As a “hardcore” swimmer I have never been particularly keen on anything other than a conventional swimming suit, swim cap and goggles.
Nevertheless, because I am curious by nature, I decided to test out this new product and gain a closer insight into the world of swimming technology, trying out in the water something I was so familiar with as a triathlete/runner, i.e. listening to music while I swim. And even though I have always enjoyed “listening to” the water during my training sessions, I tried to replace the sound of water with something with a more catchy beat.
As we all know, music is extremely powerful and can affect our state of mind, summoning up our inner strength and helping us really focus. As I told you in “Mental strength”, music can send positive signals to the brain, reducing our perceived exertion and associating it with “positive” feelings. That is why so many athletes turn up at the starting blocks wearing their headphones and that is also why music is considered to be “doping” in other sports (i.e. running) and hence banned from races.
Arena satisfied my sceptical curiosity by allowing me to test out its new waterproof Swimming Pro MP3 player.
It has an eye-catching design and its ergonomic shape makes it easy to grip even with wet hands. It is also very compact in size with an easy-to-read screen.
Attached securely to my goggles for comfort purposes (but you can also attach it to your swim cap or suit), it did not bother me at all, because it is really light-weight. This is a real bonus, particularly during long training sessions. Incidentally, a “mini” version has recently been brought out that is even more comfortable because it is even smaller.
So far so good, but the thing I was most curious about was to see how comfortable and hard-wearing the earphones are while swimming. Due to my physical build I have always had problems with earphones, because they never fit my ears properly, they move around and can be really bothersome in the long run. Fortunately, and due to Arena’s expertise, Swimming Pro waterproof earphones fit me perfectly and are not bothersome at all, allowing me to focus solely on my swim stroke.
Of course it will take some time to get used to them, but I am convinced that this little gadget will become a faithful training partner.
It seems to be absolutely perfect for my rather long and at times boring triathlon training sessions. Its large memory means I can download 50 hours of music and the battery life is 15 hours….. so I might even forget to recharge it sometimes!
I have also started using it out of the water during my triathlon training sessions, both on the bike and out running.
One piece of advice I would like to give you is to try it out during your longer training sessions, for example during fartlek sessions. Try to swim non-stop for 30 minutes or 2 km, alternating 150 metres freestyle at aerobic pace and 50 metres fast. You might even have fun with your MP3 alternating songs with 120-130 BPMs during more aerobic training paces with songs with higher BPMs when changing up to a faster pace.
Enjoy your training!
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