Saturday, January 28, 2012

Swimming questions - help please

I have been trying to decide if I am going to need a wet suit for my first tri. I was thinking not because of the expense yet it helps with buoyancy and swimming and man do I need help.  So I am leaning toward getting one.

What do you think?  Do I need a wetsuit?

Does it need to be a triathlon wetsuit or can it just be a wetsuit?

Check out these at L.L. Bean.  They are not tri wet suits but I like dealing with L L Bean. They are so easy to return to if something isn't right.  The reviews are good.

Should it be a full wet suit?  Sleeveless?  Short sleeves and legs like the one above?

Okay now.........probably a dumb question.  Today at my swim lesson I started breathing every fourth stroke instead of every other.  Each arm counts as one.  This felt good but was hard.  Should I keep working on it?  Is it going to speed me up?

My fear is I am going to do all this work and retreat back to my prior form in the heat of the race.

Today the coach told me twice that my kick was looking better and stronger.  I am not sure he is not throwing me a bone but I think he was sincere. He told me a couple  more things to work on. I am doing my own thing as the others do what sounds like Greek to me. I don't even know what he is talking about.  Today at first as usual I questioned my wisdom in going but as the lesson went on I felt better.  The hour did drag though.  I couldn't believe each time I looked at the clock how little it had moved.

I did follow up with  visit to Jax, seems to be my reward for working hard.

Next week I won't be going ( a race) so I may hit my local pool twice this week. I am getting a bit addicted to that post swim feeling.

This week I had "bad" dreams a couple of nights. One night it was about snakes - we had been doing math problems about snakes in school.  We had moved to a house where there were lots of snakes near by (we used to live there) but my biggest concern was I didn't have my nice run route anymore.

Then last night I was trying to practice an open water swim in the middle of the winter!  It's like spring here but it's not that warm!


Karen said...

hmmm good question on the wetsuit. I am thinking there would not be a difference but really don't know.

Breathing wise - yes it probably would speed you up a little bit if you tried to go with breathing every 4th instead of every other. Depending on how good your head turn is, it can be like putting on the brakes every time you go to take a breath (Newer swimmers have a tendency to lift their head out of the water which causes your butt and legs to drag more). I think going 4 or more would be good for you. That way if you are in a situation like a crowded swim and for swim reason you can't breathe every other (due to chop or someone being right up on you), you won't freak out. my 2 cents...

Char said...

Does your son get upset that your affections have turned to his dog and Jax is now the reason for you to visit? He IS the cutest puppy so I don't blame you.

Karen said...

@ char LOL...

Back to the wetsuit thing... I have a full sleeved but a lot of people prefer sleeveless because you feel like you get better range of motion with your arms. The only downside to the sleeveless would be that it allow for more water to get in your suit (not even sure it would be enough to matter) and you could possibly chafe more around the arm areas.

Jill said...

So glad you are swimming. I would make sure to breath on both sides too. I think it's good to practice... I was only using one side and it's good to get the feel of both. So you could do every 3 to help with that.

I have the exact same question about the tri suit...sleeves or no sleeves. Let me know what you decide and why.

RunningWhit said...

I bought a wet suit last year because we had a very cold spring and my first race the lake temp was around 76. The wetsuit definitely helps with buoyancy and that might make you feel more comfortable in open water. I live in Arkansas so our water temps get warm fast. I went with a sleeveless but you might need to do a full sleeved. I would look at various tri websites because they all have really good deals. You can also try a rental for around $50 if you just want to see what it's like. The tri wet suit is thinner and is designed to be more flexible for swimming especially in the shoulders. Good luck with your purchase.

Kandi said...

I'm interested to read the responses you get on this one. I think it will be a pretty cold swim for me on my first tri but I didn't really want to invest in a wetsuit or rent one. Hopefully the mild winter continues and it will be warmer in June than usual.
I haven't swam in a while but I think I preferred to breathe every 3rd stroke and breathe on both sides. It seemed just the right amount of time for me to go without needing a breath.

Marlene said...

I can't begin to tell you how much easier it is to swim in a wetsuit. It is worth the investment. You will not believe it when you try it!

I have been taught that breathing on the 3s is ideal... I think that's mostly so that you are comfortable breathing on both sides incase of waves/crowds, etc.

There are some drills where you brethe on the 3s, 5s, 7s etc. to improve your lung capacity. Can't hurt to keep working on it.

I'm no expert, just my own experiences here. :)

A Prelude To... said...

I've never gone sleeveless, but I have friends who prefer it...they are also the ones fffffreezing when we first start open water swim in the colder weather, so I would take that into account. The sleeves do actually help in keeping you warmer if the water is really cold...and I mean REALLY cold...when we start swimming, the lake is in the 40s.

I def feel more confident when I'm in my's a bit like a security blanket...I KNOW that it will keep me afloat if something were to happen - say...a cramp or a freak out.


I just bought a wetsuit with this deal:

It's been going on for about a week, so some of the sizes are limited, but you might be able to get one.

Alisa said...

I didn't use a wetsuit for my first, second or third tri's. I honestly still prefer to NOT swim with it but for a cold swim you might be more comfortable. People say you go faster but honestly, I don't know if that's true for me.

If you do decide to get one, definitely do a practice swim in it, it is different than non-wet suit swimming for sure.

I'm really tall so I sized my more based on my height than my weight, mine is about perfect though, it is more of a crop leg than a full leg like it's suppose to be on others. Such is life...this always happens to me.