General Discussion Triathlon Talk » wetsuit or not ? Rss Feed  
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2013-07-31 8:05 PM

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Subject: wetsuit or not ?
I'm doing a sprint tri this weekend with a short 500m swim, and am curious if it pays to wear a wetsuit or not. How much faster does one swim with a wetsuit vs. the time it takes to take it off in T1 ?


2013-07-31 8:19 PM
in reply to: fredwtri

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Subject: RE: wetsuit or not ?
Seems like the worse swimmer you are, the more benefit you get out of the wetsuit. Gives you better body position & a little confidence. I've heard folks say about 10 sec/100 meters is possible. If you already have good body position and an efficient stroke, you won't go much faster. If I start stripping on the run up to transition, it takes me about 10 seconds to get the suit off, so not a lot of difference on the other side of the equation.

I would do whatever makes you feel faster.
2013-07-31 9:24 PM
in reply to: fredwtri

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Subject: RE: wetsuit or not ?
If it is a wetsuit legal swim, I wear mine regardless of the distance. The time to take it off with a little practice should be < 15 seconds considering you should have it all the way down past your waist by the time you reach your bike in T-1. If it takes you longer, practice.

There are a couple of reasons why I always wear it.

#1 - Jumped in the water for a quick warmup then stood on the beach waiting for the race to start. At 60 degrees air temp for >10 minutes, being wet, I was way too cold before the start of the race, using energy I didn't need to just to stay warm. A wetsuit would have been appreciated just for the waiting aspect.
#2 - Body position, your hips and legs float giving you less drag. Less drag = faster
#3 - washing machine effect at the beginning, it is nice to know you will float in the wetsuit, peace of mind to deal with the 1-2 minutes of chaos.
#4 - faster, smoother = less effort spent early in the race.
#5 - protective layer in case the alligators bite !!! ok, that is just a joke.
2013-08-01 8:10 AM
in reply to: Mc Q

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Subject: RE: wetsuit or not ?
As a mediocre swimmer, if I can wear it, it is usually worth it. I think swim streamline position is key reason - especially keeping legs horizontal. I am a sinker. I didn't wear wetsuit for a 600 yd swim a week ago, and felt OK - but got caught going wide in a lot of current. My (navigational) fault, which made my swim a lot longer than 600. I didn't wear it because water was warm - and nobody else was wearing one (didn't want to be the outlier)! I had hoped for a first "non wetsuit" successful swim, but that will have to wait till next time. For me, a good (tight) trisuit fit is essential for a non wetsuit swim; I am always amazed by how good swimmers can be so fast in drag suits in the pool.
2013-08-01 8:14 AM
in reply to: Mc Q

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Subject: RE: wetsuit or not ?
Originally posted by Mc Q

  • ..


  • Or piranhas, snapping turtles, muskellunges, etc. etc.
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