So FINIS drop me an early Christmas Prezzie, the newly launched NEPTUNE MP3 underwater player.
I have been involved with FINIS from 2009 onwards so I know the brand extremely well, having used it in training and racing myself over the last 4 years! I had the privilege of testing their original foray into the SWIMP3 playing arena by testing their 1st unit way back in 2010. So they give me this new gadget, the NEPTUNE underwater MP3 player and ask me to test it! Now, how does an Ex Full time professional triathlete, national elite level swimmer and current editor of Triathlon Plus SA test this MP3 player to ensure that it get’s tested properly? I have my I-pod mini on the ready with plenty of stored energy tunes to keep me happy while I am on in my indoor cycle trainer or out on the roads running. Swimming is not something you normally associate with playing music is it?
Anyway, they give me this new NEPTUNE and ask me to give it a whirl. I decide to do a session I have not done for years and that is 51 x 100m repeats on 1:30 continuous lapping in a 25m gym pool. In my good old days, I could easily sail through on 1:20 but give myself that extra 10 seconds rest per repeat just because I am over 40 and headed fast towards 50J
To put this program into perspective, over a 25m lap pool, that is 198 tumble turns, 203 lengths and 1hour 15minutes of swim time. Pretty mind numbing if you ask me! along pops the NEPTUNE and suddenly, the session is cruising by faster than Michael Phelps in his heyday! In fact, I get even faster per repeat towards the end of the session. How can this be? Sure, I was a little rested and probably on a good swim day but my motivation to put in such biggish sets for a triathlete were long gone and I needed some pretty strong motivation to stay in the pool for that length of time. My tunes I loaded onto the NEPTUNE are all club tracks and hard core beat, there is nothing soothing about the music I listen to. This made the swim a very enjoyable exercise indeed. They say you increase your rhythm when listening to a SWIMP3 player and they are correct! I was buzzing to the beat and the reps flashed by as I closed off on no 51 of 51 x 100’s (even a mouthful to say it)
So what is different about this one? For one, they use bone conduction for transmission meaning the ear pieces that play out the sound actually sit just above your cheek bones and to the side of your head. They clip quite easily onto the goggle straps. The MP3 player itself clips onto the back of the head onto the goggle strap and this is where you can control the entire process from. To load songs is as simple as click and drag. I am blond and stupid when it comes to gadgets, so if I can work it easy, you too can work it easy! What a fantastic gift or just incredible toy to play with in the pool! I am going to be banging out a whole lot more repeats with this puppy! Never before has swimming to music been so easy and effective. The boys and girls at FINIS have done a great job with the NEPTUNE. Okay, that is it for me, done an dusted. I took it, tested it and am very impressed. Thanks FINIS! More info locally, www.swimgear.co.za