Triathlon - Making a pseudo wetsuit?
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05-24-05, 01:23 PM
Ok, maybe this is completely ridiculous and/or illegal, but here me out. I always thought the reason for a wetsuit was warmth. Research tells me it also helps with bouyancy and effiency in swimming. So, since I am not going to buy a wetsuit for my sprint tri, can I make a psuedo one. I have a knee length speedo suit I plan on wearing and a skintight, sleeveless runners/bikers jerseys I was going to wear for the bike/run. Is it legal/possible to buy some neoprene, cut it into pieces and then put those pieces on my thighs, hammies, stomach and back, under my clothes. Would this help at all? Most of the articles I have read have said that the thighs and stomach have the thickest material for best buoyancy, will my homemade wetsuit be of any help, and is it legal to do if so? Thanks, hopefully this is not too outrageous, just my crazy mind working.
05-24-05, 02:12 PM
no idea about the legality, but let me just pose this question:
do you think that it would make much of a difference on a sprint tri?
my guess is you would gain a few seconds. no more.
on the other hand you will risk your invention of actually becoming more of a constraint. like maybe, your pads will move around and give you buoyancy at the wrong place or maybe it will just feel extremely uncomfortable...
if all goes well, i suppose the benefit is similar to using a pullbuoy. since i don't train with pullbuoys i have no idea if you actually swim faster. but you will be able to relax your legs during the swim. but again: does that really matter on a sprint?
but i guess you could start experimenting with your idea and maybe patent it. who knows, maybe it'll revolutionize triathlons.. :)
05-24-05, 02:23 PM
Frankly, I am just a poor swimmer looking for all the help I can get. I am working on my form, but only have two weeks til the race, and have never really swam. I am not really racing for time, but don't want to lose four minutes and kill myself to swim 400 meters, just trying to find some help for this tri until I can work on my stroke and technique more.
05-24-05, 02:59 PM
My guess is that it will probably slow you down. One of the keys for good swimming is to be as streamlined as possible. Your contraption sounds like it may make your body "lumpy", therefore more prone to drag.
When you say that you've "never really swam", does that mean that you don't know how to swim? A pretty good rule of thumb is that if you can't swim 100 meters in less than 3 minutes, you shouldn't enter a triathlon. However, if you swim really slow but have a lot of swim endurance (which you can only really get from spending a lot of time in the water), then this rule probably doesn't apply.
05-24-05, 06:36 PM
Ethical questions aside, stuffing sheets of neoprene around yourself for a 400 meter swim really seems counterproductive. If you really and truly are going to struggle with this distance of a swim, buy and use a wetsuit -- if they are allowed in this race. Getting it off will probably take more time than it will save you during the swim though. Otherwise just relax and do some extra swimming prior to the even, which is right around the corner.
05-25-05, 10:00 AM
I know how to swim, just not very fast. I could swim 400 meters, it will just take 10 minutes or so. Based off of last years results for this tri, that puts me four minutes behind most everyone, even two minutes behind the slower swimmers. I guess I will just struggle through it and make up the time on the bike, which is my strong suit. Thanks for the help and being the voice of reason.
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