I spent 30 minutes in the pool using the Finis Tempo Trainer for the first time. It took a minute or two to get it comfortably clipped to my google strap, but once there, it held in place.
The metronome interval can be set in tenths of seconds from 0.2 seconds to 9.99 seconds. I've heard of people setting it chime once for each step of the stoke (a beep for the spear, a beep for the catch, etc.) but I thought it was a lot easier to set it for just one beep per stroke.
Overall, it worked pretty well. Once I found a comfortable tempo (1.1 seconds per stroke) it seemed to help me swim evenly. In fact, I found I settled into a rhythm fairly easily. A few times, I had trouble hearing the beep over my own exhale or the noise at the pool, but that problem was intermittent. Additionally, because I did fall into kind of a rhythm, missing a beep or two didn't seem to throw me off time.
Today was also my second attempt at working on technique. The more I read about swimming, the more I've learned it's more about good technique than just swimming harder. I've always thought I have pretty technique. Breathing on both sides at regular intervals comes pretty easy. I also have no problem keeping my head down and exhaling while my face is in the water and taking full inhales when I turn my head.
But I'm also not very fast. I swam 1200 yards in 31:29 this afternoon which works out to about 38.1 yards a minute. So to get faster, I know I have technique to work on. The one element that I think I'm missing from my stroke is good body rotation. I'm making my arms do too much of the work.
Last time out, I worked on that rotation, but it was hard. Too much of the effort started at my shoulders. Today, after having done some reading, I initiated my rotation from my hips and it made a big difference. I'm not so much faster, but I think I'm getting there. It felt good to actually be able to execute a technique I've read about.
There's a lot more swimming to do, but I think I'm going in the right direction.