Tempo Trainers are a new gadget designed to boost swimmers’ performance and encourage faster practice swimming. To help you get the most out of your underwater metronome and keep sets exciting, here are 5 simple ways to utilize yours:
1. Finding the Right Beat
A tempo trainer provides a multitude of differing beats. That said, swimmers should adjust their Tempo Trainers to fit their own desired pace and ability. To find the right beat for you, try this set. For distance swimmers (500 and above) complete a 50 of each tempo, for other distances, complete the set doing 25s on mode 1:
1-choose a tempo that’s a slow rhythm (about 50 percent effort) for you
2-choose a tempo that’s a fast rhythm (about 100 percent effort)
3-decrease tempo 1 by 5
4-increase tempo 2 by 5
Continue this alternating increasing and decreasing pattern until you find a comfortable race pace for your given distance. To get an even more precise beat, try straying from the new race pace tempo by a couple of beats and see which pace you prefer.
Your tempo trainer is not only an underwater metronome; it also has a built in timer. To time yourself for longer periods, use mode 2. In mode 2, the Tempo Trainer will beep in whole second increments ranging from seconds to minutes. For a more precise pacing tool, set your Tempo Trainer to mode 3, making sure to adjust the tenths and hundredths of a second. For increased pacing feedback, set your tempo trainer to beep at lesser time increments.
For example, to pace a 100 free in 1:00 you can:
Set your tempo trainer to 1:00. It will beep once at the start and once at 1:00.
Set your tempo trainer to :30. It will beep once at the start, once at :30 when you should be turning (or done turning), and once at 1:00.
Set your tempo trainer to :15. It will beep once at the start and once every :15 (for each time you should hit the wall).
3. Mapping Your Race
If you have a goal time in mind, but haven’t quite reached it, Tempo Trainers can be an extra motivator. Set the Tempo Trainer to your goal time following the three pacing guidelines. Practice trying to reach each area in the race before the designated beep. As you get better at pacing, you will begin to notice yourself going further in the same amount of time (and thus moving faster).
4. Sprinting and Aerobic Sets
After finding your optimal race tempo. It’s important to adjust your Tempo Trainer accordingly. For longer aerobic sets, increase your mode one setting; for broken races and sets off the block, try to maintain as close to your race pace as possible.
Practice faster fluid underwater kicks with your Tempo Trainer. You can select a beat to dolphin kick along to or use a pace time for underwaters. Practice several fast 25s on tempo. Then slowly transition into underwaters followed by several fast strokes. For an added emphasis on underwater kicking, try this set:
2×25 underwater at tempo
2×20 underwater at tempo followed by fast swim
2×15 underwater at tempo followed by fast swim
2×25 fast swim