Conducting a Tempo ‘Check Up’
Ideally, you would work with a Tempo Trainer to train the brain to hold a consistent tempo, or with a specific range of tempos, so that eventually you no longer need a Tempo Trainer to stay on tempo. There may be many situations – especially in racing open water, triathlon and masters pool meets – where a TT may not be allowed, or desired.
So, there is a process you go through for training your sense of tempo with the TT, and then a process for weaning yourself from the TT so that you don’t need it so much any more.
However, like a lot of delicate measuring equipment, even if you’ve gone through a rigorous process of burning certain tempos into it, your brain still needs occasional tune up of its sense of tempo to keep it accurate – like a guitar needs a occasional tuning.
One way to test and train your sense of tempo is to preset your Tempo Trainer to your desired tempo, turn it off and then slip it into your swim cap. Go for a longer swim set or a long continuous swim and then at regular intervals, turn it on for short periods of time to check how close your sense of tempo is to the precise tempo on the TT.
Example In The Pool
First swim 100 at your chosen tempo with the TT turned on.
Then swim 5 rounds of 200.
Start each 200 with the TT turned off and only your sense of tempo to guide you. One the last 50 of each 200, turn on the tempo trainer to see how close your perception is to the accurate tempo of the TT.
Example In Open Water
Swim 2 minutes at your chosen tempo with the TT turned on.
Then swim 5 rounds of 200 strokes, which may be around 1000 plus or minus.
Start each 200 with the TT turned off and only your sense of tempo to guide you. One the last 50 strokes of each 200, turn on the tempo trainer to see how close your perception is to the accurate tempo of the TT.