Saturday, 31 May 2014

Getting your wetsuit on right makes a big difference

As open water coaches we are asked “what’s the most important thing regarding open water swimming” and the answer is simple. Firstly get a suit which fits you correctly, generally a right fitting suit feel too tight to most people and as a consequence they get one which is too big.. The second most important thing is putting it on correctly, if the suit isn’t worn correctly, you are massively increasing the resistance upon your shoulders which very quickly leads to fatigue. Follow these simple steps before each swim:
  1. Start at your ankles, step into the suit and pull the lower legs of your suit until the lower border of the legs are approximately 6 inches above your ankle bones (your knees should still be visible).
  2. Once you have the lower legs in then correct position pull the remainder of the legs up over your knees and then you thighs until the suit is up to your waist. At this point there should be no ‘saggy crotch’ and the neoprene should fit tightly against your nether regions.
  3. If you have a ‘saggy crotch’ then start again, if you don’t then you can continue
  4. Place your arms into the wetsuit so you are covering your lower arms only, do not allow the wetsuit to cover your upper arms and shoulders. The border of the wetsuit arms found at your wrist should be pulled up until they are 2 inches above your actual wrist or watch position.
  5. Once the wetsuit wrists are correct, pull the wetsuit sleeve to cover the remainder of your arms and shoulders, smooth out any wrinkles by moving them upwards towards your shoulders, DO NOT smooth out wrinkles by pushing them downwards towards your wrist, maintain the 2 inch gap between the wetsuit border and your actual wrist or watch.
  6. Ask you partner to zip up your suit (note that if you can zip it up yourself its probably too big). Be sure that the excess material at the neck is folded into the correct position so it does not rub your neck. Pull up the zip, there will be a piece of neoprene which fastens across the zip, ensure that the zip tether is above this before fastening to ensure that the zip will not come down if someone grabs it during the swim.
  7. Secure the end of the tether so it does not get in the way when swimming. the easiest thing is to tuck the end of the tether under your swim cap at the rear, this ensures that you always know where it is as you enter transition and can easily grab it to unzip your suit.
The Endurance Store

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