Tempo trainers – sometimes referred to as “wetronomes” – might be one of the smallest swim training aids, but they can make a big impact on your stroke technique.
Mostly used by intermediate to advanced swimmers, tempo trainers are a practice aid that is growing in popularity. These small electronic devices are placed underneath your swim cap or goggle strap to transmit a beep in your ear.
“Tempo trainers are to swimmers what metronomes are to musicians,” Division I swim coach Marc Christian says.
Like a metronome, these “wetronomes” help swimmers keep time to improve their tempo and focus on stroke counting.
Swim tempo trainers can be used in a number of different ways. The two most common usages for these swimming metronomes are tracking stroke rates and help with pacing.
A stroke rate is essentially how many strokes you take per minute. By tracking your stroke rate, you can increase your efficiency in the pool. You can use the metronome portion of a tempo trainer to let each beep represent one stroke. From there, you can adjust the beat to a speed of your choice. This can help you solidify your stroke rhythm and discover which stroke length works best for you.
For more information on how tracking your strokes can help you in the pool, check out this guide on the benefits of stroke counting.
In addition to acting as a metronome, tempo trainers also have built-in timers where there are two beeps with a set amount of time in between. To help work on your pace, you can try the “Beat the Beep” drill. In this drill, you will set the tempo trainer to a challenging pace and try to beat it each lap.