As a molecular biologist I spend most of my days (and weekends) in the lab. Being on a university campus with multiple pools I figured I’d start swimming as a way to relax and fill the gaps in between experiments: I set up an assay, go to the pool, swim until it’s done and get back to analyze the result. As an intimidated, unfit novice, I prefer going to the pool when it’s quiet, either early in the morning or around lunch time.
I started using Instabeat two months ago and my reaction after my first swim was one of excitement. Not since The Notorious B.I.G. spent that night swimming in champagne has the fat guy been the coolest person in the pool.
I use the Speedo Vanquisher and they seal really well on me. I don’t feel it at all in the water, and if it weren’t for the lights, I would completely forget it’s on. At the start of my aquatic adventures I usually swam for 30 minutes, do a set of 4 really fast laps, then wait until cool down before doing another set. I repeat this set for 10 mins. I would usually wait a certain amount of time before starting the fast laps again, but now with instabeat I rely on the lights to go down a HR zone to start the next set (months into it I now know I get my heart rate down much quicker, viva progress!). You can see on the dashboard how the HR elevates during the sets, and how from one set to another the peak HR is higher because I am getting more tired.
Most of my swims are usually in the green and red zones. I’ve been asking myself whether I should change my zones or swim slower, but since my goal is to get more fit, I guess the green zone is optimal for this purpose. Over these first weeks with Instabeat I am already feeling a difference. I feel I’ve been getting better, it’s getting easier to breathe during laps, and I don’t reach the red zone as fast.
It’s been easy to get attached to my Instabeat, last week I got to the pool and forgot to charge it, I was sad my swim wasn’t going to be accounted for! Tracking my swims has been so much fun, without even planning it I have been increasing my swim times, I used to swim 30 minutes, and now I swim 50 to 60 minute per session.
With these longer swims the mind wanders and pride swells. Back on dry land though, one easily crashes back down to earth. After one of my most energetic, long swims I thought…”Man, I’m swimming so well I’ll probably outlive the battery life of the instabeat”
When I got back to the lab and plugged it in to look at my data, the battery was still 100%. Now, I realize this is an important design feature and I will be happy in the future that the battery is so good once I hit the Olympic training level swims, but after the first swim in which I broke the hour mark I must admit that my pride was hurt.
I still don’t take myself seriously in the pool, not comfortable calling myself a swimmer yet, but with my instabeat I come a bit closer. Possible tagline for this wonderful product: “Even if you have no talent or ability, wear Instabeat and you can call yourself a swimmer.”
Maybe I should stick to the lab and leave the taglines to professionals.