We put Swimovate’s waterproof PoolMate heart-rate monitor to the test

Swimovate PoolMate HR heart-rate MonitorSwimovate PoolMate HR
£160
swimovate.com

While we’ve successfully used heart-rate monitors in the pool before, functionality is usually limited by a stark warning to avoid pressing any buttons during the swim. No such worries with the HR, which retains all the features of previous PoolMate models – lap count, stroke count, stopwatch, rest intervals and efficiency score – while tracking your heart rate. It also has the useful addition of a vibrating alarm, which you can set for different rep distances (although it won’t do you much good if you’re swimming mixed reps).

We did experience a couple of teething problems. It’ll only charge if plugged into your computer with the PoolMate Pro software running – a limiting factor if you only have access to a plug socket. More annoyingly, on our first test it miscounted laps on the first set. This is a problem we’ve encountered before and you can remedy it by remembering to do a good push-off at the start of each lap.

Seeing your heart rate during swim sessions is a real eye-opener, and incredibly helpful. Once data is uploaded, the graphs available are dizzying in their complexity, but you can switch off each of the measures to simplify the chart you see. You can export data to print off reports, or as CSV files to present in whatever format you choose.