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2013-08-23 1:02 PM

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Subject: Is a wetsuit needed for sprints?
Hey guys and gals,

I'm very new to the world of triathlons. This seems to be a very opinionated questions but here goes. I'm a Clydesdale, 6'3 225 (will most likely compete at 210-215) and will only be doing Sprint Triathlons (for now). I plan to do these in and around Birmingham. Will i be fine with just a tri-suit in sprints? How often are you even able to wear a wetsuit in tris around here? Seems like the water temp will hit the mid 70's pretty quickly come summer. Any feedback is appreciated.

Also, any suggestions on where to swim in Birmingham without paying an arm and a leg?


2013-08-24 7:52 AM
in reply to: Lumberjack

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Subject: RE: Is a wetsuit needed for sprints?
Hi Jamie,

A lot of people wear wetsuits not necessarily for warmth but for the magical things it does to your swim form. Wetsuits provide buoyancy, particularly around your hips and legs. This forces you in to the correct position in the water to 'swim downhill'. It is also for this reason that many "fishes" (strong swimmers) believe that their advance in a race is diminished by permissive wetsuit temperature readings.

The decision to wear a wetsuit is based upon two factors: time and temperature. Temperature is easy - if it is too hot, then you will not want to wear on because you will overheat in the water. If the water is c-o-l-d then you wont care about the time! Time is a cost/benefit analysis - will wearing a wetsuit cost you more time than it will gain you in swim speed (it can be difficult taking it off in T1).

I saw on Cahaba Cycles website that they rent wetsuits. You might want to give that a try before buying one.

Hope that helps.

2013-08-24 9:38 AM
in reply to: brian

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Subject: RE: Is a wetsuit needed for sprints?
Thanks for the feedback Brian. I guess those races in April and May will have cold water temps. I'll look into Cahaba Cycles for a rental. Nice to know we have a rental option close by.
2013-08-27 10:38 PM
in reply to: Lumberjack

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Subject: RE: Is a wetsuit needed for sprints?
I've never done a tri in Alabama that needed a wetsuit. The water just isn't that cold during tri season here.
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