Essential Triathlon Gear – Part I (The Swim)

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In this video, I go through some examples of gear you might need or want for the typical triathlon swim.

Here is some additional information to go along with each part of the video:

Section 1) Goggles: In case it was difficult to hear on the video. The company that makes the goggles that I use is Aqua Sphere. The model that I like is called the Seal XP. It gives you some great visibility and also is less likely to leak for those with deeper eye sockets. They also make a women’s specific version of the Seal XP that is a little smaller (and a kids version as well). They also make the Vista model which is a little bigger and almost more like a diving mask but gives great visibility. There are other types of goggles out there but the ones I show in the video are the most common for triathlon. Find what works for you…there aren’t any goggles out there (that I know of) that simply don’t work for triathlon in general…it is about what is comfortable for you.

Section 2) Swimsuits/Triathlon Shorts: OK…so I know you don’t want to wear spandex…so go ahead and wear those board shorts so you don’t look silly in the spandex. But, I am telling you, it makes a significant difference in your swim times in the pool if you wear triathlon shorts or tight fitting swim shorts. Now, that obviously doesn’t make as much difference if you are wearing a wetsuit over it but it would be difficult to get the board shorts inside of a wetsuit anyway. This one is a little easier for the women (in my humble opinion) because tight fitting swim wear is the norm for you women. You guys are just going to have to open your mind up here and get over the spandex thing. If you are going to be a triathlete, you are going to have to get used to a little spandex. Lots of different companies make triathlon shorts that you can swim in: DeSoto (my favorite), Zoot, 2XU, etc.

Section 3) Swim Caps: As I said in the video, I don’t wear one of these for training…only for racing. However, my wife wears one for both. I believe that is a “protect the hair” thing. I don’t really see the need for wearing one for training from a technique standpoint or anything. If you have never worn one before and you are about to do your first triathlon, I would recommend getting one and trying it before the race.

Section 4) Wetsuits: Definitely one of the most difficult pieces of triathlon swim gear to understand or know how to purchase is the wetsuit. There are so many different kinds and styles to choose from. How do you know which one to buy? Well, as I say in the video, the best way to really be sure is to rent different ones and try them out first. Maybe that is not possible where you live…so that is not an option. I personally think that a full wetsuit (full length arms and legs) will be just fine for most people as long as they get the right size. However, I have a friend who was a swimmer in high school and college and he is afraid to get a full wetsuit because he is afraid that the shoulders will be too restrictive. I don’t seem to have that problem but everyone has their own quirks when it comes to swimming. Understand though that wetsuits will give you faster swim times and will help keep you warmer in those cold water swims (especially in the lower 60’s and upper 50’s). This is the most expensive piece of swim gear but it has a lot of benefit.

I hope you found the information useful and informative and please let me know if you have any questions or comments.

Ryan Chapman
B.A.S.E. Training
www.tribasetraining.com
ryan@tribasetraining.com

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