The Wet Suit Pool Trial

I have my first triathlon ever this weekend, and I still had not tried swimming with my wet suit on.  I had tried it on in my apartment right when it came just to make sure it fit, but it’s really different swimming in a wet suit.  I had gone to a swim clinic a few weeks ago, and one of the swim instructors put on his own wet suit to show us the benefits of a wet suit.  He hopped in the pool, and encouraged all of us to wear our wet suit in the pool for a practice or two to get used to the feel.  I kind of waited to the last minute, but I did it!

I nicely folded up my wet suit and put it in my pool bag.  When I got to the pool, I put on my regular swimsuit.  

Then I proceeded to put on my wet suit in the locker room.  I knew I was going to get a lot of looks, it was actually kind of entertaining at first.

I then met a really nice girl by the pool who I asked to zip up the back of my wet suit.  She knew a good amount of triathlon, and was probably the only person there that day that didn’t think I was weird.  So, I go and sit by a lane, and put my feet in while I put my cap and goggles on.  When I hopped in, I instantly floated!  Weird!  

I seriously couldn’t believe it.  I was planning on doing my scheduled swim workout for the day just in my wet suit, but then I decided to scratch the majority of my swim workout and just swim around getting used to my wet suit.  I noticed when I was warming up, how much buoyancy I had.  Seriously when I was going freestyle my feet were practically out of the water.  I felt like I couldn’t help propel myself with my feet because they wouldn’t stay in the water!  My shoulders also were fatiguing pretty fast, because the wet suit creates a little extra resistance but once I got into swimming and finished warming up, my shoulders started to relax and feel better.  Breast stroke was impossible because I couldn’t keep my feet in the water.  I loved freestyle and backstroke.  It was fun just floating.

The only annoying part of the whole swim was everyone was staring at me.  I mean, I understand a look or two, because it’s weird, but seriously there were two guys who were really good swimmers who clearly were competitive at some point and must know a little about triathlon, but every time I stopped for a breather, they did too, and just stared at me.  IT WAS WEIRD.  I mean is it really that crazy to try your wet suit on in the pool when you live in Chicago?  There was no way I was going to get in Lake Michigan right now, it’s freezing. Honestly, I wanted to turn to these guys and just say, “Have you seen a wet suit before?”  Like I said, I expected people to look and wonder, but not continuous staring.  Oh well, I’m really glad I went because I would have been kind of surprised by the feel of the wet suit come race day on Saturday.

So, I encourage you newbies to go ahead and put your wet suit on and try it out at the pool.  Don’t worry about everyone else, you will be so glad that you did.  And what a cool feeling!

Have you tried your wet suit on in a pool?  What have your experiences been of trying your wet suit on for the first time?

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6 thoughts on “The Wet Suit Pool Trial

  1. Pingback: Sunday’s Weekly Training Report 5/23/10 « "Tri"ing for Pro

  2. Was great to read about your wetsuit. have my first Ironman on June 6th and my wetsuit comes in this Wed. so I will follow your lead. Thanks! Good luck with your race!

    • I disagree, you need to know where you might chafe and you need to know if the fit is right on the suit. There are things you can’t leave to race day to figure out even if you’re treating the race as a training session with a chip timer. It IS weird to try it in a pool, but if that’s all you got…

  3. Don’t forget to practice taking it off. It can be tricky. Did you use body glide? Be careful if you’re using your Garmin in the water since it obviously can’t go underneath and might stop you from pulling off your sleeve if you forget about it. I came across this you tube, and it’s got a couple of great tips I wouldn’t have thought of. I’m not going to try the whole shoe thing just yet (for bike mounting, nothing to do with wetsuits…) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=brHcsqKM_mo

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