The Ironman Swim From Hell In Saint George And Thoughts On Use Of The Finis Metronome For Swimming and Running


Hi folks,

I was just introduced to the Finis Tempo Trainer Pro (metronome) by my triathlete son, Nigel, and here he is coming out of the water after the hardest swim of his life, he said, at the Saint George Ironman, 2012. The wind picked up to the point of white caps and three foot waves, forcing many swimmers to abandon ship (so to speak). This was the first time I saw Nigel take more than one hour to complete an Ironman swim, so it must have been hell out there.

Finis Tempo Trainer Pro

The Finis Tempo Trainer Pro metronome is a good friend and a hard master, but take it on and you'll be pleased

And now to the Finis metronome, which Nigel swears by for cadence training, and as you know cadence is critical for our sport. I tried it for the swim, and it is great, rapidly eliminating my catch hesitation and with it the residual bob that slows me down. For the run it is also remarkable, but I have one piece of advice on the use of this great metronome – for a run cadence of 90 set the metronome to 180. Feldenkrais makes total sense of this advice, because auditory input is linked to biomechanics. When I set it to 90 and coordinated the ‘tock’ with my left or right foot impact, there was a very clear difference in my biomechanics between the two link timings. When I set it to 180 tocks/minute, my stride was much more balanced. Classic Feldenkrais observation, which could be critical – I wonder what Finis have to say about this?

-k @FitOldDog



  1. I had the finis metronome and was really disappointed. It worked well – but switched itself on whilst not swimming and ran down the battery. Which isn’t replaceable. $39 for 1 session of swimming!

    • Hi Dennis,
      the one Nigel lent me during our trip (in the photo) has a common type of battery that is easily replaced (3032, I think). The world has moved on! I ordered one, and I’ll let you know if it doesn’t have a replaceable battery. Why not give it another try?
      Cadence can be king!

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Disclaimer: As a veterinarian, I do not provide medical advice for human animals. If you undertake or modify an exercise program, consult your medical advisors before doing so. Undertaking activities pursued by the author does not mean that he endorses your undertaking such activities, which is clearly your decision and responsibility. Be careful and sensible, please.