Lately, I feel like I’ve been blabbering on about swimming more than I have been talking about running, but perhaps it’s because that’s all I’ve been able to do lately. But the question is, where does a die-hard runner learn anything about swimming, let alone get a structured training plan fit for their personal level? Sure you could Google until your eyes turn an array of Google-icious colors, but I spared myself and joined/downloaded the Speedo Pace Club site/app (this link will open up your iTunes to download the free app).
You may know how much I love the Nike Training Club app, well, the Speedo Pace Club app is pretty much just as amazing and here’s why. (NOTE: This is my two cents on the iPhone app more than the official site itself – enjoy!)
Once logged in, you can see your training progress. You’ll notice that I haven’t been using this feature – I have enough trouble trying to remember to add my workouts to DailyMile, let alone another app. Wouldn’t it be amazing if these both worked together?! A girl can dream…
The app features five simple options along the bottom: Home, Training, Add Swim, Swim Team, Pools. Pretty self-explanatory – well done Speedo Pace App UI guys!
The Training section is where my heart starts to pitter patter. It begins with the “Training Guide” where you can determine what training program you should adhere to; I’ll take “Beginner” thank you very much.
Once you’ve chosen your level, there are 24-36 specific workouts to choose from, but I believe that they are designed to build on skill and progress. Thus, start with week one and go from there. Within each week, they break it down even further. For the beginner level, it’s two workouts a week: workout A and workout B. This is why you’ll see things like “1A and 1B” in my Vegas training plan. The beginner training plan starts you off at two workouts a weeks and builds to three in the advanced training plan.
Each workout is broken up into a warm-up set, a drill set, a swim set and a cool down. If you don’t know what something means in each of the sets, just click on the set and it will expand to even more detail. What’s even more amazing is that there are YouTube videos that demonstrate the technique or drill. GENIUS! If someone said to me “Head Lead Balance Drill,” I’d have no idea what they mean, but thankfully, Speedo is there for me!
After you’ve completed a swim, you can “Add Swim” to a training log. Similar to DailyMile, you can add all of the details to track your progress. But as noted above, I don’t need one more app to track yet something else. Can’t we all just work together? Another finicky thing, you can’t log a workout unless you’ve completed ALL of the fields. What if I don’t remember my time? I’d like to see the field completion optional.
The social element of this app comes into play with the “Swim Team.” My team is depressing as I only have one friend (holler, Rebecca! She’s a MUCH better swimmer than I am). Much like DailyMile, you can comment on your friends’ workouts, give them high fives and follow their training.
The last feature of the app is “Pools,” where apparently you are supposed to be able to find pools based on your location. This feature has yet to work for me, it just keeps saying “Finding your location…” Lame.
But then the question arises: it’s great that all of this is on your iPhone, but don’t you know that iPhones and water don’t mix?! Fear not, young one, a ziplock baggy to the rescue. I simply place my phone in a ziplock back and leave it at the end of the pool (my gym is pretty safe…knock on wood). I am actually able to use my iPhone through the ziplock baggy, keeping it safe and dry.
Two Cent Takeaway: This app is the begging swimmer’s dream. I’d love to hear two cents for a more experienced swimmer, but as someone who is new to the sport, the structured workouts, the instructions and the videos have been key to my new relationship with swimming – without it, I’m sure I’d be singing a different tune.
Two Cent Rating: 4 out of 5 stars. I’d love to see the “Pools” feature work for me and the tracking is cool, but I can’t keep up with all of these tracking sites! Also, you can find the entire Speedo Pace Club site here.
Happy Running (and Swimming)!
P.S. These thoughts and opinions are my own. No one reached out to me to do this review – just sharing what I love.