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Swim Time Converter

Created by Dominika Śmiałek, MD, PhD candidate
Reviewed by Dominik Czernia, PhD and Jack Bowater
Last updated: Jun 05, 2023

The swim time converter helps you compare your short and long course results. You can also check what would be your record if you used the other measuring system (i.e., convert meters to yards or yards to meters swimming). In the article below we clarify when this swim converter is useful, what are exactly SCY (Short Course Yards), SCM (Short Course Meters), and LCM (Long Course Meters). You will also learn how exactly this swim converter works, and, finally, why swimming helps you stay in shape. This calculator may also be used as a world time converter.

Stay with us and read on!

Swimming and health

Swimming is one of the healthiest and most natural sports. That's why it's recommended that a newborn starts swimming classes as soon as possible - they possess a reflex that allows them to float perfectly. If you're not a newborn, exercising still reduces your risk of a cardiovascular disease (you can learn how to assess it at out CVD risk calculator).

Regular swimming will help you burn calories (how many? Head to our calories burned calculator for a quick and precise answer) and use all of your muscles. Did you know that being in water takes a lot of stress off your bones, due to your effective weight being less? Therefore it is also good for your spine. The only other way you can get the same effect is by floating freely in the space or by walking around on another planet.

Yards to meters (and vice versa)

This swim time converter performs meters to yards conversion swimming, and the reverse - yards to meters swimming as well. But it's not only about the length of the swimming pool. The efficiency during a race in water is also essential - and it differs between the types of the swimming pools.

In the paragraph below, you'll find more information about the reasons for such differences.

SCY, LCM, SCM, what are those?

We need to explain some things here. What do SCY, LCM and SCM stand for? First of all, SC is short course, and describes a pool that is either 25 meters (27.34 yds) or 25 yards (22.86 m) long. LC means long course. All three of them are recognised for pool competitions.

  1. SCY - Short Course Yards: used to identify pools 25 yards long. The US National Federations usually maintain SCY USA records.

  2. SCM - Short Course Meters: an abbreviation for pools 25 meters long. Often seen in Europe, FINA (International Swimming Federation) recognises SCM records.

  3. LCM - Long Course Meters: a name for a pool 50 meters long; Olympic and World Aquatics Championships take place in long course pools.

Differentiating between those three types of pools is crucial when comparing swimmers' records. The most extreme contrast is between SCY and LCM, outlined mainly in the number of turns. Although the final distance stays the same, swimmers alternate swimming phases more often in short course races. They reach their highest speed just after the turns, which are more often in SCY than in LCM, and therefore they maintain a greater velocity and swim pace throughout whole race.

The swimmer's results depend strongly on their physical abilities, expressed by their aerobic capacity(learn how to calculate it at our VO2 max calculator. Also, meticulous control of heart rate is crucial in efficient training.

How to use this swim time converter?

Here we'll go through all of the steps required to receive a result:

  1. Choose the distance.
  2. Choose the style in which you compete (IM stands for individual medley).
  3. Fill in your result.
  4. Select in what type of pool you achieved such an outcome (if you want to convert meters to yards or yards to meters).
  5. Choose what kind of pool in which you want to compare your time.

That's all! You get your result - meters to yards conversion (swimming pool type-based) or yards to meters (swimming pool type-based again).

40th Swimming Zone and Masters Meeting, Enns, Austria, 2017. 100 m Butterfly
40th Swimming Zone and Masters Meeting, Enns, Austria, 2017. 100 m Butterfly (Isiwal, Wikimedia Commons, CC BY-SA 4.0)

An example - swim converter in practice

Let's take Jenny. She's 24 and has been swimming since she was 8. She lives in the US and the pools there were all 25 yards long. Now she's going to her first significant championship, which will take place in a huge 50 meters long swimming pool! Jenny wants to know approximately what time she should achieve, taking into consideration her current record - she needs an excellent world time converter.

According to the previous paragraph, she provided this data to the calculator:

  • Distance (meters or yards): 100 yards
  • Style: Backstroke
  • Your result 55.42 sec
  • From SCY (Short Course Yards)
  • To LCM (Long Course Meters)

Her result was: 62.72 seconds.

Now she can easily compare with her rivals, truly assess her chances in the contest, and make her dreams come true.

This swimming time conversion tool is provided courtesy of Brian Stanback.

Dominika Śmiałek, MD, PhD candidate
Your result
SCY (Short Course Yards)
LCM (Long Course Meters)
The tool is provided courtesy of Brian Stanback.
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