Swimming might seem like a low-tech sport. What more can you need apart from your swimwear and some goggles, right? Wrong, there a whole host of gadgets and equipment that can make your pool time not only more effective but also more fun.
Here we’ve done a round-up of some of the must-have gadgets to elevate your workout in the water.
1. FINIS Tempo Trainer Pro
A favourite amongst swimming coaches, there are several different ways you can use this handy little gizmo, but the most popular is to set the desired stroke rate and then swim quality reps at the set stroke tempo. The FINIS Tempo Trainer Pro is a cost-effective way to help with your pace training as well as being a great way to push yourself in the pool and can work as a race simulator.
The gadget is small and waterproof so can easily fit under your swimming cap or be attached to the strap of your goggles to act as your very own swimming coach. Eventually, it will become second nature to swim at this speed, so it can be useful to up your swimming pace to keep pushing yourself to the limit.
This easy-to-use piece of tech works by giving off a single beep which can be set to your desired speed, as well as having a stoke mode to control how many stokes you take per lap, or alternatively a lap pacing mode for all your training needs.
2. Swimming watch
Take the guess work out of monitoring your progress in the pool with a swimming watch. There are quite a few to choose from to suit all budgets, but one of the most popular is the FINIS Swimsense Live. This waterproof watch works with the FINIS Live app to provide you with a detailed analysis of your pace, lap times, calories burned and distance per stroke, all of which can be viewed on your tablet or smartphone at your leisure.
The swimming watch is bluetooth compatible and has built-in algorithms which are cleverly capable of identifying which stroke you are doing, whether its butterfly, freestyle, backstroke or breaststroke and will keep an accurate record of intervals and distance.
Syncing with the app adds a whole new dimension to your workout so is a great training aid for tracking progress and identifying any weaknesses. On a full charge, the watch will last up to seven hours and can store data of up to 14 swims; a fantastic gadget if you need a bit of motivation in getting the most out of your time in the water.
If you are looking to see an instant breakdown of your heart rate, laps, speeds, distance, calories, stroke length and strokes per minute, the lightweight Swimovate Poolmate HR might provide you with the in-pool motivation you need. Like the Swimsense Live, you are also able to view your swimming stats out of the pool by downloading the data, but it also gives you a quick breakdown to view mid-swim.
3. A swimming stopwatch
This piece of kit might seem a bit low-tech compared to other gadgets on the market, but don’t underestimate the importance of a swimming stopwatch.
While things like swimming gadgets are great if you are swimming alone, they don’t allow a coach or training partner at the poolside to give your feedback on your performance. So, if you train with someone else, a swimming stopwatch will be a necessary investment. Again, there are many to choose from all offering slightly different functions. Ideally, you should look for one which has different timing options, as well as the ability to store splits in its memory. The Fastime 500DM Stopwatch is a popular choice amongst swimming coaches which is capable of storing up to 500 splits in its memory.
4. Waterproof mp3 player
Music can be a great motivator and thankfully advances in technology have meant there are now a number of great options to add a soundtrack to your swimming session. One of the most important things to consider when looking for a waterproof mp3 player is the seal on the ear bud to ensure excellent sound quality while in the water, likewise you want something that will perform just as well during 10 minutes of breaststroke as it will during half an hour of intense lane swimming.
The FINIS Duo is an excellent mid-price range option and comes with 4GB of storage to add your favourite workout soundtrack to. It is also suitable for use in both fresh and saltwater up to a depth of 2 meters for up to an hour. This little gadget can easily be attached to your goggles and uses innovative on-bone conduction technology, meaning the speakers sit on your cheekbones and the music is picked up by your inner ear. This might sound a little strange, but it allows for an unrivalled, clear sound which will keep you entertained in the pool.
No matter what level you’re at, we’re here to help with any swimming advice you need, from gadgets to training programmes. Simply speak to a member of our team the next time you’re due enter the water. Did you know that we offer swimming courses for all ages? Find out more.