Swim for Fitness and End Monotonous Lap Counting with a SportCount

by February 7, 2012 02/7/12
Sportcount Lap Counter

I wanted to talk a little about swimming for fitness today and highlight a tool that’s quickly become mandatory when I’m swimming. I was gifted a SportCount Lap Counter for Christmas a few weeks back and I don’t think I’ll ever swim laps again without one.

I’ve always had issues with trying to remember what lap I’m on when swimming and seem to zone out to the point where I quickly forget if I was on 10 or 11. Typically this isn’t important if you’re not trying to establish some kind of baseline time for your laps or an overall time for swimming a mile.

Zoning out while swimming can be very beneficial and I’ve had some of my best ideas while thinking about nothing during my laps. With a SportCount lap counter it’s made swimming laps much more enjoyable and rewarding.

SportCount Lap Counter

Sportcount Lap Counter

While I often simply swim to swim and don’t worry about counting laps, it’s also important to have some kind of benchmark to measure yourself against to check progress.  I do this with a 1-mile swim.

In a 50-yard lap pool, it takes a little over 35 laps to complete a mile and I don’t know how many times I’ve attempted this and mis-counted. I usually wind up doing extra laps, as I never give myself the benefit of the doubt.

Sportcount Lap Counter

Thanks to this simple SportCount lap counter, all I have to do now at the end of every lap is remember to press a button once on the tiny finger-mounted lap counter. With the Chrono 100 model I have, that simple press of the button is all I need to record overall elapsed time, total lap time, lap count, fastest lap, slowest lap and even average lap time.

The SportCount is also water resistant to 50 meters and can be used for many other applications as well. From split times during marathons or triathlons, to counting people coming into an event. This particular SportCount Chrono 100 runs $39.95, but other models with less features can be purchased for as low as $24.95.

Swimming for Fitness

Consider adding swimming into your fitness routine, it’s a fantastic full-body workout that provides one of the lowest-impact ways to strengthen your body, yet still provide a great cardiovascular workout.

There’s no reason you can’t start swimming, even if you don’t know how. Many places like your local YMCA offer beginning swim lessons to adults and youth alike. Starting small is the name of the game with swimming for fitness and a great way to start is to just swim for 10 minutes. You can even start by aqua jogging or keeping your face out of the water with a kickboard.

Swimming provides more resistance overall than running against the wind, yet when you’re gliding along it certainly doesn’t feel like it. It can also be very therapeutic and allow you to zone out as I mentioned above. It’s just you and the water; everything else seems to fade away.

I’ll be talking about swimming for fitness even more in upcoming articles, so stay tuned!


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I use this and I works really well.


My trick is imagery.

Let's say I want to know how many meter I'm swimming in a 25m pool.

I'll swim one length and count 1 apple (1A). On my way back, 2 apples (2A). Once I hit 4 apples (100m), I'm done and then I count bananas (B) and then citrus (C), dates (D), Edamame (E) and so on and so forth.

By picture the item and the number of items, I know how much I've swum.

Billy Oblivion
Billy Oblivion

I've tried one like that before, but I kept forgetting to hit the button.

I'm currently using one of the swimovate pool mate watches (the original, not the more expensive kind with the USB port). They work pretty well, but they count lengths rather than laps (if you draw a distinction). If you have VERY regular strokes and turns they'll work even better.


Small world, I just started training for a May triathlon and after my swims my wife would ask how many laps I did. I just kept forgetting so I bought a sportcount. It's been great although I still sometimes forget to hit the button :-/


Just use lane lines... slide a piece over every time you hit the one wall. Fool proof system./

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