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Do you swim faster in a wetsuit?

Do you swim faster in a wetsuit? How much does difference does the added bouyancy make?


  • JulesJules Posts: 987
    In my very limited experience yes.

    Last night I was doing a 400M lake lap around 10% quicker than I would swim it in a pool.

    In a race I assume the large number of people kicking you in the head etc will counteract this a bit though.
  • MowfMowf Posts: 272
    Try it out in a pool and see.

    The general consensus is that it makes you faster for the following reasons:

    - Boyancy. You float better in a wetsuit and so more of your energy goes into forward propulsion.

    - Less drag. The smooth neoprene will reduce drag - again making you faster

    As an example. A couple of years ago, I did my first triathlon with some guus at work and every week we did some coached swimming at a local pool we hired out. Everyone hired wetsuits, and when they turned up, people started wearing them. The chap who got his first was suddenly faster than me, even though prior to that he would have been lucky to finish 400m within 2 lengths of me...
  • gdh250467gdh250467 Posts: 237
    If you are faster at swimming in a wetsuit, but the time taken to remove the wetsuit means your T1 is extended. So, if in an event a wetsuit is optional at which distance does the speed benefit of a wetsuit outweight the time delay in removing it, 400m, 750m, 1500m.

  • MrSquishyMrSquishy Posts: 277
    I tried one out in a pool recently and reckon it took 2-3 strokes off per length and I wasn't kicking at all due to the additional buoyancy in the legs.

    With regards to the extra time in T1, it's a trade off isn't it - you save your legs in the swim, spend a bit more time in transition and then smash the bike leg having only used your arms up to T1.
  • bryanbryan Posts: 45
    No, feeler free without it
  • MGMG Posts: 470
    I used to be better with a wetsuit, but over the last 12 months my technique has changed and although it means I swim a 23min 1500 in a pool, my OW wetsuit times have not made similar improvements (roughly 25min OW wetsuit times).

    This is due to the need for a slightly different technique when swimming with a wetsuit. Also I hardly kick at all when suited up so that has an effect too.

    I dont linger too much on swimming times as long as I'm there abouts I'm happy, the bike and run is where most of my work goes....
  • GGBGGB Posts: 482
    For me - wetsuitis by far the quickest - I can do 400m at least 1 minute quicker with wetsuit on - have never done pool 800m but my 400m best pool time is 7.30 and my best 800m wetsuit swim is 13.39 .. go figure lol.
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