Canadian Swimming Federation To Use New Wrist-Based Wearable Swimlytics In Training

Swimming Canada — the Canadian swimming federation — began working with a new Canadian-designed tech-based training device, Swimlytics, last fall.

Dr. John Barden, a kinesiology professor at the University of Regina, created Swimlytics to help swimmers increase their efficiency. The small wrist-based wearable was in use before Rio, but Barden was not completely confident his device was ready, according to the Canadian Press.

The technology wasn’t far enough along in terms of its complete reliability for Canada’s swim team to make use of it prior to the Summer Games in Rio, Barden told the wire service, but he expects it to be used regularly soon.

Swimlytics is a monitor used to track stroke rate, stroke length and much more, he said. The wearable is able to record every second, of every swim, which allows coaches and athletes to see where and when strokes and turns can be improved.

Swimlytics was designed to help pinpoint inefficiencies, big or small. It records all of the user’s movements in order to identify patterns. Once patterns of efficiency or inefficiency are identified, they can either be improved or corrected.

The accelerometer officially debuted in November at the Own The Podium summit in Calgary. Barden’s device reportedly received funding from Innovations for Gold — a multimillion-dollar Canadian sports technology and science program.

The Canadians took home six Olympic swimming medals in Rio, including breakout star Penny Oleksiak’s shared gold in the women’s 100m freestyle. Now, their push towards Tokyo 2020 will include this new accelerometer technology.

It is not yet known exactly how much data Swimlytics collects, or if every Swimming Canada team member will use the device in training. But with all of the swimming technology currently available, data driven practice will certainly remain a vital component of the sport.