26 Mar 2012 17:17
(The indoor swimming pool at The Scarlet, Cornwall)

One of the best thing about staying in hotels – which I do a lot – is being able to swim. Problem is, that although I love swimming almost more than any other type of exercise, I also find it staggeringly boring. I’ve always had pretty good stamina – in high school I could swam for over an hour in sponsored swims. Now I’m hard pressed to make it over ten minutes before I simultaneously run of enthusiasm – and puff.


So enter the Speedo Aquabeat 1GB Waterproof MP3 Player, which allowed me to spend twenty-five minutes happily swimming lengths in that delectable swimming above at The Scarlet in Cornwall, listening to the dulcet tones of Sheila Dillon talking about Elizabeth David on Radio 4’s Food programme.

I was actually sent it over a year ago, hoping to use it in Singapore but, try as I may, I just couldn’t seem to upload anything onto it. Then I had another crack a few weeks back, and suddenly it was working like a dream. (I suspect I had been using the wrong cable.) Being able to listen to podcasts whilst I swim means I forget to count lengths, and actually want to stay in the water longer than I have puff for, just to keep on listening. I cannot recommend highly enough for someone unmotivated like me.

It comes with waterproof earphones, a built-in Memory of 1GB – that’s apparently approx  250 MP3 songs. (You can’t choose the order in which you play them, which is about the only drawback.) It also floats if you drop it. There is a separate armband available, but I just tuck it into the top of my swimsuit, as I only swim a very pathetic, non moving around a lot, breaststroke.

There are a few reviews online with people having prolbems with the earbuds staying in, but mine were secure and didn’t fall out once, thanks, I guess to the earhook design.

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This is brilliant! I love swimming but haven’t been in absolutely ages, and I can definitely see how this would distract you from counting lengths. I think the only thing I’d struggle with would be the headphones as I find that style uncomfortable, but it sounds like a very good investment!


wow looks amazing



I started training for a marathon a few years ago but stopped because it was so boring and my discman kept skipping. The next year the iPod came out. I didn’t go back into training.
Dammit, I just ruined the natural climax of my story. Perhaps it could be a haiku:
skipping songs clammy tracksuit
iPod future perfect
no way jose


Damn you, LLG, you’ve done it again…. as it happens I signed up to the local sports club on Saturday, just so I can go swimming. Then there was your blog-post in my inbox this morning, and it is obviously A Message From God that I have to have one of these gadgets to alleviate the boredom of swimming all those lengths.

I’ve just ordered one on Amazon, and it’s winging its way to me even now. I shouldn’t be spending money on shiny new gadgets right now, but there was no alternative, obvs.

I’ll be able to download The Archers omnibus onto it, right?


This is BRILLIANT. I swim every day and battle with boredom too. Thanks so much. I’m really excited now.

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