TRIHARD Shampoo and Face Wash Review
Gear Review, Running, Swimming

TRIHARD Shampoo and Face Wash Review

Shampoo and Face Wash! Why would I review that…this is, after all, an athletic blog…Not beauty or lifestyle.

But…

TRIHARD Shampoo and Face Wash Review

Continue reading “TRIHARD Shampoo and Face Wash Review”

Form Goggles Review
Gear Review, Running, Swimming

Form Goggles Review

Form Goggles Review

“Back in my day” of swimming (IE before 2012), we didn’t have GPS watches to count laps, underwater headphones, or goggles that gave you feedback directly through the lens.  My how have things changed since then!

Form Goggles Review

It’s been fun taking a break from the sport and coming back when there is so much technology.

As both a runner and a swimmer, there a lot of things that track running.  Watches? Pods? But there aren’t a lot of things that track swimming. In fact, you’ll either need to get an expensive GPS watch or the latest Form Goggles.

I was given the opportunity to test out Form Goggles. As an “old school salty swimmer,” I wasn’t sure I wanted all of that technology in front of me at all times. Part of the reason I like swimming is just to get back in the pool and have nothing but my thoughts and myself.

I was pleasantly surprised by how much I appreciated all of the feedback from Form Goggles plus they didn’t take away from my actual swim.

Form Goggles Review

Pros of Form Goggles:

  • Just an excellent goggle. If you break down Form Goggles to the most basic component, they are a good goggle. Form Goggles is anti-fog and keeps water out of your eyes.
  • Accurate at Tracking Laps
  • The display is easy to read (and also doesn’t give me a migraine or make me dizzy)Form Goggles Review

Cons of Form Goggles:

  • $199 is expensive for goggles, but if you are a serious swimmer and training, it’s a great tool.
  • Swimming only
  • Must be able to continuously swim to get the full benefits

Form Goggles Review

So What are Form Goggles?

Form Swim Goggles are goggles with a smart display inside the lens of the goggle. The augmented reality smart display shows various information, including:

  • time
  • stroke rate
  • laps
  • splits

So while you are swimming, you have that information in front of you like an onboard computer.

Form goggles are controlled by 2 buttons on the side of the goggles. In the lens of the goggle, you have a small display of your laps which you can program to include splits, laps, or distance. You aren’t getting high definition inside your goggles, but do you need it? No. Form Goggles displays information inside the goggle in real-time. Programming Form Goggles is easy; in fact, I did it 5 minutes before I went for a swim.  There are a few different displays to go through and once you’re done, you can get to swimming.

Form Goggles shows you the following:

  • Stroke Count
  • Split Time (you can program 25 meters, yards, 50 meters, or yards, and custom or unknown length.
  • Total lengths swam

Form Goggles connect back to your phone, which can give you an overall breakdown of your performance. Like a running GPS watch, you can see every split and it points out which is your fastest.

How do Form Goggles Know How Far You’ve Swam?

According to Form Goggles, they use a combination of an accelerometer, gyroscope, and algorithms.  Swimming in a pool also makes it easy to track when you turn around (flip turn, turn around, or whatever).

I’ve swam about 20,000 meters in Form Goggles now and haven’t had an issue where I question if it was accurate. I’ve compared to both my Coros APEX GPS watch and both have come up with the same laps each time.

The difference between Form Goggles and a GPS watch for running, is they don’t need to include a GPS function to determine your route. Most pools are standardized, so it just needs to know the length of the pool. Based on that, it determines when you change directions.

Swimming Continuously:

Form Goggles relies on you swimming proficiently down the lane. So, for instance, if you are attempting to swim 25 meters and stop in the middle at say 12 meters; it might end up counting as a lap. I’ve had to stop a couple of random times and it will count it as a lap midway through.

If you are thinking of swimming 500 meters of start and stop (which is fine), it’s not an investment I would make. If you get in the pool and swim laps and laps, or are a previous swimmer, training for a triathlon, or just like swimming, then it might be something I would consider. The system and tracking of Form Goggles rely on you being able to swim consistently.

Form Goggles Fit:

At the fundamental principle, Form Goggles are a goggle. A goggle should be able to keep water out of your face and the silicone eye seals do just that. In the about 20,000 meters I’ve swam using Form Goggles; I haven’t had an issue with water getting in my eyes or Form Goggles fogging. So at the fundamental principle, Form Goggles are well designed for lap swimming. Form Goggles also comes with several different nose bridge sizes to figure out which one fits the best on your face. Plus, Form Goggles have a 45-day fit guarantee, which is nice.

How I Felt While Using Form Goggles:

I was slightly worried Form Goggles would feel heavy on my face, but they don’t. They feel like a lightweight goggle and I don’t notice a difference. No one seemed to notice I was wearing Form Goggles while swimming my laps either.

I was also worried that Form Goggles might trigger a migraine or make me dizzy from staring at a screen while swimming (something I get from something too tight on my head or reading something while moving, but it hasn’t done that either.).  I can’t wear tight headbands because they trigger migraines.

Are Form Goggles Right for Me?

A great question and it’s pretty easily answered. If you are swimming multiple days a week and for a substantial amount, you can benefit from them.  If you are only swimming and don’t want a watch that can track running mileage than yes.

If you swim a couple of times a month for a little bit, you don’t necessarily need Form Goggles.

If you’re a “serious or competitive swimmer” and someone who trains competitively (whether it an open water swim or triathlon), I would recommend Form Goggles.

If you are more casual with your laps, than finding a GPS watch that can do other fitness activities would be beneficial. There is no hard line there, and you certainly don’t need to be Micheal Phelps to benefit from them.

You can see all the product reviews here.

Finally, have you subscribed to the LOLZletter? It’s a free newsletter that comes out each Monday. In the newsletter, I share running industry trends and things relevant to the sport.

Questions for you:

Have you tried Form Goggles?

Do you like swimming?

Running, Running Reads, Swimming, Training, Training

Swimming for Runners

If you have followed my blog since it’s birth in 2010, you may remember I was a swimmer. Not just a swimmer, but I swam competitively for college.  After college, I was done. Swimming is a hard sport and to improve at the college level, and you are usually in the pool anywhere between 2-4 hours a day. After college, I had no interest in staring at a black line.  I was burned out.  Swimming workouts are tough but swimming is great because it’s nonimpact.

Truthfully, I didn’t think I would ever reach a point that I WANTED to swim again. I’ve swam on and off in the last decade, but nothing competitive and usually not unless I was an injured runner. This is the first time I’ve realized…hey, swimming isn’t “too bad.”

I’m always thankful that I learned to swim at a very early age because it’s not as easy as an adult. I’ve taught swim lessons before and learning when you are older is much more difficult, although not impossible. I’ve taught the mommy and me kids classes, coached swim team, and once showed an 80-year-old woman how to swim.

So if you are a runner, or someone wanting to benefit from swimming…what should you do?

First Get the Right Equipment:

If you want to start pool running or swimming laps you need the right equipment. Like running, swimming isn’t expensive (minus the pool).

You need a swimsuit (make sure it doesn’t move when you swim), swim cap, and goggles.  There are a couple of pieces that are a bonus such as a kickboard or pull buoy.

The goggles I used almost exclusively through college are the Speedo Vanquisher. They aren’t designed for swimming in open water, but they are great the pool and minimally fog up. I used them for a decade and never had any issues.

Many people asked about swim caps.  Why use a swim cap?

Swim cap allows you to stay more streamlined as well as protects your hair. It might seem silly to wear, but it’s the swimmers’ norm to make swimming laps or even pool running a lot easier and keep your hair in better condition.

There are all different kinds. Latex is the cheapest and stays put on your head. If you use gel or hair product, this is usually the cap I recommend. Silicone is a lot more gentle on the hair and doesn’t rip hair out, but it will slide off and won’t stay put if you use hair product.

Pool Running:

Pool running is just how it sounds; you run but in the pool. There is more to it, though.  Pool running has a number of names from aqua jogging to deep water running. A simple google search yields dozens of pool running workouts. Unlike running on land, you don’t necessarily need a training plan.

Since your feet don’t touch the bottom of the pool, there is no impact. This means it’s a good option if you are injured with a stress fracture of stress injury. It’s easier to pick up if you haven’t spent much time in the pool.

The funny thing about pool running is that it doesn’t resemble actual running. Your running form doesn’t matter as much as long as you are running. The point of it is to get your heart rate up. Just always keep moving!

Pool running (versus swimming laps) is what is going to be most beneficial to runners. We don’t horizontal run (LOL if you get it), so while swimming laps might be more enjoyable, pool running is what will help actual running and build fitness and maintain fitness for running.

Use a pool belt when pool running. It will help with proper form. Without a pool belt, your focus changes from running form and jogging to treading and staying above the surface.

I like this video with Jeff Galloway. He teaches exactly how to pool run. You want to get a bigger range of motion than you would in land running and just keep moving.

Here are a few workouts.  Keep in mind, you will only benefit by putting the effort in, and no one can do that for you. You can half-ass pool running and float there, but you won’t get a workout in. You can text while on the elliptical, that is different than putting the effort in and getting your heart rate up.

30 Minute Workout:
5 minutes easy jog
10X 2 minutes alternating hard, easy. Focusing on getting your heart rate up.
5 minutes easy jog

Workout 2: 30ish minutes
5 minutes Easy
Cut the pool in half so you are jogging back and forth on the deep end side (or where you can’t touch the bottom)
10X one side. Sprint as hard as you can to one side, stop at the wall and jog back. Repeat 10X. I did this one time during college when I was injured (and slowly increased reps and it kept me in shape. Ultimately, I ran my fastest cross county time after being injured for 2 months).

The point is to get your heart rate up.

Swimming Laps:

As a “retired swimmer,” I am just more prone to want to swim laps. As I add swimming back into my routine, that’s all I’ve been doing right now.

When I swam competitively and ran competitively, I didn’t find (and still don’t) swimming shape to translate into running shape. You can swim as much as you want, but chances are it won’t translate into running your fastest times. Your overall fitness will be great, but the specific movements and cardio don’t translate.  You can also run as much as you want, but might not find yourself a great swimmer. This article about, Olympian Micheal Phelps, shows that the specific fitness might not always translate.

How do you Start Swimming Laps?

My biggest advice to anyone just getting started is to start small. You don’t have to swim 1000 meters to get a good workout. Swimming laps is going to work different muscle groups as well as build lung capacity. You might find when you return to running, breathing is much easier.

Like running, make it a goal to swim X meters, stop, regroup, and keep going. Most pools are usually 25 meters or 25 yards. Make it your goal to swim to the end, take a break, swim back, and repeat. Once you are more confident, you can say: swim to the other side, rest 30 seconds, repeat, and keep going.

Any swimmer will tell you, elite-level swimmers don’t just get in the pool for 2 hours and get out. It’s not like a long run. They do dozens of drills, sets, and intervals. In fact, realistically that’s what swim practices are. It’s almost like doing speed work for the entire practice.

In the 15 years of swimming, I had one practice where our coach told us just to get in and swim. Honestly, it was awful!

Swimming for Runners: a few workouts you can do:

Leg Recovery:
Need: Pull Buoy
Warmup: Swim 200 yards.
Set: 5X200 yard pulls with 2 minutes in between. Start off easy, and build to a faster pace.
Cooldown: 200 yards easy cooldown.
Total: 1400 yards

Kick Set:
Need: Kickboard
Warmup: 200 yards
Set: 4X25 yard kick. Using the kickboard, kick as hard as you can. Rest for 1 minute between.
50 Yards easy. Use this to flush out your legs, take your time.
4X25 yard kick: Kick as hard as you can. Rest for one minute in between.
50 Yards easy
4X25 yard kick. Alternate hard, easy, hard, easy. Take a minimal break as necessary, ideally working towards no break.
50 yards easy
50-yard kick as hard as you can. Take minimal breaks as needed, ideally working towards no break.
50 yards easy
2X25 yard kick. As hard as you have left. Take 1-minute break between but this should be all out, and your legs should burn.
Cooldown: 200 yards
Total: 1000

Swim Set:
Warmup: 200 yards
4×50 Freestyle. Your 5k effort. It should feel hard, but not like you are gassed out. Rest 2 minutes between each.
1X100 easy, “recovery.”
2×100 Freestyle. Moderate effort. This should feel like a half marathon, tough but controlled. Rest for 2 minutes between.
1×100 Easy, “recovery.”
4×25 Fast. Your hardest effort. This should feel like a mile sprint. Rest 1 minute between
1×100 Easy, recovery.
4×25 Fast. Your hardest effort. Rest 1 minute between.
Cooldown: 200 yards
Total: 1300

Just keep in mind, you have to do workouts that you enjoy. If swimming doesn’t click for you, that’s okay. I appreciate how enjoyable it’s been for me and a nice break from the outside world. You get lost in your own thoughts when you are submerged in the water for an hour.

Hopefully, you aren’t pool running because you are injured, but if you are, you can keep fitness up and build lung compacity by swimming and pool running.

 Finally, have you subscribed to the LOLZletter? It’s a free newsletter that comes out each Monday. This week I talked about rest days and cross-training.  In the newsletter, I share running industry trends and things relevant to the sport. There are often giveaways as well as discount codes.

Questions for you:

Have a question about swimming or pool running, ask!

Do you like getting in the pool?