Top positive review
16 people found this helpful
Let this be the drummer in your band
on 5 September 2013
I read other positive reviews and purchased the Pro after realising I probably have the slowest stroke rate per minute in my swim club and feeling like that's causing dead spots in my stroke. I felt I was slower than I need to be, like a cyclist who grinds away in a large gear with low cadence. After 2 years of diligently improving my technique my plateauing speed was frustrating me. Why didn't I think of this years ago!
You'll either love or hate the beeping. I find it relaxing - it focuses on timing for me, just like having a drummer in the band counting time.
Initially I was taking ~47spm in the pool and by the end of my first session with it was up to ~65spm and felt like I was 'sitting higher' in the water when swimming, rather than overgliding as normal. Like the YouTube videos for SwimSmooth recommend, I only increased the spm if my technique held up. I didn't feel any more tired or out of breath. The higher stroke rate stops me trying to 'muscle' through the water - to use a cycling comparison, I now feel like I'm 'spinning'.
I've now used it in two open water races. The first (500m) involved quite a bit of 'argy bargy' with other swimmers and the Pro stayed firmly in place in the nape of my neck under my cap. At the end of the aquathlon, the Pro was still happily beeping away in T1 by my goggles, which made it easy to find. In the second (750m) it was also secure and at ~68spm it kept me focused on not reverting into overgliding as I tired.
I've found I hit my 100m split times better (it's set to beep every 20 seconds [20m pool]) and have gone from struggling to achieve 1:45 / 100m to easily hitting <1:38 / 100 in a week. In O/W swimming I did a 750m lap last night 20 seconds quicker when I increased the spm by 5. Again, didn't feel more tired at the higher stroke rate and felt it kept me consistent and focused throughout.
I use all 3 modes: Mode 1 for warm up (set to 60spm), Mode 2 for sets (set to beep every length) and Mode 3 for open water or swimming with my swim club (set to 65spm - 70 spm) and it's not too hard to change between modes, even when treading water, as long as you're not too long-sighted.
I've also noticed I prefer a higher cadence when neoprened up and swimming in O/W, and a lower cadence when I'm in a pool. My brain is still getting used to my new higher arm turnover and I know I'll revert to overgliding in the short term if I stop using it.
4 stars rather than 5 just because when my pool is busy it's a little hard to hear the beeps when my head is not submerged... but any louder and swimmers around you might start looking for a 'suspicious beeping device'! Also, while it does float, it's tiny in a lake or nearby grass (and set to 'off') and I will attach a brightly-coloured ribbon or similar as it's expensive enough that I don't want to lose it. It would be great if the 'clip' could work with goggle straps or if it came attached to a goggle-type strap so it could hang around your neck / not get lost when not in use. I also like that it turns off after 3 hours.
A tiny downside is that in shorter pools in Mode 2 (to beep at the end of each lap) you can only adjust by a minimum increment of 1 second, e.g. in my 20m pool I set it to beep every 20 seconds (1:40 per 100m) but I now swim at 1:38. But if I change the beep to every 19 seconds I will end up with a 1:35 target, which is a bit of a stretch x8 sets! Not so bad for 100m sets, but for 400m sets in a short pool it could add up...less of a big deal if you swim in 25m or 50m pools. It's now always in my swim kit bag.
Still worth buying, though...unless you compete in my age group in which case there's nothing to see here, thank you ;-).