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Disagreeing Finn Tech

8 July 2024


I've heard and read that one needs to use a chest strap to most accurately measure heart rate while swimming.  My morning swim today, where all I cared about was swimming 5KM straight, did offer at least this conclusion when it comes to fitness tech to measure heart-rate in the pool: the Finns can't agree!


I was over at the 33-meter long Southgate Leisure Centre in Enfield (an outer borough of London) first thing this morning.  After my last pool racing yesterday for two months, I am now training so I can complete the 11-mile Lake Windermere swim at the end of August.  Most of my training will be long straight swims or higher volume pool workouts with lengthy repeats (think 5 x 1000, 20 x 400, etc.).  I was wearing both my Suunto 5 watch (which I started when I pushed off for the swim) and my Oura ring (which I started recording the workout as I put my phone in the locker before walking onto the pool deck).  So, the time scales are not exactly aligned at the start and end, but correct for the majority of the swim.



The two screen shots - Oura #1 and Suunto #2 - paint a very different picture.  As I was really just cruising with a perceived effort around 3-4 on a 10-point scale, I'm inclined to believe the Oura ring far more than the Suunto watch.  I wonder how much of the difference is due to the tech versus the placement on the body - index finger vs wrist?


No conclusions today and I'm not ready to make yet another investment in fit-tech, but was a very nice 75 minute start to the day.

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