Triathlon Wetsuit Tips – Issue #152

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Triathlon Wetsuit Tips

Triathlon Wetsuit Tips

Dear Friend,

These days, we’re all trying to make the most out of our time, especially when it comes to training.

Here are some tips on how to get the most out of your swim sessions when time is tight:

1. Know what you’re doing before you get in the water. If you can bring your workout or drill session on waterproof material, this is ideal. Then you can just move through your plans.

2. Cut back on kicking. No need to use a kick board anyway, so it’s a good idea to limit the amount of kicking you do if you are in a hurry, as this will slow you down. Do swimming drills instead of kicking drills to move along quickly.

3. Warm Up-Drills-Main Set-Warm Down. Follow this pattern even if you are only in the water for 20 minutes. it’s important not to skip a step here!

4. Do a longer swim. Longer swims on days where you don’t have a lot of time make more sense then trying to do lots of time-consuming intervals.


“The whole idea of motivation is a trap. Forget motivation. Just do it. Exercise, lose weight, test your blood sugar, or whatever. Do it without motivation. And then, guess what? After you start doing the thing, that’s when the motivation comes and makes it easy for you to keep on doing it.”
-John C. Maxwell

What you need to know about wetsuits

As more of an open water swimmer than a triathlete, I’m used to racing without a wetsuit. However, when I finally purchased a racing wetsuit for a triathlon, I went for the sleeveless or “farmer john” suit, because I thought it would give me more flexibility with my arms.

What I didn’t realize was that the sleeveless suit left me with some disadvantages. Here’s why I recommend going with sleeves if you are looking to buy a wetsuit:

1. Sleeveless wetsuits do not keep you very warm. If you are training or racing in water below 65 degrees Fahrenheit, it is
important to consider how warm you will be. You do not want to have your body burning up energy just to keep your core temperature up! Swimming is hard enough as it is. I learned my lesson doing the Alcatraz swim in the San Francisco Bay. Water was about 52 degrees and I used my farmer john suit. By the time I finished, I was nearing frostbite and forgot who I was! A lot of heat apparently escapes through the armpits.

2. Sleeves are faster. You will get more buoyancy and be able to cruise on top of the water a little easier if you have sleeves on your suit. You need to use every advantage you can get, and your competitors will mostly have sleeves, so there’s no reason to handicap yourself!

The flexibility is not much of an issue. Once you practice with your full wetsuit you will get used to the feel, and you will not likely want to go back to sleeveless or anything else.


Kevin Koskella
Tri Swim Coach