How to Calculate Split Times in Swimming

How to Calculate Split Times in Swimming
Competitive swimmers often review their races after the fact by examining their split times. Splits for swimming are the measure of time it takes the swimmer to complete one lap, which is one length of a swimming pool. Down and back is considered two laps.

Instructions

Difficulty: Moderately Easy

Using the Stopwatch

Things You’ll Need:
  • Stopwatch with split function
  • Stopwatch with split function
Step 1
Reset your stopwatch to 00:00.00 by pressing the "Reset" button or holding down the "Stop" and "Start" buttons in sequence.
Step 2
Commence timing by pressing the "Start" button.
Step 3
Press the "Split" button when the swimmer hits the wall at the end of their first lap with any part of their body. The stopwatch will briefly display the exact time for the moment you pressed. The running time will come back on the screen after a few seconds.
Step 4
Press the "Stop" button when your swimmer hits the last wall with any part of their body. This will stop the watch giving you a final time for the event.

Recalling the Splits

Step 1
Press the "Memory" or "Recall" button one time. The swimmer's first split will appear.
Step 2
Press the "Memory" or "Recall" button again. The second split will appear along with the running time to that point. Continued pressing of the "Memory" button will review all the splits.
Step 3
Complete the split review by pressing "Stop" then "Reset," or "Stop" then "Start." This will clear the watch for your next race.

Tips & Warnings

 
Most watches do not have a memory function and will wipe out your splits when you reset the watch. If you want to keep the times for future reference, write them down as you cycle through. To calculate splits off a scoreboard with a clock, write down the posted time each time the swimmer hits the wall. Upon completion, subtract the last lap from the total time and continue backwards until you have generated all the splits for the race. This is not as accurate, but will work if you don't have a watch of your own.
 
Most watches do not have a memory function and will wipe out your splits when you reset the watch. If you want to keep the times for future reference, write them down as you cycle through.
 
To calculate splits off a scoreboard with a clock, write down the posted time each time the swimmer hits the wall. Upon completion, subtract the last lap from the total time and continue backwards until you have generated all the splits for the race. This is not as accurate, but will work if you don't have a watch of your own.

Article Written By Tom Nari

Tom Nari has been writing professionally since 1998 and has written extensively for a variety of websites. He has coached competitive swimmers and triathletes and holds an additional degree in Kinesiology Theory, specializing in nutrition and resistance training. Nari holds a Master of Arts in creative writing from Loyola Marymount University.

Never Miss a Single Post

All our latest outdoor content delivered to your inbox once a week.

FREE UPDATES

Subscribe

We promise to keep your email address safe and secure.