I've been doing triathlons since 2004. In 2005, I did 10 races, which I learned was WAY too many for me! Now I do about 4-5 per season. I prefer the sprint distance, but I've recently done a few Olympics. I race in the Athena division, and I've been quite successful within that group. I enjoy training and racing, but I try to keep my my family (husband Paul, dog Sadie, and cat Curie) and job (engineer at a large defense contractor) as my top priorities.
The JAM! Trisuit: An Answer to Female Triathletes’ Prayers
In all of my tri-clothing research, I could never find a trisuit that would offer support where I needed it. I found that my choices were limited.
By Amanda Muller
I’ve been involved with triathlons for about a year and a half. However, I’ve been an athlete pretty much my whole life. When I ran track in college, my teammates and I wore speedsuits, those nifty one-piece garments that are super-comfortable and make you look like a superstar. I loved racing in my speedsuit, but I held off on buying the triathlon version, the trisuit, for quite a while. The simple reason is that I have a curvy figure (read: a large chest). In all of my tri-clothing research, I could never find a trisuit that would offer support where I needed it. In fact, through my experimentation with various types of triathlon clothing, I found that my choices were limited to the following:
Wear a sports bra top and tri shorts for the whole race. Now, I may work out 15 hours a week, but I’m still somewhat self-conscious about my midsection. So unless I wake up tomorrow morning with abs like the chick on the Bowflex commercial, I’m not going to be baring my belly anytime soon.
Wear a sports bra top for the swim, and put on another shirt in T1. I’m pretty competitive, and I stay that way, in part, by keeping my transition times short. Adding another shirt can take up to a minute, particularly if it’s tight. No good.
Wear a sports bra top and a tri-top or trisuit for the whole race. I wore a bra under my speedsuit in college, so I thought this would be similar. I wore this ensemble (a sports bra plus a tri-top) a few times last season, and ended up with chafing under my arms so angry that no amount of BodyGlide could ever prevent it. Take two tight tops, put their seams together at the underarm, add lake water and sweat, and you’ve got a recipe for PAIN.
At one point, I found a tri-top from a leading manufacturer that claimed to be very supportive, and thought I’d found the solution to my problem. However, as soon as I received the top in the mail and tried in on, I knew that there was no way I could run in it. This “supportive” top offered little to no support at all for my 36Ds.
I was about to give up hope when I came across the JAM! Trisuit. Since the company that made this suit was founded by two women who claimed to have the same problems I was having, I gave it a try. This time, FINALLY, I was not disappointed!
I wore my JAM! Trisuit at five different sprint triathlons last season. Aside from being very pleased at receiving compliments on the styling of the suit at every race, I also found that it’s extremely practical. The suit has large armholes that allow for maximum range of motion on the swim. The fleece chamois makes biking quite comfortable, but it’s thin enough that you don’t even notice it on the run. The leg grippers keep the suit in place on your thighs without chafing. The fabric overall is very soft and comfortable, almost like a second skin, and is also sturdy and supportive for your muscles. The absolute best feature of this suit is the built-in bra. It’s made of the same sturdy material as the rest of the suit (not a thin, flimsy material like you see in built-in bras from other manufacturers), and it works wonders at minimizing movement without constricting your breathing.
The JAM! Trisuit is also extremely well-made. At my last race of the season, I had a pretty bad crash on the bike leg. I was going downhill at 35 mph when my back tire blew, sending me crashing down and skidding across the road. The exposed areas of my body suffered some road rash, but my JAM! Trisuit came through the ordeal completely unscathed. I even had some friction burns underneath the suit that were kept completely clean because the suit didn’t rip or tear.
The main downside to the JAM! Trisuit is the color selection. Right now, the suit comes in combinations of Kiwi (light green), Raspberry (pink), and Grape (light purple). I’m not a huge fan of pastels, so I’d like to see some bolder colors or some black options. Another issue is that the suit doesn’t have a pocket. This is fine for sprint-distance races, but could be a problem for longer races where you need a carry a gel or two.
Overall, I’m very happy with my JAM! Trisuit and I highly recommend it to any woman triathlete, particularly those with curves.
JAM! Trisuit (www.jamtrisuits.com)
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