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Your Questions About Best Wetsuit For Weak Swimmers

Nancy asks…

I am doing my first triathlon in a month?

I can’t afford a full body wetsuit. all I have here is a longsleeve wetsuit top. Will that do?

Mike Rich answers:

It depends. What is the water temperature likely to be?

If it’s too cold for you to swim without a wetsuit, then by all means wear it! It will keep your core warm even if your legs are getting cold. I would recommend buying a neoprene hood to wear under your swim cap. They aren’t very expensive but will keep your head warm. I do a lot of open water swimming in cold water (under 60F) and usually wear a neoprene cap and just a regular swim suit –though this takes some practice to get adjusted to!

If you are not worried about the water being too cold for you to swim in without a wetsuit, then I would not bother with it. The wetsuit will restrict your arm movement while not giving you the benefit of lifting your hips like a fullbody suit would. The reasons triathletes wear wetsuits are to a) stay warm and b) keep their hips up since they often are relatively weak swimmers with poor body position/technique. So, wearing a wetsuit on top only can actually lift your shoulders up more, which will result in dropping your hips more –this is the opposite of how you want to swim. You do not want to drag your hips through the water like a barge. You want to float them up to the surface as much as possible.

In short, if you won’t be too cold, leave the top-half wetsuit at home.

Either way, you should be able to save time in your first transition over folks wearing a full wetsuit!

I’m a swimmer who just started doing triathlons myself. I saved up my money to buy a road bike, so I couldn’t afford a wetsuit either. I borrowed one from a friend for a couple of really cold water early-springtime practice swims. I hated wearing the wetsuit (but was happy for the warmth). I’m glad I spent my money on the bike instead. The triathlons I’ve done were in water warm enough for me to leave the wetsuit at home.

Best of luck to you in your first tri!

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Your Questions About Best Wetsuit For Weak Swimmers

Ruth asks…

Why are the olympic uniforms in swimsuits, trunks and gymnastic gear so revealing?

I know that some of the swimsuits are high for mobililty in the water and also includes the gymnastic uniforms, but why do they have to be that way? You can literally see a person’s butt almost hanging out of their uniforms. That’s not a good sight for people that have weak minds like child predators if you know what I mean.

Mike Rich answers:

Well it’s not like any of the swimmers or gymnasts are hideously ugly or morbidly obese covered in cellulite so I don’t find it that bad.

The swimmers and gymnasts’ uniforms are designed to be lightweight so they can move freely without heavy clothing weighing you down (imaging swinging up on the high bar with a baggy shirt flapping all over the place or trying to win a gold medal in swimming whilst being slowed down by a saggy pair of board shorts.)

Also it’s not that revealing, the men gymnasts generally all wear leotards with striupp pants or leggings (which is a shame) and the swimmers don’t even have their chests exposed (expect for maybe after the race when they pull the swimsuit/wetsuit down).
The gymnast’s leotards aren’t that horrible either, it would just be so much harder to compete if everyone was trying to be modest.

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Choosing the Right Triathlon Wetsuit

“Choosing the right triathlon wetsuit can be tricky, especially for the beginner triathletes. Learn how to choose one and why it is beneficial. Read more below!”

Triathlon Wetsuit

Not all triathlon wetsuits are the same so choosing the right one for you is important.

A triathlon wetsuit is designed to be buoyant to help reduce energy, create less drag in the water to help increase your speed, and is designed to be removed more quickly during transition when compared to a surfing or diving wetsuit, says triathletestuff.com. There are dozens of brands of wetsuits and various styles from which to choose, and it can be daunting to choose one that is suitable for you.

Step 1
One of the first things to think about when choosing a wetsuit for triathlon is location. Where will you be doing the majority of your training and competing, warmer water or colder water? Will you be more comfortable in a full-length, long-sleeved wetsuit or sleeveless wetsuit? There are lots of triathlon-specific wetsuits to choose from, and having an idea of what kind you want can save you time.

Step 2
Determining your budget can also narrow your choices to the wetsuits most suited to your needs. Are you just starting out in triathlon and looking for a basic tri wetsuit that will do the job or are you more experienced and willing to spend more money for a wetsuit specially designed for speed and more range of motion?

Step 3
In choosing the right triathlon wetsuit, assessing the thickness of the wetsuit is also a consideration. If you are competing in a triathlon that is sanctioned by the International Triathlon Union, wetsuits thicker than 5 mm are not allowed because of performance benefits. USA Triathlon passed a similar sanction, and as 2013, wetsuits thicker than 5 mm will not be allowed in USAT-sanctioned races. Depending on which races you participate in, a thicker wetsuit might not be a wise investment.

Step 4
Trying on the triathlon wetsuit and evaluating the fit is the most important part of choosing a triathlon wetsuit. Bikesportmichigan.com states that for a wetsuit to do its job properly, it needs to be snug so water will not pool in the wetsuit. Wearing your socks to help you get into the wetsuit more easily, pull the suit up your legs, making sure the crotch of the wetsuit is snug to your anatomical crotch. If it is too low, the top of the wetsuit will not fit correctly, says bikesportmichigan.com. That can impede your range of motion in the arms. Pull up the top of the wetsuit and put your arms through the sleeves or arm holes, depending on the kind of wetsuit. Pull up the sleeves so there is no space between your armpit and the wetsuit when you raise your arms. A good fit will be snug but not limit your range of motion.

You can also watch this video for more tips:

Tips and Warnings:
Triplesportsonline.com recommends using a natural lubricant like BodyGlide to help make getting into your wetsuit less difficult. Applying it to your feet, wrists and ankles can help the neoprene glide over the skin more easily…More at How to Choose a Triathlon Wetsuit

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