General Discussion Triathlon Talk » WETSUIT RESTRICTING BREATHING?????? Rss Feed  
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2011-10-17 3:16 PM

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Subject: WETSUIT RESTRICTING BREATHING??????

I will spare you the details, but I feel as though my wetsuit is restricting my breathing during the swim.  I realize wetsuits are supposed to have a snug fit, but I can't seem to catch my breath in the open water and it is unlike anything I experience in a pool -  and it's not because I am going out too fast.  I have no problem buying a new one,  but it seems difficult getting the right fit based on SIZE CHARTS and even trying them on in stores.

As always, thank you in advance for your ideas and suggestions - ALWAYS so helpful!



2011-10-17 3:24 PM
in reply to: #3727203


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Subject: RE: WETSUIT RESTRICTING BREATHING??????
Is there a possibility that water temperature is still cold for you even if you wear a wet suit? Have you tried to wear the same suit in the pool? any differences?
2011-10-17 3:28 PM
in reply to: #3727220

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Subject: RE: WETSUIT RESTRICTING BREATHING??????
Definately NOT the water temperature.....I originally thought that it might be the water temps, so this year I did only warm water tris.....in fact, the last two could have easily been done without a wetsuit.  So I know it is not a temperature issue.
2011-10-17 11:39 PM
in reply to: #3727203

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Subject: RE: WETSUIT RESTRICTING BREATHING??????

Have you done a race without the wetsuit?  I ask because that would be a good comparison.  Then you are removing factors like, nerves, adrenaline, anxiety.  If you are out of breath without one well then you have your answer.

If you are not, then it is the wetsuit.

You should be able to find stores that will loan you a suit or at least rent you one to try.

If you are still out of breath without a wetsuit some advice I got was in your warm up swim do a couple of 50m really fast efforts which will help settle you for the start, otherwise it might be the swimming in groups, open water, not seeing a black line, swallowing more water than usual etc.  This means more practice in these environments to simulate the race environment.

Disclosure: Don't race without a wetsuit if it is too cold!

2011-10-18 6:26 PM
in reply to: #3727203

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Subject: RE: WETSUIT RESTRICTING BREATHING??????
I thought I was having the same issue as you mentioned.  I could swim all day in the pool, and when I went on practice open water swims I had no problems, but when I was in a race I would have problems.  What I found out, my problem was that I was wearing a compression top (Under Armor) underneath my wetsuit, as part of my tri outfit.  The compression of the UA shirt and the wetsuit caused me to have problems breathing during the races (I wouldn't wear any top when practicing).  So I used a loose fitting top for my first HIM in September and it worked out great.
2011-10-18 8:13 PM
in reply to: #3727203

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Subject: RE: WETSUIT RESTRICTING BREATHING??????

I had the exact same problem the first time I wore a wetsuit. I trained all summer in a pool and while out open water swimming in just swim shorts, thinking that when I put the wetsuit on for the first time I would be more powerful, streamlined and quicker through the water on race day. What I hadn't counted on was the restriction experienced by wearing the wetsuit.

As my heart rate and breathing rate increased 100m into the swim I found my rib cage could not expand enough in the wetsuit to allow me to get air into my lungs. I couldn't breathe properly, started to hyperventilate and then the good old water anxiety set in. Barely managed to finish the swim on my first tri by swimming the remaning distance with my head out of the water.

Since then, I have been practicing open water swimming in my wetsuit, under my own controlled conditions and also in non-chlorinated pools. It's like anything, it will get better with practice. Keep at it and you will be used to the wetsuit in no time at all

Mike



2011-10-19 11:36 AM
in reply to: #3727203

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Subject: RE: WETSUIT RESTRICTING BREATHING??????

I thought I had that problem too.

I found out at my last race, even though I've even gained 20 lbs. since buying the wetsuit that it really was nerves. The wetsuit felt fine even though it should've restricted my breathing. I was calm and confident and it made all the difference.

2011-10-19 1:49 PM
in reply to: #3727203

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Subject: RE: WETSUIT RESTRICTING BREATHING??????
I have found zipping my wetsuit up early and breathing has helped a lot! I get used to breathing with the compression before getting in the water.  Maybe it's placebo effect but I haven't had any open water panic since I started doing this.
2011-10-19 1:57 PM
in reply to: #3730313

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Subject: RE: WETSUIT RESTRICTING BREATHING??????

grannygear - 2011-10-19 2:49 PM I have found zipping my wetsuit up early and breathing has helped a lot! I get used to breathing with the compression before getting in the water.  Maybe it's placebo effect but I haven't had any open water panic since I started doing this.

I thought about doing this too. Maybe putting the wetsuit on and carrying out some exercise to increase heart rate and breathing rate to get used to the way the wetsuit's compress?? Worth a shot maybe??

2011-10-26 6:57 AM
in reply to: #3727203

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Subject: RE: WETSUIT RESTRICTING BREATHING??????
It's a common issue. Learn to breathe from your stomach instead of your chest. Most people expand their chest when they inhale, which is much harder. Instead, use your diaphragm and expand from your stomach. The suggestion of putting the wetsuit on early is a good one. Your body will adjust if you give it a little time. Good luck!
2011-10-26 10:42 AM
in reply to: #3727203

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Subject: RE: WETSUIT RESTRICTING BREATHING??????

Also, check your shoulders. I find that I feel constricted in my sleeveless wetsuit if the shoulders are even a little tight.

I spend extra time pulling up the top half to make it feel a little roomier.

 

Good Luck!



2011-10-31 10:58 AM
in reply to: #3727203

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Subject: RE: WETSUIT RESTRICTING BREATHING??????
I am no expert since I haven't done a full IM yet but breathing has been an issue for me in OWS but it seems better if I take extra time pulling up the wetsuit to avoid the chest feeling tight. The first few times I swim in the wetsuit in OW the easier it gets. In the races it seems to help every once in awhile to slow down my pace and HR and make sure I stay calm.. Warm-up is an issue for me too. I usually feel like I get a second wind after turning at that first big buoy.
2019-05-07 11:23 AM
in reply to: dabeachbums5


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Subject: RE: WETSUIT RESTRICTING BREATHING??????
Did you ever resolve this, and, if so, what did you do? I have had no issues in the open water swim until I wore a wetsuit recently because it's getting cold. Was the worst experience of my life. Couldn't breath 10 seconds in until the end of the race. Tried a number of things to catch my breath and none of them worked. Felt like the wetsuit was just crushing me.

I have no fears of open water and don't mind the crowd. Water was great - 21C and warmer than my previous race and training pool. Until now, I have been swimming without a wetsuit, which has been great. But, this was a nightmare. I swam with the wetsuit in cold cold water 3 days before to make sure it was okay, and everything felt fine. So, clearly I have some psychological issue with a wetsuit and race day and breathing, even though my mind is pretty relaxed cuz I don't compete to place.

Some tips that have stood out to me are - wear the wetsuit for a while before the swim (I like this); train with the wetsuit ad nauseum, buy a wetsuit that fits properly (I borrowed this one and it was perhaps slightly too small), I have also seen some tips on getting in the water before the start of the race and doing about 15 minutes of warmups...
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