General Discussion Triathlon Talk » Water temps and wetsuit dilemma. Rss Feed  
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2013-05-08 9:49 PM


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Subject: Water temps and wetsuit dilemma.
I have procrastinated myself into a corner. I have an Olympic length triathlon this weekend and they just announced the water temperature is holding steady at 64 degrees f. I have never swam in ( nor do I own) a wetsuit. Several locals have informed me of where I can rent one, however having never swam in one I am nervous to try it for the first time in race day. While I am not super fast I feel very confident in my swimming abilities. This will be my first swim in open water this season. My question is: is completing this distance safe at this temperature without a wetsuit. And if so, what should I plan on putting on for my bike portion? Thanks for any and all input!!


2013-05-08 11:56 PM
in reply to: #4734229

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Subject: RE: Water temps and wetsuit dilemma.
I would definitely want a wetsuit in 64 degrees for an olympic swim.  If you do wear one I would recommend putting body glide around your neck.  It will make it so the wetsuit won't rub when you are turning to your head to take breaths.  I would assume you'd just wear your normal race outfit under your wetsuit, so just take it off and hop on the bike.  If you don't wear one I'm sure you'll survive though.  Just swim fast
2013-05-09 3:08 AM
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Subject: RE: Water temps and wetsuit dilemma.
http://www.wetsuitrental.com/
Call them.

I wouldn't put anything else on for the bike, just wear the tri shorts and tri top under the wetsuit.


2013-05-09 8:11 AM
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Subject: RE: Water temps and wetsuit dilemma.

64 degrees F?  I would wear a wetsuit.  Go to the rental store today.  Get in the water today.  Pay the extra days worth of rentals to get the feel.  Body glide your neck, wrists, ankles, shins, and watch some you tube videos about putting on a wetsuit.  Xterra has a good video on their website too.

If you are a decent swimmer the wetsuit will help your performance a little, but will keep you nice and warm.  I would be 99% of the competitors have a wetsuit on for that race.

 

2013-05-09 8:20 AM
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Subject: RE: Water temps and wetsuit dilemma.
siouxcityhawk - 2013-05-09 8:11 AM

64 degrees F?  I would wear a wetsuit.  Go to the rental store today.  Get in the water today.  Pay the extra days worth of rentals to get the feel.  Body glide your neck, wrists, ankles, shins, and watch some you tube videos about putting on a wetsuit.  Xterra has a good video on their website too.

If you are a decent swimmer the wetsuit will help your performance a little, but will keep you nice and warm.  I would be 99% of the competitors have a wetsuit on for that race.

 



At the very least you could practice swimming in a pool with the wetsuit.

2013-05-09 8:21 AM
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Subject: RE: Water temps and wetsuit dilemma.
Go old school.  Cover yourself in Crisco.  Cold water swimmers did it before wetsuits.  Google it.


2013-05-09 8:48 AM
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Subject: RE: Water temps and wetsuit dilemma.
My wife dislikes the restriction of the suit and shuns it whenever possible.  She swam an Oly last weekend in 65 deg.  Said once she started she was comfy.  Go for it.  Do the adjustment tricks - face in the water, get in before the gun and swim around a bit to get used to it.
2013-05-09 8:52 AM
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Subject: RE: Water temps and wetsuit dilemma.
KSH - 2013-05-09 10:20 AM
siouxcityhawk - 2013-05-09 8:11 AM

64 degrees F?  I would wear a wetsuit.  Go to the rental store today.  Get in the water today.  Pay the extra days worth of rentals to get the feel.  Body glide your neck, wrists, ankles, shins, and watch some you tube videos about putting on a wetsuit.  Xterra has a good video on their website too.

If you are a decent swimmer the wetsuit will help your performance a little, but will keep you nice and warm.  I would be 99% of the competitors have a wetsuit on for that race.

 

At the very least you could practice swimming in a pool with the wetsuit.

All this ^^^^ above is perfect information IMO. Sure, you could probably do it without a wetsuit, but is your procrastination worth possibly getting sick, injured, or a slower swim time? Not me, I always make a great effort to error on the safe side.  Very few swimmers swim slower WITH a wetsuit. Why handicap yourself by swimming WITHOUT a wetsuit? Stop procrastinating, or you may be jeopardizing your health, your race performance or others.

Hope this helps



Edited by spearit 2013-05-09 9:15 AM
2013-05-09 8:56 AM
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Subject: RE: Water temps and wetsuit dilemma.

I'd second the notion of trying to get the wetsuit for race day and of course practicing a little with it in the pool to get used to the feel. Pros race with a wetsuit until it's 68 degrees so strictly speaking you could get away with not wearing it, but my intuition is that you'll burn much more energy keeping your body warm without it than with it. This of course slowly hinders your output for the rest of the race.

In the end do what's comfortable, but I don't believe a wetsuit on race day should be too much of an issue (take time to make sure you have a good range of motion and it fits properly when renting). 

2013-05-09 11:16 AM
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Subject: RE: Water temps and wetsuit dilemma.
La Tortuga - 2013-05-09 6:48 AM

My wife dislikes the restriction of the suit and shuns it whenever possible.  She swam an Oly last weekend in 65 deg.  Said once she started she was comfy.  Go for it.  Do the adjustment tricks - face in the water, get in before the gun and swim around a bit to get used to it.


I think 65 is fine without a wet suit. Just make sure you're able to get used to the water before the start, but don't spend too much time in the water. I got in the water too soon a few races ago (61F) and my teeth were starting to chatter before the start. Once I was swimming I was fine.
2013-05-09 11:35 AM
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Subject: RE: Water temps and wetsuit dilemma.

Get a wetsuit!

A sleeveless wetsuit should be fine for the temp and your stroke won't feel any different. You'll fall in love with it. Err on the side of getting a larger sized one, which will feel less constraining.

For the bike portion, it depends on air temperature. I just did a race last weekend where the water was 68 F and the air started at 42 F. I put on a thin wind-proof bike jacket, gloves, and a skull cap and I was plenty warm.

 



2013-05-09 12:58 PM
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Subject: RE: Water temps and wetsuit dilemma.

Last week, I did my first HIM race.  It was also the first time I ever swam in a full wetsuit, which is not recommended but I knew what I was getting myself into and just dealt with it.  To be honest, it was awesome.  Just be smart about what others have mentioned, like practicing getting into and out of it without ripping it, and like putting bodyglide on areas that could chafe.  As someone who never used one before, I was really happy with the bouyancy, flexibility, warmth, and swim time.  Remember, it's there to help you! 

 

   

2013-05-12 6:21 AM
in reply to: #4734229


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Subject: Follow up.
Well. I went ahead and got a wet suit. I was really excited at the notion of the advantage that would come with wearing one. I did a short swim with it the night before and it felt great! I definitely didn't have the sensation of "swimming downhill" as one person told me I might. Mostly I just felt comfortable (although I did notice my hips stayed at the water sufrace right where they should be). I was excited to see my split time to find it was the exact same as last year :-/ perhaps the cold water slowed me down (the water ended up being 60.5 on race day) I know it wasn't deconditioning because both my bike and run were faster. Thanks for all the advice! Hopefully the wetsuit will payoff at Steelhead HIM!!
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General Discussion Triathlon Talk » Water temps and wetsuit dilemma. Rss Feed