List of Swimming Statistics
When it comes to easily accessible statistics coming from the sport of swimming, you won't find much aside from race times from meet and race results. However, as technology improves, there are more and more ways that athletes are beginning to be able to track their swimming. Much of this comes from wearable technology that serves the purpose of tracking various biometrics (physical and body related stats). These statistics will surely set the stage for the swimmers of tomorrow.
List of Swimming Statistics
- Race Time
- Records/All Time Bests
- Stroke Count
- Heart Rate
- Personal Best (PB)/Record(PR)
- Calories Burned
- Distance Per Stroke
The most straightforward and identifiable statistic, race time comes from the stopwatch or automated timing system. The times that swimmers record during a race is what they are all competing for, and the quickest time wins the race. In a relay, swimmers may keep individual times to keep track of how long their leg of the race was.
Records / All Time Bests
In swimming, there are some performances that stand out from the rest because of the sheer speed and execution that takes place in that particular race. It is these types of races that tend to result in all time bests, which set the bar for other swimmers around the world. A swimming record occurs when a swimmer records a time that is faster than anyone within a particular group or organization has before.
Intervals provide a means for swimmers to break up their workout or race into different segments that can each be analyzed during and after the swim. Intervals are equal distances that make up any given swim. Intervals are often set to be one length of the pool, two lengths, or even 100 to 200 meters.
Directly related to intervals, pace is a measure of how fast a swimmer is going over one interval. Mathematically, pace is calculated by dividing the total time by the length of one interval. For example, if a swimmer takes 2 minutes to complete a 200 meter swim, and they are doing 25 meter intervals, their pace would be 15 seconds per 25m.
A split is very similar and sometimes the same as a pace, but are most often recorded during relays and longer races. A split is an elapsed time over a certain length within a given race. For an individual race, coaches will often call out a swimmer's split for the first 25 or 50 meters, and possibly continue in 25 or 50m intervals after. In relays, it is very common for coaches and officials to record split times for each individual swimmer participating in the relay (so adding up all the relay splits will equal the total race time).
A first look at a biometric, stroke count provides a mean for measuring swimmer efficiency. Stroke count is calculated like a pace, except this is taken from the total stroke count and the respective distance covered. Swimmers will have hundreds and even thousands of strokes in most workout sessions or races.
An entirely biometric measure, heart rate is typically measured in heart beats per minute, and can be recorded over a given interval or for the length of the entire race or workout. Heart rate provides a useful statistic for determining how hard a swimmer is working during a swim as well as overall intensity. Heart rate is also commonly measured in running, cycling, or simply when working out.
Directly related to both time and pace, speed is generally a pace calculation made through different units. While pace is generally calculated with meters or yards, speed is often given in miles or kilometers per hour. This provides swimmers with a different perspective of their pace for a swim. Swimmers may strive for a fast overall speed or for a personal best.
Personal Best (PB) / Record (PR)
Signifying the same thing, personal best and personal records are often the highest achievement for swimmers, and are always something that can be raced against. PBs and PRs are measurements of purely personal achievements, and show how well a swimmer is able to perform under pressured circumstances. Swimmers will often only count personal bests if done in a meet or official race, since there are usually the best race conditions and timing systems available.
During any given workout or race, technology is now allowing for swimmers to keep track of how many calories they burn. Similar to heart rate, this can show how hard a swimmer is working in a given swim. The calories burned is a useful metric that is calculated using various inputs such as height, weight, pace, overall distance, time, and a few more metrics depending on the technology used.
Distance per Stroke
An interesting but useful statistic, distance per stroke is a measurement of how far much water a swimmer is covering in any given stroke made in the pool or water. Calculated much like pace, distance per stroke is measured by dividing the total distance or interval distance by the total number of strokes overall or during that interval. This helps show how efficient a swimmer is in the water.
The ultimate efficiency rating, SWOLF is a uniquely swim-related measurement that calculates simmer efficiency using stroke count, time, and distance. The name SWOLF comes from combining swimming and golf, as the objective is to get the lowest SWOLF score possible. SWOLF is calculated by adding the total number of strokes to the time it takes to finish one length of the pool (25 meters/yards, in most cases). Average SWOLF will generally be in the 20 - 50 range for most swimmers.
From a team perspective, meets are won and lost according to how many points a team is able to earn for the entirety of a meet. Generally, in any given final race, points are awarded to the top 8 individual swimmers or relays. The scoring system gives the most points to the first place finisher and usually only one or the least amount of points to the last scoring position.