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pahanela
Shkhara
Status: Gathering Kudos

Hi,

I suggest to add an open water swimming activity tracking with pace calculations based on the elapsed time instead of moving time that is used for swimming activity tracking now.

I swim in the open water on a weekly basis and track my activity using my smartphone that I put inside the buoy. However, I am not happy with pace calculations provided as it is based on the moving time metrics that usually shows wrong value. For example, just yesterday I swam the distance of 2431 meters (Distance)in the open water for the total time of 51:00 minutes (Elapsed Time). However, the app reports 16:30 minutes of Moving Time and average page (Avg Pace) resulting to 40s/100m that is absolutely inadequate number. See screenshot below for details. That's why I believe the underlying Strava algorithm for calculating the moving time is not working properly for this type of activity unlike running or cycling.

Moreover, I believe that moving time is not the valid metric for open water swimming as you never actually stop in the water while swimming because you have to keep moving to maintain your body floating.

That is why I suggest to create a separate activity for open water swimming like it is done in Google Fit, for example. The metrics calculations should be based on elapsed time. In this way I expect to get fair results for my open water swimming activities.

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9 Comments
Jan_Mantau
Denali

The second last metric in your screenshot shows the elapsed pace. I think the wrong moving time is more a problem of the app you are recording with, because when I'm recording open water swims with my swim watch I see the moving time and elapsed time as the same in Strava, regardless of the usual long GPS gaps in it.

pahanela
Shkhara

Thank you @Jan_Mantau for noticing that. I was so focused on the problem that I missed the other pace metric value. Nevertheless, I would prefer to see the correct pace at the top of the activity report. I don't use any device or any other app for tracking, though. I track my swims directly with Strava. I would assume that your watch is doing some data preprocessing before exporting it to Strava.

Jan_Mantau
Denali

That explains it, the Strava app treats its own recordings different to that of other recording devices, it uses only the part with GPS reception for moving time instead of every recorded second. Your request is valid if you phrase it that way that Strava shouldn't disregard recorded time without GPS data for the moving time. But always using elapsed time would be wrong, there are many people including me that pause their recordings during swims (must not lead to floating necessarily, you can go out of the water or stand in shallow water at any time in between) and this time for manual pauses shouldn't be used in the calculations. 

pahanela
Shkhara

I reported this issue through Strava support earlier, but they said it is how they do it and if I want it differently I need to create an idea. So here I am. It doesn't really matter for me if they use elapsed time or moving time, as far as I see the adequate value for the pace at the top of the description. I just offered one solution to the problem. It can be solved differently, indeed. And developing your scenario, yes, I can go out of water when I stop the swim. Then I just crop it with already available feature. Standing in shallow water "in between" looks like quite a rare scenario that can be neglected in favor of far more common one. You enter the water when you start your routine and you exit the water when you finish it. And you get your average pace reported correctly. If I want to see the pace for a particular drill, I will go to the graph section then.

Jane
Moderator Moderator
Moderator

Hi @pahanela 

Thanks for your post. I think the root cause of this is that you're recording you swim activities with the Strava Mobile App on your phone - the Strava phone Apps don't support swim recording.  Apologies for any confusion over this.

Please refer to this article for more information and helpful tips.


Jane (she/her)
STRAVA | Community Hub Team

pahanela
Shkhara

Hi @Jane,

Thank you for your reply. It comes as a surprise to me that Strava doesn't support swim recording. From the perspective of GPS recording, open water swimming is no different from other cyclic sports, such as biking or running; the only difference is that it is significantly slower.

Hence, my question is: what needs to be done to support swimming?

Jane
Moderator Moderator
Moderator

Hello @pahanela 

Apologies for any confusion. Swimming is supported on Strava, and you can record swimming activities with both the Strava Apple Watch App and the Strava Wear OS App, as well as many third party devices that sync to Strava.


Jane (she/her)
STRAVA | Community Hub Team

Status changed to: Gathering Kudos
Jane
Moderator Moderator
Moderator

Thanks for submitting your idea. It has been reviewed by our moderation team and is now open to voting.

Please note the following: 

  • We receive a large number of ideas, and even some very popular ideas will not make it to the implementation stage
  • Popular ideas (ideas that get lots of votes) will be regularly surfaced to our Product Teams for review
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For more information, please review our Guide to Ideas.


Jane (she/her)
STRAVA | Community Hub Team

pahanela
Shkhara

Hi @Jane,

Thank you for the update. I want to highlight that tracking open-water swimming activity with a smartphone inside the safety buoy is the best technical solution. Smartwatches are underwater for approximately half the stroke cycle time, whereas the buoy is always above the water, providing reliable and uninterruptible GPS signal tracking.