Saturday, February 27, 2010

Can you believe it? Another cold front!

While we have been basking in an 81-82 deg heated pool, some of the local swimming holes are probably down in the low 60's right now. Others that are spring fed are staying at a constant 72 degs. I haven't heard back yet from the race organizers what the water temp is at Moss Park where Wildman will be held in two weeks -- yes, TWO weeks!! -- but those signed up will probably want to wear a wetsuit (unless you're one of those hardcore swimmers who can swim in any water temps in just your swimsuit).

For those new to tris, there are basically two types of triathlon wetsuits, which are designed for swimming as opposed to surfing and diving wetsuits: a full wetsuit (i.e., one with sleeves) and a sleeveless wetsuit.

Which one to wear depends on personal preference and water temperature. When the water temperature is 65 or below, many people prefer to wear a full wetsuit because the extra neoprene around the arms will help keep the body warmer (Coach Beth is one of them). However, that extra neoprene can also cause more shoulder/arm fatigue, especially when swimming at high intensity, so some prefer wearing a sleeveless wetsuit when swimming shorter distances even in cold water (Coach Jacklynn is in this camp). When swimming in warmer water up to the allowed limits (USAT Rule 4.4 discusses when wetsuits are allowed), sleeveless wetsuits are more commonly used to avoid overheating. Regardless of which you wear, a wetsuit makes swimming EASIER by providing added buoyancy so unless you are a great swimmer already, wetsuits are your FRIENDS!

Now, if you've never worn a wetsuit before, here are two YouTube videos that you will find helpful. The first one with pro triathlete Katya Meyers covers the basics of putting on and taking off a wetsuit. The second one with Ironman World Champion Chris McCormack shows a little trick with a plastic bag that makes putting on a wetsuit even easier.

And for those who need to get a wetsuit, you have basically 3 options:
(1) buy one new or used, (2) rent one or (3) borrow one.

(1) If you know you will swimming in several events where wetsuits will be allowed, you'll probably want to get your own. Wetsuit prices vary greatly but you might be able to find some new ones for as low as $99 (see There are many places online to buy new ones if you google "triathlon wetsuits". If anyone knows of a place around here that sells them so folks can try one on, please respond in the comments below. Used ones can be found on eBay or if anyone in the club is interested in selling theirs, please post a comment with info about the wetsuit (brand, model, gender, size, condition) and the asking price. If you are considering buying a new one, Buying a Triathlon Wetsuit for the Swim Leg of a Triathlon is a good read.

(2) If you would like to rent one, two Eriks in our club have recommended They have both full wetsuits and sleeveless wetsuits and different brands to choose from. Enter some basic body measurement info and they'll ship you the size they think will work for you. The basic rental cost is $40 plus shipping costs (ground or air, coming from the Pacific NW area it appears so don't wait until the last minute to rent or you will pay a small fortune in shipping costs). They also have some used wetsuits you can buy and if you rent from them, the $40 rental cost you paid may be applied to most of the wetsuits they sell.

(3) If you would like to borrow one, availability and fit are your biggest concerns. To help with that I would like to encourage those who want to borrow a wetsuit to leave a comment below along with a size you'll need based on Xterra Wetsuit's men's and women's sizing charts (mfr sizes may vary somewhat but we can use this as a starting point). And similarly, if anyone has a wetsuit they can lend, please leave a comment below with info about the wetsuit you have (gender, size, type - full or sleeveless, brand optional). Maybe if we're lucky we can match an available wetsuit to everyone who needs one.

One more thing, if there are people who want to do an open water swim next Saturday (3/6), email Coach Jacklynn or leave a comment below. If there's enough interest, maybe a group of us can go to Lucky's Lake together. Their Saturday swims start at 7:45am and the lake is located by Universal Studios so about a half hour away from the Blanchard Y. You can swim as little or as much as you want (up to ~2 hrs) and there's a place to change and take hot showers too!

Update 2/27: Lucky's Lake was 59.7 degs this morning!

Update 3/1:, the Wildman race organizers sent me a link to which says Lake Mary Jane, where the swim will be held, is currently estimated to be 54 degs!!


ShirleyPerly said...

I have a small women's sleeveless wetsuit I am willing to lend. Coach Beth told me she has a medium women's sleeveless wetsuit she is willing to lend. So that's two wetsuits available if anyone needs them.

Also, I'd be interested in doing an OWS next Saturday at Lucky's.

ShirleyPerly said...

PS - I got my sleeveless wetsuit from I have also purchased wetsuits from a vendor at an Ironman expo and a bike shop in Austin when I was in town visiting. If you are interested in buying a new one locally, I found the following:

Trinrun in Winter Garden has some limited wetsuits in stock but you should call to check for size availability first. See, 407-905-IRUN(4786).

Gear for Multisport at the Natl Training Ctr in Clermont has some limited wetsuits as well. Again, suggest you call ahead to see what they have before going out there. See, 352-394-7434.

David's World Cycles has some wetsuits at their Clearwater store that can be sent to one of their Orlando stores. See www., type in wetsuits in the search box to see what they have.

Coach Jacklynn said...

Thanks Shirly!!!

ShirleyPerly said...

My small wetsuit is now spoken for.

ShirleyPerly said...

Comment from Roy in our club:

I have a large men's wet suit that will fit someone between 6' and 6'4" weighing about 190 to 230 pounds. They will need to try it on before hand to insure it fits. It is a full wet suit and was the top of the line model for zoot two years ago. I may do the race on the next day (sunday) and may need it back for that depending on temperatures. But for other folks information, me being a bigger guy, I do not get cold in the lakes and have only used the wet suit once on 7 years and of the 5 times I have done the March wildman I have never worn a wet suit (but I did miss one year because it was too cold - mainly to swim ... and then bike). Just some feedback.

John said...

I really really really need a wetsuit for this weekend. I've tried to contact almost everywhere in Orlando (David Cycle, Loco Motion, Total Team Wares, etc...) and they are either out of mens or don't carry them anymore. I am a size medium (more than likely, the size chart won't load on my comp). If anyone can help me, it'd be greatly appreciated.

John Trapp

John said...

I'd like to retract my last statement. David Cycle called me back and told me they had medium, sleeveless in stock and would hold it for me. Thanks anyway!

John Trapp

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