Why am I experiencing errors with my pool swimming distance?

  • Email this Answer
  • Print this Answer


Several Garmin devices use arm movements and preconfigured data (such as pool size) to provide swim metrics.

Device that provide pool swim metrics:

  • epix
  • fenix 2
  • fenix 3
  • Forerunner 910XT
  • Forerunner 920XT
  • Garmin Swim
  • vivoactive

Discrepancies in distance may be caused by multiple sources:

  • Inexperience in lap swimming
  • Switching stroke type mid-length
  • Stopping or walking mid-length
  • Dramatic changes of speeds mid-length
  • Performing drills that affect arm motion
  • Interruptions from pool traffic
  • Failing to setup pool size properly
  • Using a pool that is too small for your level of swimming proficiency

To decrease the amount of discrepancies:

  • If resting between lengths, use rest intervals
  • Use a strong push-off from the wall with a long streamlining (glide) phase
  • Swim continuously throughout the length at a consistent pace
  • Use one stroke type throughout each length
  • Continue to strive for a consistent stroke pattern
  • Try switching the watch to the other wrist
  • Use drill log 1 for drills that affect arm movement
  • If missing lengths as a strong swimmer, consider using a standard-sized pool 2

As swimming technique improves with the use of the above instructions, distance accuracy will improve.

1If drill log is not available; use rest intervals for drills that affect arm movement.
2If lengths are being missed (under-counted) in a small pool, consider using a standard-sized pool as the watch may miss lengths for strong swimmers who only take a few strokes to cross small pools.

*Please provide your feedback to help us improve your experience.