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  #1  
Old 04-27-2009
pmuni pmuni is offline
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pmuni
Default Racing suits

I have been a long time skeptic about masters swimmers buying expensive suits that only make sense for elite swimmers.

However, yesterday after our warm up, our coach made me try on a full body racing suit for a timed speed session. After a struggle to get it on and jokes from my fellow masters, I jumped in the water for 100m breast stroke without any expectations to do better that my usual 1:32.

Although my kicking felt somewhat different, I did not feel a substantial improvement. When my coach showed me the stopwatch at 1:29 I was totally amazed!

After some rest I decided to try the suit on 50m freestyle. Once again, I saw my time drop from 0:33 to 0:31!

Needless to say, I am now a convert and have ordered a suit that I am convinced will help me in my future races.

I would like to hear if other fellow swimmers out there have had similar experiences with high-tech suits.
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  #2  
Old 04-27-2009
Syzygy Syzygy is offline
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That is a substantial decrease in time and I suppose why all the world records fell at the summer olympics.

I have no experience with these suits but I would only offer up that my experience with other sports is that you've gotta have game if you sport world class gear. This is especially true of bikes and triathlons...as a competitive swimmer you seem to be one who can/should be in one of these suits, however.
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  #3  
Old 06-12-2009
CoachBobM CoachBobM is offline
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Mark Spitz was asked about how much effect the new swimsuits had on Michael Phelps's performance at the 2008 Olympics. He responded:

"I said this sort of tongue-in-cheek that if that suit had hair on it, Michael would set world records in it and everyone else would get in the same type of suit. When I broke my first world record, and for the first four of my life, I wore two swimming suits. So I don't really think it's the swimming suit."
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  #4  
Old 06-12-2009
BobL BobL is offline
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I think for most of us in the non-elite swimming world we are not going to see a tremendous benefit from the new suits. In a race you win by 1/100 of a second could it have made the difference? Possibly, but as Spitz pointed out you still need talent.

Bob
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  #5  
Old 06-12-2009
CoachBrian CoachBrian is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Syzygy View Post
I have no experience with these suits but I would only offer up that my experience with other sports is that you've gotta have game if you sport world class gear. This is especially true of bikes and triathlons...
Here's a presentation by Cervelo, maker of some of the best aero bikes. In it, they claim that slower riders get more of e benefit form aero equipment than faster riders.

But if you pay $10,000 for a top-line Cervelo with Zipp 808 and Sub 9 wheels with a power-tap and an aero helmet, and then ride only 18MPH average, people might have a less than desirable reaction.
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  #6  
Old 06-13-2009
Rhoda Rhoda is offline
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More than a few people have speculated that older masters swimmers may get the most benefit from a tech suit, as skin tends to loosen with age and drag in the water. But of course, you still have to swim.
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  #7  
Old 06-28-2009
CoachBobM CoachBobM is offline
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Olympic gold medalist Gary Hall, Jr. has said that it's the swimmer in the swimsuit - not the swimsuit on the swimmer - that wins the race.
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  #8  
Old 07-19-2009
Rhoda Rhoda is offline
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Well, I splurged and bought a suit, a Rocket Science swim skin. More for a little extra warmth than anything, as the last time I swam the provincial open water race when it was held in Sylvan Lake, my calves cramped up in the last 500 or so meters and two people had to help me back onto the dock at the finish. (It seems that cold (fresh) lake water has a more chilling effect than cold salt water.) This one is on the Fina approved list, but looks sort of wetsuit-ish at a glance, black with a thin rubbery coating.
I squeezed it on once at home, then took it for a spin this morning at the 50m pool after my Sunday long swim. As I wriggled into it I became aware that the older Russian ladies in lane one had stopped their breast stroke session to watch me, grinning. I burst out laughing, as it suddenly occurred to me how ridiculous I must look. After 10 minutes of contortions, and some help with the zipper, I did a couple of brisk 100s and went about 5 seconds faster than normal doing them.
Yikes. That actually adds pressure to my goal of going under the hour for 2.5k. Now I'm going to have to go under the hour minus 2:05 (five seconds/hundred x 25) to feel that I've really done what I set out to do.
I don't think I'll be doing any pool events in it. I can barely bend enough to do an open turn with it on, never mind a flip turn.
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Old 07-20-2009
CoachEricDeSanto CoachEricDeSanto is offline
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At 7:06 for my 400M IM, I am not going to bother until I get that down to a competitive level.By the time I qualify for nationals and really start pressuring the top in my age group, then I will consider it necessary. But I know I have a lot of time dropping to do in my natural skin first. I also figure, that by then, (hell, my goal is still the 105 and older age group and I am currently 38) Fina will have figured out its final rules.
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  #10  
Old 07-20-2009
Rhoda Rhoda is offline
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I'm not sure I'd want to go to this much trouble for pool events either - who needs the hassle of squeezing in and out two or three times in an afternoon? Plus, this particular suit adds a little warmth, the last thing I need in most indoor pools.
It's probably a silly indulgence, but so were tubular tires back in my mediocre bike racer days. The memory of those calf cramps is still strong in my mind, and from what I saw last year, most other people in my category will be wearing something like this. Actually, two years ago when it was last held in Sylvan, they still allowed wetsuits, so everyone else in my category was in buoyant neoprene back then.
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