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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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Vestavia Hills
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.
2014-09-16 7:48 AM
in reply to: sand101

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, Alabama
Subject: RE: Is a wetsuit needed for sprints?
April and November can be cold enough for a wetsuit on the gulf, but for a sprint its almost not worth it (unless its one of the ones with a longer swim).
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date : February 4, 2010
author : Tri Swim Coach
comments : 0
Learn about the different styles of triathlon wetsuits, how to choose one and why it is beneficial to have one.
date : November 17, 2008
author : Ontherun
comments : 0
In part 3 of this series on mid-range fullsuits, we review the Neo Sport Sprint fullsuit for comfort, warmth, buoyancy and performance.
date : October 20, 2008
author : AndriaLL
comments : 1
It was literally seconds after I started swimming that I felt the tightness in my chest. I couldn’t get a deep breath in due to the tightness of my wetsuit. I was being strangled by my wetsuit...
date : September 3, 2008
author : Ontherun
comments : 1
The first video in this series will go through some wetsuit basics: what is a triathlon wetsuit, different styles, rules for racing with a wetsuit and wetsuit care and fit.
date : August 20, 2008
author : Tri Swim Coach
comments : 0
I'm doing my first tri Saturday. It starts at 7 AM and the forecast is calling for a high of 82 (air temp). Do I need to rush out and get a wetsuit?
date : July 7, 2008
author : Ron
comments : 0
This is a 'first impressions' review of the Fit2Race Sockeye Fullsuit. From a first wetsuit point-of-view, I was able to dramatically improve my pace over non-wetsuit swims.
date : May 5, 2008
author : TriPainter
comments : 1
I went into the pool area (as this was a pool swim) and got body marked. That's when it hit me that I was there to race - this was not a clinic.
date : August 7, 2007
author : newinboston
comments : 6
Some would say there are easier ways to get in shape, and they are probably right. My first worry was being able to squeeze into a wetsuit by race day.