The Benefits of Form Swim Goggles

Female swimmer with Form Goggles
March 25, 2024

Simon Butterworth


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I suspect that most of you know only too well the challenges of learning to swim well after reaching your 20s. The solution if you can afford it is to have a coach on deck.  The next best thing is being part of a master's group

But even with a master's group, you will still swim on your own a lot.  It is impossible to see all aspects of your stroke, and until you have a lot of experience, tell when you might be doing something wrong.  The goggles have the answer (so far, just for freestyle), and they will help you improve significantly if you make the most use of them.  

The big feature is a heads-up display showing you a wide range of data you can use to help your swim form.  Data is projected in either the right or left goggle. I have been using it for the past year.

I am going to keep this short, giving you enough information to want to explore more. The best place would be the Form web site or this review by DC Rainmaker

First, Form can replace the need to bring paper notes or a phone to the pool deck, what to do next is updated throughout your workout.  Workouts can be transferred from Training Peaks, and other apps.  As a remote coach, I love this as it goes a long way to making it easy for my athletes to follow the plan.  

A warning, these are not inexpensive, around $200.  If you spent 5-600 on a Garmin Watch and/or you’re serious about improving your swim, then they should be in your inventory.  

But as I noted at the beginning, it will also help you stay focused on several key things with your freestyle stroke.  Here are the things.

Stroke Rate:  Below the timer, you can display your stroke rate.  IM Ireland taught me the importance of holding a high stroke rate. Lucy Charles Barkley was swimming at 90rpm last October in Kona.  

Peak Head Roll:

I think the screenshot tells you what this is.  When breathing, you do not want to lift your head or rotate it any more than is necessary to get your mouth out to breathe.  This was and is one of the things I see most swimmers doing wrong.  That is my score from the Form App in a recent workout.  I have been working on this for a long time and was very pleased to find I have it nailed.  

Time to Netural:  This was a new Idea when I saw it first and I have room for improvement.  It would seem I am not getting my head back into the water fast enough.  I am not making the mistake of exhaling fully before I come up for air and I am not rotating too far (per the Head Roll data).  I think I am not inhaling quickly.

What is very helpful is you can drill down to the weeds of this by looking at the results for each set, see below.  My first set of 50’s was a lot better than the average as were several other sets.  The low scoring sets were the result of using a snorkel, something I am using when I want to focus on stroke count.  

Head Pitch:  I'm not doing great on this score either.  This was a surprise to me. I thought my head position was spot on, but the coaches at Form think I should raise my head a bit.    

There is a lot more to theses goggles and the accompanying app, check it out.

Coach Simon Butterworth has an experienced philosophy about coaching.  The key ingredients in a good coach/athlete relationship are regular and open communication, mutual respect, and keeping it fun for the athlete and their family.  His training programs are developed with those ideas at the forefront. He works with athletes to develop both short-term and long-term objectives that work well within the context of the other things they have going on in their life.

Coach Simon is a 2X World Ironman Champion and has 16 Ironman World Championships races to his credit. He has finihsed on the podium 7x.  He is a USAT Certified Coach, USMS Swim Coach, FIST Certified Bike Fitter and Training Peaks Certified Coach.

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