Why does a tempo trainer make my 12 days of Christmas list?
The obvious reason would be because it helps you swim faster, or more precise, it finds your optimal tempo for any given distance. Whether it be an open water swim or a 3.8km swim at the beginning of an Ironman distance triathlon, the tempo trainer is a very important tool to measure precise data to get your personal best swim time.
This is not why I added this important tool to my Top 12 gift list.
Our bodies love rhythm. Rhythm has the power to heal. Rhythm has the power to lift our spirits. Rhythm has the power enhance the exact pattern the body requires to improve our swimming.
For beginners, the tempo trainer can be used to give the swimmer rhythm. There are so many focus points beginners are trying to imprint, their swimming can be disjointed or robotic. Beginners can have pauses and millions of stroke thoughts that make their stroke jerky. The tempo trainer helps promote a rhythmic stroke.
The tempo trainer helps keep our thoughts on one focus. There are so many focus points we could choose from, we can experience monkey brain. The hardwiring of our neural pathways begins when we can keep our focus narrowed to one.
Typically, we start off thinking about one beep per spear. As we get used to the beep and tempo, you can start using the beep to help you focus elsewhere. An example would be using one beep per hip drive or one beep per leg drive. Also, the tempo can be combined with the method of “Patterned Sensory Enhancement” coordinating the beep with the direction you want to go or working against the force to emphasize a movement.
The rhythmic beep of the tempo trainer can be very calming when transitioning to open water. It helps keep your mind off the unknown dark depths of the water. Many swimmers think of it as a ‘soother’ and once they start swimming with it, it is hard to give it up.
When starting to swim, the first investment you make is a swim suit. The second purchase is a pair of goggles. Your third investment should be the tempo trainer.