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Old 06-14-2013
dprevish dprevish is offline
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dprevish
Default Wetsuit balance off

I wanted to see if anyone here has ever tried to modify their wetsuit for a Triathlon.
My issue is that just like a pull buoy, the wetsuit that I have throws my off balance. By that I say that my legs float on the surface (seems ok), but my front part of body is kicked downward. When I swim, leading with my elbow (Marionette Arm) casts my head low enought that getting to air is a strain. Maybe I can get used to this if I do a little more practice, but overall I'm considering cutting the legs up to about mid-calf to try and fix the issue. I hate to modify a perfectly good wetsuit. Incidentally, it's a sleeveless model at that.
All of this is compounded by the fact that I'm just now starting to try and burn muscle memory of good body position in the pool and don't want that being thrown off too.
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Old 06-14-2013
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CoachStuartMcDougal CoachStuartMcDougal is offline
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Hi Dave,

That's a problem with wetsuits, especially with the full. When I wear a wetsuit, it the Synergy Endorphin Quick John, aka "sleeveless shorty" or "spring suit". Use it 55 deg water and below. Has about 1/3 or less buoyancy than the full or long john sleeveless, panels mostly 2mm thick. I find I can easily hold my natural pool stroke with this suit, little adjustment. Comfy, nice neck collar no chafe. Reasonable at $169, eBay as low as $125 with ship. Before the Synergy shorty, I cut my sleeveless long john (Xterra) above the knee. Better, but still too much buoyancy.

Synergy Endorphin Quick John

Stuart
MindBodyAndSWIM

Last edited by CoachStuartMcDougal : 06-15-2013 at 12:02 AM.
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  #3  
Old 06-15-2013
craig.arnold@gmail.com craig.arnold@gmail.com is offline
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What kind of wetsuit are you wearing Dave?

For triathlon distances the entry level suits are okay, but if you want to go much further you need a more expensive model.

But regardless, you do need a "proper" swimming wetsuit; diving or surfing wetsuits have very different construction.

There are many makes, but two of the best in the UK are Zone3 and Huub.

Check out their websites.

I don't really like swimming in very cold water; anything below 19C and a wetsuit makes me much happier.
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Old 06-18-2013
dprevish dprevish is offline
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Stuart, Craig,

It's a Neo Sport sleeveless. I don't remember the model, but I remember it's 2 mil. I has great qualities of warmth, amazing difference. I think that I paid a little over 100.00 for it.(119.00 stands out)
What I plan on doing is getting to the open water this weekend and bringing along a pair of sharp scissors. I'm just going to go out and come back in, modify the legs back until it feels more balanced. I think that the part that's goofing me up is the full length legs. I really hated to cut on a perfectly good wetsuit, but I don't think it can hurt. It's not my legs that get cold anyway...
I'm only 2 weeks away from the open water 1500 in Oregon, so I need to do this soon.
Thanks for the help guys!
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  #5  
Old 07-01-2013
dprevish dprevish is offline
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Default Triathlon Complete

Well,

Finished the Olympic at 31:11, a minute and a half faster than two years ago. The wetsuit I cropped to just below the knees putting my balance back in place. The time of 30:00 or less will have to be next year's goal.
The race in Sunriver OR was the same place, but due to lack of volunteers they moved the diamond shaped course in so that instead of a three buoy diamond it became a double loop w/seven turns at the buoys! I was off on the last heat too so the traffic was drastic and lasted throughout the whole swim...a challenge. I had to sight constantly and even found myself cranking my neck forward underwater just to be sure that I would not be swimming over someone, which happened a couple times...sorry! It was probably a good hazing for a future Ironman if I ever decide to go that route.
I firmly believe that I would have gone under 30 min had the buoys been at the prior year's spacing, so I know that thanks to TI and mindful practice, I was a much stronger swimmer.

Being just the second tri for me, I logged my notes to practice for next year:
Diligent, drills and swim practice in the pool all year.
More sighting practice and OW practice to get good at swimming straighter in the water.
Next year under 30:00, in fact next year under 29:00!
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Old 07-02-2013
craig.arnold@gmail.com craig.arnold@gmail.com is offline
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Great job Dave, well done!
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Old 09-10-2013
dprevish dprevish is offline
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Default Observations - half IM Tri

I just thought it would be fun to post some thoughts that I had after observing a half iron in CO last weekend as a spectator.

As I watched the divisions head out on the out and back course and come back in, some things to help me and perhaps others were apparent:

The elites and top folks the would have left out of the first heat appeared to "stroll" in to the beach. Since it was a windless morning, there was also the ability to effectively listen to the stroking as well as watch it. Strokes were quiet and rhythmic, the latter folks were louder, sporadic and splashing. The only exception was one guy that was a relay that was sprinting to the finish, he obviously did not need to pace himself. I checked the tempos, most were at about 1.0 or slightly faster and no more. True, this was a 1.2 mi swim and they would have been pacing slower than a 400m, but I would have thought that they would have been coming in harder; it was not the case.

The leading finishers also sighted less and noticeably did not track poorly. on the inverse the last of the last swam in an erratic path, "C" shaped and sighted every few strokes.

The last thing that really stood out was that the people that finished last were lean, powerful looking athletes. One would never have predicted based on their apparent conditioning that they would be bringing up the tail.

It was very insightful, afterwards I went out myself just to practice while the buoys were still up. I think there was a lot of takeaway from this experience. Most noted was that I need to find a place to spend more time in the OW, practice sighting and dial in on good tracking!
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Old 09-11-2013
terry terry is offline
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Dave
These are invaluable insights you picked up and have now shared. I've found it valuable myself to observe triathlon swim legs, which I've done a few times. I seem to pick something up each time. Some key impressions

Mark Allen was an Ironman legend. I was there when he won his final Hawaii Ironman. I watched him come to the swim finish. The course narrows, and the field becomes a bit choked, as swimmers approach the finish ramp. Some swimmers in that pack looked like they were trying to swim over or climb over others in their anxiousness to reach the ramp. Mark Allen made his stroke more compact and quite relaxed. Realizing there was nowhere to go, he just held his shrinking spot in that herring run. As they reached the ramp, others seemed to scramble up it. He walked up calmly. He remained quite conscious of what a long day it would be and these few moments would not affect his final time or place, so he saved both heartbeats and psychic energy for the long miles on land where they'd have a real impact.
Takeaway: Saving energy on the swim leg--not straining to pick up a few seconds or places--is the winning strategy at all levels of triathlon.

While in Lake Placid the week leading up to the 2008 Ironman, I swam on the 1.2-mile rectangle course each day, accompanied by many athletes preparing for the race. What I most recall from those swims was, fairly often swimming into the midst of a large cloud of bubbles--as if there was a water-aerating machine ahead. Each time I did I'd very rapidly pass whoever left those bubbles moments later. It quickly became apparent that the smaller the 'bubble trail' left by a swimmer, the longer it took me to catch and pass. If it was only a few stray bubbles, it would take a looong time to pass them.
Takeaway: Want to swim faster in a triathlon? Watch for and eliminate bubbles in your stroke. (The easiest way to do so is immediately below.)

At the New Orleans Half Ironman in 2009, I watched the swim leg from the shore of Lake Ponchartrain, walking along the shore tracking the leaders until I reached a point the field would round about 100m from the swim finish. I remained there watching the entire field pass. Here's the pattern I saw--identical to the one you observed: Near the front of the field, a large percentage used what we call the Mail Slot entry -- hand, then forearm, then upper arm. Relatively little splash. As the field moved past, I saw steadily increasing percentages who loudly smacked the hand and forearm down on the surface, throwing up a splash. At the rear, the proportions of hand-smackers to mail-slotters was the inverse of what I'd seen at the front.
Takeaway: Put your hand in quietly and you'll finish higher on the swim leg.

Several months later Alice swam a relay leg at the Cayuga Lake Olympic Tri with her closest friend taking the cycle leg and her sister handling the run leg . There were five waves in the 1.5k swim. I saw the same pattern repeat at the start of each. The first 10% would swim smoothly and steadily down the course. The next 20% followed, slightly erratically, in their wake. The rest of the field (70%) to varying degrees made halting progress, with the last 20% finding it difficult to swim more than a few strokes without stopping, or doing backstroke or breaststroke for 200 to 300 meters at the start. Eventually a good number of those settled into a more continuous rhythm, but it seemed to take a good 5 to 10 minutes before they made any real progress down the course.
Takeaway: What the vast majority of those in the typical tri-swim field most need is to learn how to create a place of calm focus. We call it the Cocoon of Calm and it comes from Focal Point practice. Certainly not from grinding out grueling repeats, or from stroking faster or pulling harder as advocated outside TI.
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Last edited by terry : 09-11-2013 at 12:05 PM.
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  #9  
Old 09-24-2013
PanamaRed PanamaRed is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dprevish View Post
I wanted to see if anyone here has ever tried to modify their wetsuit for a Triathlon.
My issue is that just like a pull buoy, the wetsuit that I have throws my off balance. By that I say that my legs float on the surface (seems ok), but my front part of body is kicked downward. When I swim, leading with my elbow (Marionette Arm) casts my head low enought that getting to air is a strain. Maybe I can get used to this if I do a little more practice, but overall I'm considering cutting the legs up to about mid-calf to try and fix the issue. I hate to modify a perfectly good wetsuit. Incidentally, it's a sleeveless model at that.
All of this is compounded by the fact that I'm just now starting to try and burn muscle memory of good body position in the pool and don't want that being thrown off too.
I see you cut the legs down on the wet suit. But another solution is your head position. TI teaches head down looking at the bottom. This lifts your legs. But you don't have this problem, so do the opposite, head slightly up and look forward, which will cause your legs to sink a little, and it will make it easier to sight and breath.
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Old 06-11-2014
dprevish dprevish is offline
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Well that time is coming again:
Less than three weeks to the Olympic Tri and hoping to drop my time this year.
A recap on the year of learning:
First filming of stroke about 6 month ago: way over rotating. Just realizing it helped to set the stage for weeks and months now of remedial retraining to get back to a better balanced stroke. Now I can breath again on the left.

I have not spent as much time on sighting as I'd like; most of the pool time was spent correcting the above issue.

I have not done 500 or even 1000 time trials as I refuse to re-embed the poor stroke by letting myself get off balance and fatigued. I will bump together 100 yard intervals with 30 sec rest in between to ensure endurance will be there.

Honestly with the amount of extra energy that my stroke visibly displays (straight deep arm, soccer ball kick 180 degree arms w/little front quad timing), if I just concentrate on new better form mechanics for the race that is the low-hanging fruit I need to grab.

I'll post some results in a few weeks; will be very interesting results.
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