Lesson for Training with Tempo
Get Familiar with the Buttons
The very first task is to practice using the buttons on the Tempo Trainer Pro (TT) and get familiar with the sound of the BEEP and what the numbers on the screen mean. You can read more about this in Tempo Trainer Pro Basics.
Practice Coordinating Movements with the Beep
The second task is to simply get acquainted with how to coordinate your stroke rhythm with the BEEP of the Tempo Trainer Pro.
For this we recommend starting with a tempo of about 1.45 second per stroke (with the TT in Mode 1, click the left or right button until 1.45 appears on the screen). That is slow enough that most people will find it comfortable.
It may be easiest to coordinate the entry with the BEEP. Do a few short repeats or a few lengths to get familiar with how to do that, and observe the effects it has on your stroke and on your attention.
Finding Your Current Comfortable Tempo
Starting at 1.45 seconds may or may not be your most ‘comfortable’ tempo. We encourage you to experiment with it, trying gradually slower or gradually faster tempos until (like Goldilocks) it feels just right for your attention and control.
There are two buttons on the lower part of the device face. You slow the tempo down (the seconds go up) by pushing the right button – one click decreases it by +0.01 seconds (a hundredth of a second). You speed up the tempo (the seconds go down) by pushing the left button – one click increases it by -0.01 seconds.
You may view more guidance for Finding Your Current Comfortable Tempo.
What is ‘Fast’ or ‘Slow’ Tempo?
What is fast or slow compared to other swimmers, you mean?
If you are not sure what is too fast or too slow compared to others, you may read more in What is a Functional Range of Tempo?. It may help to have some sort of reference point for what is considered a ‘slow’ or ‘medium’ or ‘fast’ tempo, compared to swimmers, or what is considered appropriate for certain kinds of events (like sprinting versus long distance).
Not only do you want to develop your capability to hold good form at the tempo appropriate for your pace goals, but also to be capable of swimming with good form at a wider range of tempos along that absolute scale from very slow to very fast.
If this interests you, there is a lot more to study on tempo in the Knowledge Base.