SmartPaddle is a measurement system which can be used in various different purposes. The fact that it is wearable and provides detailed information enables new possibilities for getting insights on the performance.
The listing below is not a complete list. It is only the imagination that sets limits on the usage scenarios. The list is created to provide examples on what are the kind of things that are now possible but have not previously been.
The quickest way to get started is to record 25m medium speed. The detailed measurement makes visible the typical features of the swim already in 25m. Swimming longer or faster can be used to further validate the findings.
After the swim you get the data visible in seconds into SmartPaddle Analysis Center LIVE view. It displays automatically the average stroke.
By overlaying left and right hand force profiles, you can quickly see which hand is weaker and where the force drops. With the help of trajectory information, you can identify the location in the hand path at that point.
In many cases swimmers have different techniques when they are swimming with different effort. With SmartPaddle it is possible to make it concrete for the swimmer what happens when they try to increase the speed.
A test set that has been widely used with SmartPaddle is 4x25 increasing speed: 200 race pace, 100 race pace, 50 race pace, all-out. 100 easy between the recordings.
From the data you can quickly see the difference between left and right hand, and how it develops when the effort is changed. Another viewpoint to the data is how the force profile changes over the effort: are they able to maintain both the level of the force and length of the power phase. In many cases it happens that a single phase of the strokes starts to dominate when they increase the effort.
Recording a normal training set
SmartPaddle enables recording the details of a normal training set. The swimmer wears the SmartPaddle during the normal training, the stroke details are tracked during the swimming and data is uploaded after the set is completed.
SmartPaddle automatically recognises the sets, laps and strokes. This enables reviewing how the swimmer executes the set and doing corrective actions. They can be either modifying the set to better fit the purpose, or the swimmer concentrating on the identified topics to maintain the quality of execution.
Impact of warm-up
Impact of different kinds of muscle activation and warm-up procedures can be easily compared with SmartPaddle comparison capability. By measuring with and without the the activation procedure it is easy to overlay the strokes, see the difference and compare the data against the sensations of the swimmer.
Groupwork by swimmers
SmartPaddle has been used by swimmers themselves on recording each others swimmer and comparing their performances against each other. Detailed comparison enables getting visibility on how they execute the strokes differently and learning from each other.
In many cases this has led to a constractive competition between the swimmers on trying to create more force, initiating the force production as soon as possible or extending the power phase longer.
The level of detail in SmartPaddle measurement enables making visible the impact of different conditions. Force measurement on 10ms accuracy makes visible the action of the whole neuro-muscular system.
In many cases the feeling on the water might be different, but by measuring the force profile, you can quickly see if it was only the feeling or are there also visible changes in the technique.
For example, SmartPaddle has been used to monitor
- recovery from overtrained condition
- impact of travelling.and alltitude
- impact of training load on performance details
- performance changes during a multiday competition
Reliable monitoring of details is enabled by collecting reference data and identifying the changes compared to the reference level. Different test protocols can be used, but 4x25 with increasing speed has been found usefull on providing visibility over range of efforts.
impact of open water and the wetsuite
With SmartPaddle it is easy to make visible the impact of different environmental parameters. For triathletes one of the most concrete ones have been the impact of wearing a wet suite or swimming in open water.
The comparison should be started in the pool environment by creating a reference measurement: 200m race pace.
Doing the same measurement in the pool with wet suite enables isolating the impact of that. Usually two things happen with wet suite:
- the floating material easily limits the core activation which is visible in lower force levels and hands extending wider out
- wet suite is tight on the shoulders in recovery which easily leads on shoulder dropping which is visible as negative impulse in the beginning of the stroke
It makes also sense to try out the impact of navigation and swimming eyes shut on the pool. The impacts are various, but usually the asymmetries become clearly visible. And the fact that easily triathletes stop applying water during the navigation stroke.
When the impact is known in the pool, it is easy to go into open water and do similar recording and compare the strokes against the references from the pool environment.