Product Review: FINIS Tempo Trainer

First appeared in the May 2009  issue of TriNews (Triathlon Club of San Diego newsletter)

I came across this little devise at TriFest ‘09. While looking over items at the Finis (the makers of many aquatic products) booth; swim MP3s, a couple of nice looking lap timers, I noticed this unique device, Tempo Trainer (TT), I thought it was a small lap counter, but Tim Elson, vice president at Finis, set me straight on its “magical powers”.

Yes, whenever I find an item that is simple, clever and easy to use that can be added one’s training regiment and possible make you a better athlete, I call it magical. The Tempo Trainer is magical. The TT is similar to a metronome, it emits an audible beep. The beeps can adjust from .10 seconds in mode 1 (increments of .01) up to every 10 minutes in mode 2. Tim, gave me a quick explanation, which can be found on their website, on how to find my “perfect” stroke tempo. After much delay, I finally was able to use and find my own perfect stroke tempo.

The device comes with a clip so one can attach the TT to one’s goggle straps or slip under your swim cap. I prefer under the swim cap, the beeps are easier to hear. I swim at the WaveHouse’s 20 yard pool and doing flip turns every 12 strokes is kind of frustrating when really trying to concentrate on one’s stroke. However, I still managed. I first set the Tempo Trainer for .40 seconds. I quickly thought to myself, I don’t thinks so. I adjusted to .75 seconds and gave it a try. Every beep – take a stroke. I don’t think so…too fast. I tried .80, still too fast. I ended up with .92 seconds for every stroke. That gave me a chance to stretch out and glide and get a full follow thru, still pretty quick. I experimented with the beeps a little faster and slower but found this to be an ideal workout pace. Yes, I know world class distance swimmers have a stroke frequency of 70-.80 for freestyle. I am working up to that speed, for now I want to be efficient with my stroke.

Whatever pace you choose, fast to relaxed, this devise will keep you honest — One beep, One stroke. A constant reminder, your own private coach. The TT can also be for running and cycling or any thing else where a tempo needs to be monitored. Incorporate a 30 second on/off session, monitor your stride or cadence, the possibilities are endless.

The Tempo Trainer retails for around $40, well worth the investment. However, a special arranged has been procured… 25% off any purchase at Upon check out you’ll see a box asking for discount coupon. The code is surfing, you’ll see 25% taken off the top. The Finis website if full of great information and videos, make sure you review the whole website,

Reviewed by: Dean Sprague, PedPowerPerform Lab.

As of 4.27.2010 discount code is still working,

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