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Racing without wetsuit
CREATED: 08/10/09 by lretzler REPLIES: 14
lretzler    JOINED: 8/10/09    POSTS: 1
Racing without wetsuit
POSTED: 8/10/09 10:02 PM

I've never worn a wetsuit in a tri because I always assumed that the time saved in the swim was offset by added transition time getting the wetsuit off. What do others think? Am I crazy to do a race this weekend in Luray, VA without a wetsuit?

wombat's ravatar wombat    JOINED: 2/28/09    POSTS: 269
RE: Racing without wetsuit
POSTED: 8/10/09 10:40 PM

How strong of a swimmer are you? A strong swimmer will probably not notice a difference in their time on a short, calm, currentless course like Luray. A weak swimmer may benefit from the buoyancy/mental security of wearing a wetsuit.

FYI - I am a former competitive swimmer and have never worn a wetsuit for a tri. I did the Luray Sprint last year without a wetusit and was fine. Just be careful coming out of the water and running to the bikes - it's a long distance and the stairs can get slippery.

bcfrank's ravatar bcfrank    JOINED: 3/23/09    POSTS: 1098
RE: Racing without wetsuit
POSTED: 8/10/09 10:42 PM

I think you could start an endless debate here over the time saved by wearing a wetsuit in the water to improve your buoyancy over the time you save by not having to strip a wetsuit off in the transition. You'll get opinions both ways. It really all depends on two things 1) how good of a swimmer you are and how much you'll benefit from the buoyancy of a wetsuit in the water and 2) how much practice you've had stripping off a wetsuit and how well you can do that under pressure in a race so that it won't take you minutes but only seconds.

Having said all that though, checking the Luray Triathlon website, they posted yesterday that the water temp was 78F. With the heat wave we're having, it's liable to get warmer over the course of the week unless we have a lot of rain to cool off the lake. So if it stays 78 or gets warmer, wetsuits are allowed but not eligible for awards.

vatriathlete    JOINED: 2/28/09    POSTS: 685
RE: Racing without wetsuit
POSTED: 8/10/09 10:53 PM

i'm a really crappy swimmer i use a wetsuit right up to the legal limit of 78.0F in every triathlon, full sleeve. i can get it off in 7 seconds flat, you can too if youpractice.

by no means is a wetsuit required to ever do a triathlon, its a convenience not a necessity.

i use it because its "cheap speed" in other words you are faster by just putting on something that you can buy without any extra effort. if they ever make it illegal then i won't wear it, but while its legal i'll use it.

have a good race.

ncrcoach's ravatar ncrcoach    JOINED: 2/28/09    POSTS: 1101
RE: Racing without wetsuit
POSTED: 8/11/09 12:21 AM

If I was asked this question years ago, I would say 'wetsuits suck' and go without one. Today, I still would say go without the wetsuit, mainly because how short the swim distance is and that you seem uncomfortable wearing and getting out of one. I've only worn a wetsuit twice in a triathlon (one was for a relay and the other was for an Ironman).

But lately, I now feel that wetsuits are okay because it has expanded the talent pool of participants in the sport of triathlons. I coorelate it to the 'Galloway' walking method used in marathons. To me, the more people involved the better. It sets a great example for our youth that you can particate no matter of your talent level.

kev7's ravatar kev7    JOINED: 2/28/09    POSTS: 470
RE: Racing without wetsuit
POSTED: 8/11/09 6:41 AM

Always wear a wetsuit if you can! I swam 5 minutes faster at NJ this year over last because it was wetsuit legal (most years it is not). With a little practice (and a lot of body gluide & suit juice), the wetsuit comes off pretty quickly! :-)

ShannonO    JOINED: 7/10/09    POSTS: 17
RE: Racing without wetsuit
POSTED: 8/11/09 12:53 PM

Where do you put the body glide to get the suit off quickly? I've only had the opportunity to wear the suit once. Learn that it chafes at the neck, but no where else that I can tell.

And the suit comes off SO much quicker when wet!

kev7's ravatar kev7    JOINED: 2/28/09    POSTS: 470
RE: Racing without wetsuit
POSTED: 8/11/09 3:23 PM

I lube my forearms, wrists, hands, calves, feet and ankles to help remove my wetsuit. But then again, I swear that my wetsuit is too small! I also body glide my neck to prevent chafing.

amcbride    JOINED: 2/28/09    POSTS: 40
RE: Racing without wetsuit
POSTED: 8/11/09 4:10 PM

You cannot use too much body glide. As said above, lube from the elbows down and knees down. Also make sure to get the whole neck, find a friend to make sure you get the back! If you have a long john, get the arm pits too.

lieutenantmudd's ravatar lieutenantmudd    JOINED: 2/28/09    POSTS: 68
RE: Racing without wetsuit
POSTED: 8/11/09 5:31 PM

Is Nation's Tri usually wetsuit legal?

nbehappy's ravatar nbehappy    JOINED: 5/23/09    POSTS: 135
RE: Racing without wetsuit
POSTED: 8/12/09 9:28 AM

can you use regular sexy lube to grease up your wetsuit?

SeanG's ravatar SeanG    JOINED: 4/8/09    POSTS: 160
RE: Racing without wetsuit
POSTED: 8/12/09 10:21 AM

nbehappy --- Only if it is the special sexy lube with warming properties. It enhances the warmth of the wetsuit.

abbyjs's ravatar abbyjs    JOINED: 4/7/09    POSTS: 699
RE: Racing without wetsuit
POSTED: 8/27/09 2:01 PM

This is an old thread, but in case anyone was wondering, Luray ended up being wetsuit illegal... the water was like a bathtub. Some folks chose to wear them anyway and were technically discqualified from the awards, but I'm sure they knew that going in (and didn't care).

I sure hope Nation's is wetsuit legal! I wore my wetsuit for the Dextro Olympic distance and it made me feel a lot more at ease swimming in the Potomac. I enjoy the swimming but its definitely not my strong suit, and having the wetsuit, especially in a body of water with a current, makes me feel more confident and frankly, safe. I was kind of proud to finish a 1500m open water swim without a wetsuit at Luray, but it was super shallow and there was no current at all.

itri_45    JOINED: 2/28/09    POSTS: 22
RE: Racing without wetsuit
POSTED: 8/27/09 3:22 PM

IIRC the Potomac water was just barely under the wetsuit legal limit last year. The outside temp was hot and humid as well for mid-Sep, even in the early morning. I too prefer swimming with a wetsuit and hope for cooler temp in the water and out this year.


krafty81's ravatar krafty81    JOINED: 5/20/09    POSTS: 127
RE: Racing without wetsuit
POSTED: 8/27/09 3:58 PM

I was worried about not wearing a wetsuit - my first time NOT wearing one was at the Montclair Tri last month. Ended up being fine - it felt nice to be cool, I tend to heat up in wetsuits. Last year I did not notice the current in the Potomac at TNT, but I wasn't paying attention.

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