An mp3 player is a great partner when it comes to endurance training. Long runs and bike rides can fly right by when you've got an entertaining playlist or an engaging podcast to keep your mind busy. If you're a swimmer, however, things can be a bit more difficult. I don't know many people who'd risk dunking their iPods into the pool for a swim workout, so most swimmers and triathletes in training have to get used to the sound of water bubbling and an inhalation every three strokes or so.
Luckily, there are a few options for swimmers who want to bring music into their swim workout. h2oAudio's Interval line of waterproof headphone sytems are built to house an iPod Shuffle (there's one for 2nd or 3rd/4th gen iPods) and clip to the back of your goggle strap, with shortened waterproof headphones to cancel out noise and deliver clear sound underwater.
If you find a case cumbersome, you can just get your iPod itself waterproofed by SwimMan. When I asked how they did it, a representative of SwimMan told me that all he was allowed to say was that it was "waterproofed from the inside out," which suggests to me that the iPod is taken apart and each component of the iPod is waterproofed individually. The result (when combined with waterproof headphones) is an iPod that can go right into the water without any external accoutrements. Here's my Swimman iPod at work:
I've had the chance to try both systems out for swim sessions (I paired the Interval system with a non-waterproofed iPod), and they worked really well. The waterproof headphones cancelled out sound and delivered clear sound, and both iPods survived their swims.
Choosing between the two is a matter of choice, really. The h2oAudio systems (which include headpones) are cheaper-$79.99 for the Gen 2 system, and $99.99 for the Gen 3 and 4, but they don't include the iPods, so add around $50 if you don't have one. The SwimMan systems are a bit pricies, running for about $150 for the waterproof Gen 2 Shuffle (without headphones), and about $250 for the Gen 3 or 4 Shuffles (with headphones). If you already have a Shuffle, SwimMan will waterproof it for $100 plus $15 for s&h.