Workout app for swimming does not show HR

Discussion in 'Apple Watch Apps' started by Luiggi7, May 29, 2018.

  1. Luiggi7 macrumors regular

    Jul 28, 2017
    Hi all. Since two weeks ago I am swimming in a pool and I use the watch series 2 with Apple workout app.

    It does almost everything as expected, but when finished, the workout summary shows all information (style, times, meters, etc.) except the HR graphic. It is very very confusing, because watch does read the HR, and workout app even show the average HR. But graphic tells there are not enough information to create a graphic. If I look on Health app, the data is there, and there are much more information during the workout than the rest of the day (more than 5 measurements every minute against 1 measurement every 10-15 minutes on a normal use).

    What is happening? Why my watch measures properly the HR but workout app doesn’t show them? I must add that other kind of workouts do show HR data independent of time worked.

    I show screenshots.

    Another issue (but irrelevant one) is that the watch detects perfectly the distance, pauses, and the styles. But I am not sure if the style “free style” means crawl, or it is because my style is pretty bad and the watch detects it as “free” instead of “crawl”. I look for it on internet, but neither Apple nor anyone else tells about detected styles by watch.


    Swimming workout summary:


    HR data on health app

    Another workout with HR graphic
  2. iamasmith macrumors 6502


    Apr 10, 2015
    Cheshire, UK
    If you swim front crawl it says freestyle, yes.

    I found my watch started dropping out on heart rate measurements whilst swimming or showing crazy figures like average 189bpm and it was really down to being slightly loose on the wrist. If it can move away from the wrist even the slightest you get results like this.

    I normally wear my watch on the 3rd hole of the large band (sports band) and for swimming now I pull it up to the 2nd hole. For me this stops this issue.
    --- Post Merged, May 30, 2018 ---
    btw: The stroke detection is pretty awesome, I've only managed to trick it into saying 'Unknown' once and that was by swimming a backwards kind of breast stroke to see what it did (pushing with the arms and pulling with the legs).
  3. Luiggi7 thread starter macrumors regular

    Jul 28, 2017
    Thanks for the info. But I don’t have a dropping out of measurements. If you see the third screenshot there are more than 10 measurements of HR in two minutes on health app (and ir continues that way until the end of the workout). The real problem is that workout app doesn’t read that data or it reads it but doesn’t paint them on the graphic.
  4. auhagen macrumors regular

    May 30, 2010
    I dont own a Apple Watch, but if you look all over the internet, almost any serious athlete, or watch manufacturer tells you that the HR option in smartwatches does NOT work, with swimming.

    The data it gets is just way off. All the big players in the games of sport watches Garmin, Polar, Suunto and so on, tell's you to buy a chest strap. The chest strap will contain time stamps and record your heart rate, and when your workout is done, it will sync it to the watch, where the data will merge.

    It looks like Apple tells you that it will be reading your heart rate, but read this article:

    It tell's you how the wrist worn heart rate readings are done, and why they are acting like they are.
  5. Luiggi7 thread starter macrumors regular

    Jul 28, 2017
    Thanks all. Now I understand why it happens. Apple knows how unreliable is the collected HR data under water and basically discards them, even when AW could measures them...

    Thanks again. It could be easier if Apple told all the information since the beginning....
  6. matrix07 macrumors 601


    Jun 24, 2010
    OP. I'm not sure why you're listening to people who doesn't own Apple Watch???

    Clearly the watch can show heart rate on swim workout, as shown below. The quality of it however will depend on how snugly you wear the watch since the water is slippery. I'd recommend wearing it extremely snugly and try again.

    Attached Files:

  7. Luiggi7 thread starter macrumors regular

    Jul 28, 2017
    Ok. But then, why my workout app shows that message “no graphic available”???
  8. millerj123 macrumors 65816

    Mar 6, 2008
    For me it's really hit or miss. Yesterday's swim shows the graph, but Saturday's doesn't.
  9. Capeto macrumors regular


    Jul 9, 2015
    Given that the Apple Watch measures heart rate through light sensors and water messes with light, I would not bet any money on swimming HR measurements being accurate on the Apple Watch.
  10. dof250 macrumors regular

    Jun 3, 2014
    I'm swimming twice a week with my series 3 apple watch and always get correct HR measurements from my watch. You have to make sure the band is pretty tight so there's no movement but its working amazingly well for me.
  11. Luiggi7 thread starter macrumors regular

    Jul 28, 2017
    I must quote my own post. My Apple Watch measures perfectly my HR, and it can be seen the measurements on third screenshot. My problem is that workout graphic shows “graphic not available”
  12. dof250 macrumors regular

    Jun 3, 2014
    Maybe it cant gather enough accurate datapoints. My heartrate graphs are always filled when swimming. When i check the health app i can see that the watch gets around 10 heartrate readings per minute. Does this help you maybe?

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