise by selecting END. The available swimming style options are: FLY (butterfly), BACK (backstroke), BREAST (breaststroke) and FREE (freestyle)
  5. Swim the pool length in the swimming style you selected.
  6. After you have finished swimming, press [Start Stop] to save the style. If you do not want to save the style, press [Light Lock] to return to the swimming style selection.

Note: Ambit3 Run and Ambit2 R do not have any swimming-specific algorithms, as it is designed mainly for running.