Boring Swim Training
I am trying to do a bit more swimming as my first 70.3 triathlon takes place on November 13 at Miami Man. The swim portion of that event is 1.2 miles, that's about 84 lengths, or 42 laps in a 25 yard pool. I just started swimming in January, so the swim is the weakest part of my triathlon. I can't say I really enjoy swimming, doing laps in the pool gets a bit boring, so I started thinking about listening to music while swimming as a way to prevent total boredom. I also wanted to start listening to music while doing my longer, solo runs and was pretty sure I would be getting an iPod Shuffle. After a quick trip to Walmart I came home with a lime green iPod Shuffle then had my 16 year old daughter teach me how to use the dang thing. Playlist, what the heck is a playlist!?!
Above: 4th generation iPod Shuffle.
Waterproof Your Tunes
While researching ways to listen to music under water, I came upon the H2O Audio website. H2O Audio makes a variety of waterproof headphones, cases and armbands for iPods, iPhones and MP3 players. Their latest product is the Interval case made specifically for the 4th generation iPod Shuffle. The Interval waterproof case includes integrated, waterproof Surge headphones.
H2O Audio Interval Features
- MSRP: $99.99
- 100% waterproof
- submersible to 12 feet
- 5 pairs of earplugs, sizes XS - XL.
Bike Diva's Verdict
Listening to music while doing swim workouts seems to make the workout go by a little bit quicker. The music also helped me to relax a bit which allowed me to concentrate on learning to breath on my right side. I always seem to breath on my left side but for longer events, and triathlons with an ocean swim with a lot of waves, I really need to be able to comfortably breath on both sides. I don't bilaterally breath, due to exercise induced asthma, and end up breathing every stroke during triathlons. I'm hoping I will eventually get better at swimming, have to be patient, only started swimming on January 3 so I see lots of room for improvement!
I will have to play around with the different size earplugs. They kept coming lose in the water, even having my swim cap covering my ears. Kind of the pain in the butt to have to keep adjusting the earphones after every few laps. Also, the volume is louder when your head is out of the water but gets a bit muffled when your head is in the water. So the music kept getting louder then softer the entire workout. Especially annoying when doing breast stroke but I even noticed the volume difference when breathing during free style swimming. I tried a couple sizes of the ear plugs but keep getting the same problem. Not getting a secure seal with the ear plugs and even turning volume way up getting really muffled sound quality while underwater.
H2O Audio also has a hat and visor which has been specifically designed to be used with either the 3G or 4G Interval. I purchased the hat, which is available in either white or black, so I could also use my H2O Audio while running. I am a heavy sweater and like having a totally waterproof option for using my iPod Shuffle while working out. Using the run hat with the Interval is also perfect if it starts to rain. Unlike cycling, I don't mind running in the rain, as long as there is no lightening involved.
I tried one of those waterproof armbands with the iPod Shuffle, but hated having it attached to my upper arm and always felt like the cord to the headphones got in the way of my arm swing. The entire setup is very lightweight and I barely noticed I was wearing it. The velcro straps on the hat keep the unit securely in place without any bouncing around.
The hat retails for $24.99, while the visor has a suggested retail price of $23.99. The hat includes a Halo headband attached to the inside, to help prevent sweat from dripping in your eyes. The hat would also be a perfect, waterproof solution for listening to music while kayaking or paddle boarding.
I will have to play around with the different size earplugs. I went for a short run around my neighborhood using the Interval attached to the running hat and the right earplug fell out of my ear a couple of times. I am using the size medium plugs, so not sure if I should go with the small, to fit tighter, or with the large to fill up my ear better. The manufacturers instructions say going with a larger size earplug while using the Interval in the pool may help to create a better seal. I switched to a larger size earplug for my second run with the Interval and had much better luck with the headphones staying in.
H2O Audio Sponsorship
I have a few companies that sponsor my racing endeavors each year. I did a bit of research and found that H2O Audio offers athletic sponsorship through the Hookit website. I filled out the on-line sponsorship application and received an offer a few days later. I am a member of Team H2O Audio Elite for 2011. I also found information regarding sponsorship on their website: H2O Riders.
Lynn Smythe, AKA the Bike Diva