3 Reasons Triathletes Should Strap on a Tempo Trainer

author : jessicarandall
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Here are the benefits to using a Tempo Trainer to help balance out your freestyle.

Swimmers are always dipping and diving into their gear bag looking ways to improve and quicken their swimming. Whether it’s strapping on swim fins and paddles so that you can go Mach 10, or pulling out an ankle band to level up the resistance, we’re always on the hunt for new toys that will helps us swim better.

One of  the simplest, and yet, probably most effective training tools out there does nothing to speed you up, or slow you down. Instead, it’s a tiny yellow beeping device that you strap to the side of your head that acts as a coach, beeping at you every time you need to take a stroke. For swimmers who are trying to lengthen out their stroke, shorten it up, or even just have a interval timer (think the bell test from when you were a kid in PE), the Tempo Trainer is your meal ticket to more efficient and effective training.

Here is a quick review of why one tempo trainer, the FINIS tempo trainer pro is so powerful.

It gives you an indication of how many strokes you are taking per length. Experienced competitive swimmers do this naturally (counting strokes), but for you younger age groupers, or those who tend to daydream deeply in the midst of training, having the omniscient beep reminds you to hit a particular stroke count. Having a target stroke count is the best way to go—not only will this encourage you to swim with more efficiency, it also gives you something to focus deeply on while swimming.

It will help you even out your stroke. One of the less talked about benefits of the tempo trainer pro is that it doesn’t discriminate for hitched freestyle strokes. In other words, if your right arm recovery is a tad slower than your left, you will be unable to keep up to the beeps. Seems simple, but the evenly paced beeping will coach you towards having a more evenly balanced stroke (and maybe even encourage you to breathe bilaterally while you are at it).

Intervals made easy. For those of you who train under the dark lights of an indoor pool with the old school pace clocks that you cannot see once your goggles fall up, you will particularly appreciate this feature. With the Tempo Trainer Pro you can set an interval time, say, every :60, and every minute it will give you a perfectly timed beep for send-off. I like this also because it is less easy to cheat and push off early, whereas with a pace clock swimmers tend to commence pushing off a couple seconds early (present company shamefully included).

Some other quick notes on the FINIS Tempo Trainer:



  • It floats. Kind of key in the event that it slips off your goggles. Particularly for you open water swimmers who can’t just dive to the bottom of the pool to retrieve a piece of disappeared swim equipment.

  • The battery is replaceable. Older editions didn’t allow you to swap out the battery. Which, as you can imagine, caused some complaints. Fortunately the “pro” release solved this problem.

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date: June 22, 2017

jessicarandall