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Triathlon Swim - What Should I Wear?

Triathlon Swim

  "What to Wear for a Triathlon" Series:  

What to Wear for the Triathlon Swim

What to Wear for the Triathlon Bike

What to Wear for the Tritahlon Run

Tri Suits and Swim Suits: When you race, you should wear a somewhat tight swim suit/ tri suit to avoid dragging too much water around with you. Be sure it doesn't impair the movement of your limbs or cut off the circulation because nothings worse than swimming in a suit where you can't rotate your shoulders comfortably or a suit that leaves a painful red outline when it's not on.

Swim Suits for Women: Women can choose to wear a tri suit or a swim suit. You can find one-piece, two-piece and tri suits in many cool colors and patterns. See some samples below:

Swim Suits for Men: Men have options now too! Back in the day, men had two choices: A Speedo (small swim suit that left little to the imagination) and big loose heavy trunks (that dragged the entire ocean with them). Both made the sport of swimming less attractive to the majority of males at some point because each had their drawbacks. Now you have much better options:

  • Men's Swim Suits - These are much less revealing and make you more streamlined in the water. They come in different patterns and lengths too. Some lengths end just above the knee and others end somewhere on the thigh. They are comfortable and you can also use them as bike shorts if you don't mind not having the padding in the butt area.
  • Tri Suits. Learn more about Tri Suits.

Wet Suits for Men and Women: When choosing a triathlon wet suit, you should consider the temperature of the water you will be swimming in. This will help you determine whether you should buy a full length wet suit, a short wet suit or something in between. There are so many different types to choose from, but trying them on and making sure that you buy one that fits snug, but is not constricting, will be your best bet! Check these out: XTerra Velocity 0.02 Wetsuits.

  • Mens and Womens Wetsuits: XTerra Velocity 0.02 Wetsuits.
  • Wet Suit Rules: Some events allow wet suits and others don't. Our suggestion is to bring it with the intention of wearing it, ask an orginizer when you arrive to the event and then ditch it before the race if the event is a "no wet suit" event.

Clothing Layer OrderSo the layers look like this: Swim suit or tri-suit (one or the other -- not both) on firts; wet suit on over it. For women who need extra support, a bra can be worn under the swimsuit.

Goggles: Woman and men should wear goggles to effectively Spot and avoid crashing into other swimmers. There are many different brands out there and the best thing you can do is try on the equipment before you buy it. Goggles come in all shapes and sizes just as our faces do.

Go to your local sports store and spend some time trying on the goggles so that you have something that is comfortable and fits well. Find out what the return policy is for goggles before you buy the goggles in case you have a pair that just don't work for you. Good-fitting goggles are tight around your head, suction all the way around your eyes and should be comfortable (as comfortable as something tight and suctioned to your eye can be). If they give you a headache, they are too tight!

next Next: What to Wear for Triathlon Run What to Wear for Triathlon Bike

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Quick-Click tips for beginner triathletes preparing for their first mini-triathlon:

Why should I Compete in a Triathlon?

How do I Train for a Triathlon?

What do I Wear for a Triathlon?

What happens on Race Day?

What are Average Triathlon Times?

Great Triathlon Links

Swim Caps: Swim caps come in several different materials. There are Latex, Fabric and Silicone caps on the market. The most commonly used cap is made of latex because of its effectiveness and its low cost. Latex Allergy Sufferers should go with the Silicone swim caps. Fabric Lycra Swim Caps are the most comfortable BUT they allow water to accumulate within them and will slow you down a bit. For open water practices, you should wear the brightest most obnoxious colored swim cap to differentiate yourself from the water and avoid collisions of any type. Learn how to put a swim cap on.

Old swim suits: This is an old swimmer's trick that's kind to your wallet and your workout. Use old stretched out, holey suits for practice. Put them on in layers, pray that the holes don't match up and you have a practice swim suit/drag suit. A drag suit is something that creates more resistance in the water by catching water in the holes and slowing you down. When you swim in your race, you wear a tight-fitting race suit and you will feel lighter and will go faster in the water as you are no longer carring around any extra weight!

Get Slippery: Bodyglide Advanced Technical Formula is a slippery substances that will help your wetsuit slide on easily. It also protects you from chaffing during your run and bike training and competitions. A home-grown version used by many is "Pam" cooking spray. It keeps things lube and is in your cupboard.

Sunscreen: Sunscreen is a must! Put this on before the swim to avoid wasting time during the race. This one won't make your face break out either!

Good Tip: Never use new equipment in a race. Always try new equipment out during training sessions before using in a race. Old swim suits: This is an old swimmer's trick that's kind to your wallet and your workout. Use old stretched out, holey suits for practice. Put them on in layers, pray that the holes don't match up and you have a practice swim suit/drag suit. A drag suit is something that creates more resistance in the water by catching water in the holes and slowing you down. When you swim in your race, you wear a tight-fitting race suit and you will feel lighter and will go faster in the water!

There are Newbies Starting Triathlons Every Day. Today Just Happens to be YOUR Day!

Triathlon Key: E equals Events, I equals Inspirational, N equals Nutrition, ? equals Question and R equals Resource

Triathlon ResourceAdvice on Safe Swimming Outdoors - What about safety devices for the swim leg, especially for training sessions when you're swimming alone in open water?

Triathlon ResourceSwimming in the Deep End - For open water swims in lakes, bays, rivers, oceans, are the swims in water that is too deep to reach bottom if fatiqued?
Triathlon QuestionBuying a Triathlon Bike - Learn how to buy the right bike without breaking the bank from experts in the field

Triathlon QuestionOverthinking the Bike - I intend to do my first half ironman next year and I am studying the info on bike-drafting.

Triathlon QuestionRunning: Good for the Body and the Brain - Could running make you smarter? The answer may surprise you.

Triathlon QuestionWalking Instead of Running in a Triathlon - The race promoters presented an award to a 69 year old female who had had 2 knee replacements...
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  Triathlon EventMaryland Triathlon - Terrapin Triathlon is open to the public. This is a sprint triathlon across the campus of University of Maryland, College Park.

Triathlon Event California Triathlon - The Pacheco Water Polo Team and Track & Field Team invite you to join us at our 2nd annual triathlon fundraising event.

    Triathlon InspirationFirst Triathlon Story - Scott Everett, Mississippi - If I can do what I did with 10 weeks of training then I may just set the course on fire with 6 months to prepare...

Triathlon InspirationFirst Triathlon Story - Greg H. from Texas - just to raise your arms at the finish line and know that you accomplished a triathlon is such a great feeling.
    Triathlon ResourcePlanning Your Triathlon Calendar - How do you know when to plan your BIG triathlon?

Triathlon ResourceBody Temperature and Triathlons - What can I do aside from a full on wetsuit to keep warm?

Triathlon ResourceAm I Ready for a Triathlon? - I am afraid I won't be ready in 6 weeks

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