Calculating swim distance

Because I do most of my swimming in an Endless Pool that doesn’t have an operating distance gauge, I don’t really know how far I swim. When I’ve done open water swims, I’ve estimated distance using Google Maps and the “round-about-there” method of marking out a real-life course. I researched some past results of the triathlons I plan to do and used those times as a reality check.

While on vacation, we were at a place with access to an outdoor pool.  I went down there one day for a swim and decided to try to calculate its length, using methods just as scientific as my other methods, namely: walking along the length and counting my footsteps and then guesstimating the total and converting it to meters.  Seemed close enough for government work, as they say.

The thing was, when I swam what I thought was 550 meters, it was over much sooner than I thought it would be.  I figured some of that happened because I was able to push off the walls, which gave me an added bonus of speed without doing any work, but it was still a significant difference. So either I was way faster than I thought, or my distance calculations were off and it wasn’t anywhere close to how far I thought it was.  Or maybe swimming in a pool just wasn’t anything like swimming in open water and the discrepancy was due to some other unknown variable.

Combined with the state of my calf injury, it was another unknown that I was adding to a slowly growing stack, which would only ultimately be answered by actually doing a triathlon.