Archive for May, 2009

Putting on a Wetsuit

Have you ever contemplated how you should put on your wetsuit (apart from the obvious legs / arms / front / back)? A wetsuit that fits well & is put on correctly will be more effective by being efficient & comfortable.

Firstly before putting on the wetsuit it is recommended to apply a lubricant to your calves & arms to help the wetsuit slide off, a recommended product is body butter (from the body shop), has the added benefit of helping you smell nice you will get less strange looks than others do for their choice of lubricant☺& it will not harm your wetsuit material. In addition apply body glide to any areas that chafe, e.g. around the neck or under the arms.

Putting on the suit have a plastic bag handy to place over your foot & slide your foot through (do the same on the other leg), now gently pull the suit up, aiming to gradually pull it up (not yank in one go) & careful not to dig your finger nails in. A tight wetsuit is good as it will be a good fit, a small price to pay for taking an extra minute or two to put the suit on. Once you have the suit up to your hips, start again at your calves & gradually roll the suit up higher, the suit should be as snug as possible in your crutch area, any gaps will only lead to water pooling there, meaning more weight to drag through the water. Nb most wetsuits are designed to be shortened, by cutting the calves, this can help with putting the suit on or off. I recommend you check with your wetsuit supplier prior to making any changes.

Now to the arms & repeat per the legs with plastic bag over your arms. Like the legs gradually pull the suit up your arms & again pull it up further so that the suit fits snugly around your shoulder (including under arms). Pull the suit up your torso (again by grabbing a roll & rolling it up) so that the suit is snug around your neck. Ask a friend to zip you up gently, make sure you breathe in & pull the shoulders back to assist. Place your cord where you want it so that it can’t be pulled down during the swim & you can access it quickly in your transition. Your wet suit should be on & you are ready to swim.

This does not quite mean you are ready to race, you should acclimatise to the water first (especially if the water is cold), do this by placing the feet & ankles in the water & give them a minute to adjust, now walk in further, up to your waist & place your hands & wrists in the water again acclimatising for a minute or so. Now gradually go in deeper and place the head under the water. This should be less of a shock to the body & respiratory system than simple diving in. Swim 20 or so strokes & roll onto your back & slow your breathing down. If you are able try to pull your wetsuit up even higher. Now warm up by swimming say 50 – 70 metres 20 hard strokes, 20 easy strokes, have a small rest & return, exit the water & again check your suit to ensure it is as high as possible. You should now be warmed up & ready to race, spend a minute or two relaxing prior to the start.

To do this you need to be ready 10 minutes prior the race, also not all races allow for a warm up, so if this is the case, try & get wet to acclimatise to the water temperature & warm up using arm swings & other dynamic stretches around the chest, shoulders, lats & triceps.

Happy racing

“If you are comfortable with your training regime then you should be concerned. You can only make the big gains by being out of your comfort zone.”
- Me

Events Calendar

May 2009

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