Saturday, June 23, 2012

Chatfield Gravel Pond

After the dismal performance Thursday night, I headed out to the Chatfield Gravel Pond for a Saturday morning swim. The water was quite pleasant and not too crowded. I decided to swim across the pond and back more as a confidence set. This would also be the second swim with the Finis Hydro Tracker GPS. I turned on the unit and then started getting into my wetsuit. It had found a signal and I headed into the water, hit start on the GPS and then start on my watch. My plan was to track intervals with the watch and then sync the time back to the GPS data.

Just like at the Boulder Reservoir, an eye socket fell out of my goggles as I was getting ready to start.  It is time to try different goggles.  The Sable competition goggles are incredibly clear, but I will sacrifice optical clarity for durability.

The swim to the sandbar was a good warm-up.  I hit the lap button and continued on to the end of the pond.  At the end of the pond, I took a two minute rest interval and started the swim back.  At the sand bar, I took a 1 minute rest interval and then finished my workout.  I considered heading back to the sand bar, but decided to call it a day.

I headed home to analyze the data.  The streamline bridge continues to frustrate me, but I did manage to get the workout uploaded.  My lap/split method worked well and I calculated 953 meters in across and back, although my route varied significantly.  The fact that the distance matched was just a coincidence.  I also noted that I did not turn off the unit properly upon exiting the gravel pond.  My workout shows the route home as well.

Overall, I have mixed opinions on the Hydro Tracker.  For $130, I am glad I tried it out.  I like having data from my workouts.  Open Water Swimming is a new beast for me and I tend to be pretty conservative.  My RPE is usually quite low.  Although I have not tracked my heart rate, I believe it would be in the 120-130 range.  I am not ready to buy an Aqua Pulse yet, but I would love to borrow one.

As far as using the Hydro Tracker for all my workouts, it is kind of tedious to remove from the goggle straps.  I am tempted to develop an alternative headband strap or pouch system that I could wear and slip the hydro tracker in and out of.

After trying on the Aqua Sphere Kayenne, Kaiman and Blue Seventy Visions, I decided to give the Kaimans a try.  They fit my face best and seem reasonably durable.  If anyone has an inside track on polarized goggles (Zoggs), I would love to try those out. 

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