Triathlons are challenging events that require participants to swim, bike, and run multiple kilometers.
For the swimming portion, a wetsuit can be a valuable tool for athletes. Wetsuits offer many benefits, including improved buoyancy, enhanced warmth, and reduced drag.
However, choosing the right wetsuit can be overwhelming, especially for novice athletes.
In this article, we will provide guidance on how to select the right wetsuit for triathlon training and racing.
Table of Contents
Benefits and Advantages of Using a Wetsuit for Triathlon
Wetsuits provide several advantages for triathletes, including:
A wetsuit’s design provides extra buoyancy, which helps keep the athlete’s body higher in the water. This reduces the amount of energy needed to swim, making it easier to maintain a steady pace throughout the swim portion.
Open-water swimming can be cold, and a wetsuit can help keep the athlete warm. The neoprene material used in wetsuits traps a thin layer of water between the athlete’s body and the suit. This water is then heated by the body, creating a warm layer around the athlete.
Better Body Position
A wetsuit’s design helps streamline the athlete’s body, reducing drag in the water. This makes it easier to swim faster and more efficiently, conserving energy for the other portions of the triathlon.
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Choosing the Right Wetsuit
Choosing the right wetsuit can be challenging, but there are several factors to consider when making a selection.
For novice athletes, it’s important to choose a wetsuit that is easy to put on and take off. A full-sleeved wetsuit is recommended, as it provides the most warmth and buoyancy. Look for a wetsuit with a thickness of around 3mm, as this provides enough buoyancy without feeling too restrictive.
Intermediate athletes can look for wetsuits with more advanced features, such as reduced drag coatings and improved flexibility. A thinner wetsuit, around 2mm, can be used for warmer water temperatures.
Advanced athletes may want to consider a wetsuit with the most advanced features, such as textured panels to reduce drag and increase flexibility. Thinner wetsuits, around 1-2mm, can be used for warmer water temperatures.
Precautions When Using and Maintaining a Wetsuit
To ensure the longevity of your wetsuit, it’s important to take proper care of it.
Here are some precautions to keep in mind:
Don’t Pull on the Neoprene
The neoprene material used in wetsuits can be delicate, so it’s important not to pull on it when putting on or taking off the wetsuit. Instead, use the seams and handles provided on the suit.
Rinse with Fresh Water
After each use, rinse your wetsuit with fresh water to remove any salt or chlorine. This will help prevent the suit from deteriorating over time.
When not in use, store your wetsuit inside out in a cool, dry place. Avoid storing it in direct sunlight or near any heat sources.
Choosing the right wetsuit for triathlon training and racing can be overwhelming, but by considering your skill level and the features of the wetsuit, you can find the perfect suit for your needs. Remember to take proper care of your wetsuit to ensure it lasts for multiple triathlons.