How to Use the FINIS TEMPO TRAINER to instantly improve your TRIATHLON SWIMMING speed

– Morning trainiacs. Had to make that a quick one. 34-hundred meters in 1:12, with a heck of a lot of tempo trainer. I gotta get back, fix the computer. When we get back, I’m gonna
talk about all the benefits of using a tempo trainer. Is it loud in here? It seems loud in here. (energetic music) Alright trainiacs. So let’s do the first
video here on the deck. I’ll give you a tour of the
whole thing in a second. It looks good. Decks by Dad, highly recommend. If they were on Yelp, I’d be into it. So this is a tempo trainer. You may have seen my tempo trainer video. Basically, what this
is, is it’s a metronome. And you turn it on, and
you get a little beep. (beeping at even intervals) And the regularity of that beep allows you a training tool that you can use to help make your swim stroke a lot better. And there’s a huge number
of benefits to this. Now, amateurs, we tend
to have a stroke rate of around 50 to 65 stokes
a minute, on average. Pros are closer to 80 to 90. That slow stroke rate is actually a really big detriment to us, and this is natural because
water is really really heavy. It’s a dense medium. So to end up getting a
really big grip on the water and ripping it back really
quickly is very hard. So instead, what amateurs
do is we get in the habit of just being really slow. But, the harder and faster you move, the faster you’re going to be. Now I’m gonna put a
big caveat to all this. Everything that I’m
going to teach you here about how to use a tempo trainer assumes that you are putting
technique first and foremost. And the nice thing about the tempo trainer is that you can increase your stroke rate while keeping good
attention on your technique. That’s the big benefit to this. Because what a tempo trainer
is going to allow you to do is something that you can’t
really do on your own. What I find, that this happens to me and it happens to just
about everyone else, is that when you start focusing
on increasing your cadence two things happen. Number one, it’s hard to maintain. As soon as you get tired,
you start going back into your old stroke pattern. And it’s hard to maintain
that nice high cadence when you get tired. Number two, when you start focusing on turning over your arms really quickly, you stop focusing on technique. What this allows you to do is set a pace where the beep comes slightly
faster than you’re used to, so you’re working on faster cadence. But because all you need
to do is hit that beep, you can get into that nice stroke pattern. Only think about the beep. Not think about okay I’ve
gotta move really fast and I’ve got to kick fast and I gotta move my hips really fast. I gotta do everything really fast. Throwing your technique out the window. So let’s talk about my case, and I think this is very similar to a lot of age-group triathletes. What I’m starting to do,
is I’m gonna use this. And I need to focus on going
and pushing all the way back instead of just pushing to
my hip and then lifting out. I need to focus on pushing
all of the way back. I think, one of the best
ways that you can use this, for an amateur, is set the
tempo nice and comfortably. Maybe just slightly a little bit fast. And then, instead of
doing what most people do and focusing on beep, beep, beep, you actually focus on beep, beep, beep. So you use the tempo
trainer to think about when your hand is exiting, and you focus on that exit
being well past your waist. So it’s accomplishing getting faster and working on technique. And that’s what I would
recommend to just about all amateur triathletes. Because if there’s anything that we have a really big downfall in, it’s being way too pausy out at the front. And what that beep at
the end allows you to do is because you’ve got
to get your hand back really quickly for the beep, it’s like an incentive to say all right I’m gonna enter
and then I’ve got to get all the way back to that
beep really nice and quickly. And that is gonna result in
huge benefits in open water. Because it’s so dynamic
out there with the waves and then churn of the people around you, if you aren’t pausing
and allowing yourself to decelerate with both of your arms, just pausing there out front, but instead you’re constantly
moving yourself forward, you are going to go faster. Likely with around the same swim stroke. Just by getting rid of
that pause at the front. Now if you missed the
video where I talked about how to actually use this, very
quick training session here. Turn it on by pressing and
holding the bottom right button. And you want it on setting number three. (beeping at regular intervals) Setting number three is going to allow you to select the exact amount
of strokes per minute that you want. Start around 60. And do lengths of a hundred, so that you can feel, basically, you’re getting yourselves to the point where you can do a hundred, and you’re slightly taxed, but with about a 15 second rest you can go again. And then a 15 second rest,
and you can go again. It’s not so much that
it’s going to kill you, but it’s enough that it’s
a little bit challenging, however doable. We’re gonna call that your
comfortable stroke rate. Then, what you do, is you go back and to slightly increase that stroke rate. Increase by about three to five percent every third week or so. So stay at that, let’s say 60, if that’s your comfortable stroke rate, for three weeks. And just the fact that
you’re gonna hafta hold that for the entire duration of the swim is gonna be challenging enough. And then next week, 5% is three. So all of the sudden
you’re gonna go up to 63. (beeping at even intervals) Three weeks later, you
might go up to 66 or 67. (beeping at even intervals) And hopefully, you can
get yourself to the point that you can comfortably,
for quite a period of time, be high 70s. This is 78. (beeping at regular intervals) And to turn it off, you just
hold both bottom buttons. Alright, quick tour of the deck. So it is about 300 square feet. We had very ugly siding around here, so my dad built this privacy wall. What we’re going to do over
top of the privacy wall here is we’re going to go up about two feet and we’re just gonna get
it to the same height as the underside of the eavestrough because all the way across
here we’re going to get those vintagey Christmas lights, those incandescent bulbs, and that’s going to be
our lighting out here. How nice is that? Right here, we’re gonna
change that into a fire table, because I like staring
into a fire longingly. And just today, my dad and
I, we took down the fence all along here. An old chain-link fence. We’re going to take this fence down, and I took down the back landing here so if you come over to our house, don’t fall out of the house. We’re gonna make that fence
and that fence over there match this nice horizontal wall here. The privacy wall. So the fence is actually
gonna be horizontal and then this here, this back landing, is going to have steps coming one way, and then steps coming the other. So there you go trainiacs. That is a tempo trainer. This is my deck. If you aren’t already subscribed, hit the subscribe button below. And if you are subscribed, you are like a stroke rate of 68, for me. Just, just right.

Comments 25

  • T are you saying to shy away from a glide? What are you thought about a swim technique like adamoceanwalker?

  • small details … big advances …. Thanks again Taren

  • Advising everyone to be in the high 70s is a big big mistake. Surprised to hear it from someone with your experience. Stroke rate is dependable on the swimmer speed big time and there is rate/speed relationship tables. High 70s for a slow swimmer is a bag of crap sorry. And you have not touched on mode 1 and 2 which are primary for this device.

  • Thanks Taren. Had my tempo trainer at home for months. Time to bust it out. Love the deck!

  • Hi Taren
    I use mode 1 and 2 mainly. mode 1 good for CSS pace staying with beep and mode 2 staying ahead of beep, trying to maintain good pacing without going out to fast at start.
    A month ago when you were training with Gerry Rodrigues at Tower 26 you mentioned on Day 2 that you would show more of your swim analysis with voice over from Gerry and some fancy graphics. Any chance this will happen?
    I have similar stroke faults, to much of a straight arm in catch phase, not pushing back far enough and probably pausing at front of stroke as well. Would be interested to hear what comments Gerry has regarding your swim analysis.
    All the best for South Africa Taren.
    I am currently working towards competing in my first ever 10km swim in January 2019 so I have a bit of time hopefully to be prepared.

  • Thanks for the tips.. definitely getting a tempo trainer.. Nice deck but… it's time do redo your roof bud… those shingles are done! 😉

  • Loooove my tempo trainer. Primarily using mode 1 these days but I’m conscious of my stroke rate. It wasn’t my focus this year but I am going to work on it this off season. At least that’s the plan.

  • I use mode 3 like Taren. I'm up to 66bpm for longer distances (2-5K) and up the rate to 68bpm for shorter distances on choppy open water (1.5-2K). I'm a bit addicted to it and have used it in events, but I'm not sure that's allowed?

  • This video is bang on. I use it regularly, higher stroke rate is key to moving fast. I will try that beep on exit. Nice thanks T!!!!! Nice one.

  • "had to make that a quick one, 3,400m, 1hr 12" – ummm yea quick one lol, that'd be my long endurance swim. Keep up the good work mate

  • It's funny how big of a difference using the tempo trainer made.

    Turns out with the nice long strokes, getting efficient, etc. etc. I was turning my arms UNBELIEVABLY SLOWLY!!!!

    I'd hit an open water swim race and see people flailing their arms literally twice as fast as me!

    Once I measured my low low low cadence and started using the tempo trainer, once I started to get used to the faster turnovers, my times got better and better!

  • I definitely need help improving my swim rate, will look into one of these. Any TT discounts? The deck looks great! The roof is in need of some TLC;) Born & raised in East Grand Forks, MN (not too far from Winnipeg) I know what the winters are like & I would be concerned about ice dams.

  • Agree with Jaren that focusing on the exit is a really neat idea 🏊‍♂️👍

  • Unbelievable timing, I have been experimenting with a tempo trainer for the last 3 weeks now checking out some of your other recommendations and the benefits of programs like TI vs SwimSmooth etc. I prefer using it doing drills sets in Mode 3 or Mode 1 where I just stroke on the beep as opposed to Mode 1 where I set it to beep every time I should be hitting the wall. I am worried about becoming too dependent on it though so I only use it for one session a week where I work on CSS training and then intermittently with other swim workouts during the week. The biggest challenge I find now is incorporating the faster stroke rate with my longer swim sets which is obviously where I want to get to. I am assume that this is about building muscle memory and metal conditioning to get used to retraining things so starting by using it for many shorter sets is ok as it will hopefully progress to being easier for the longer sets. Interested to know how you feel it is using the tempo trainer for pacing and stroke rate doing shorter sets vs longer?

  • oh goodness, if I ever get this thing, it will be my demise… I take about 19-22 strokes per 25 yards..not including a flip turn.

  • Is there a way to record how it sounds, underwater, in your cap?

  • Thanks for the instructions will dust mine off didn’t really know how to effectively use it. Kris

  • Is it 60 strokes per minute? Where do you put the tempo trainer? In your swim cap? Is it water proof?

  • According to my swimming experience, Finis TT is a good product, but a little big and single function. I use COUNTU Tempo as my daily swimming metronome, which is easy to use, smaller and can work as timer and lap counter.

  • Would really not recommend the Tempo trainer anymore. I went through 5 of them by myself and over 20 with my friends, used them in normal condition. Based in China the importer told us to contact Finis, Finis told us to contact the retailer. I loved the idea. It is just too pricy a tool that breaks, hope the servicing is better in the US and Canada. very very disappointed with it. Will be using other similar products and or music based tempo drills and pacing.

  • 1hr and 12 mins for 3,400m is holding 47.22 per 100 meters. Clearly not actually what you did in your workout if the WR in LCM 100m is 46.91 from back during the suit era.

  • I looked at Garmin Connect and my spm was only 27. I was so bummed that my rate is half of what it should be. Then I realized that I needed to double the number as the spm is for only the watch arm. I'm definitely in that 50-60 range. This is my first month of swimming and bought the tempo trainer yesterday. I'll report back with my progress.

  • Hello Tarren.
    I not going to be able to be in water for a month-month and a half. Do you think it would be a good idea to use this tempo with dry land exercises? Example, swim cords, ropes, “pull cables”? In that way keep / simulate swim?


  • Great Video, THX!

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