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how much difference does a wetsuit make?

OK swimming crawl has proven a major challenge for me and with an ex county swimmer as an OH the area of triathlon where he ensures he beats me However had a serious apllication of effort in last few weeks with an OW sessin with Mr Kiddle and the legend who is Coneheads on a technique session.

Previously my best 800m time in no wetsuit 25 mins OHs 19 mins - so tonight he wanted to have a training session in wetsuits me in my Orca S2 him in his thinnest SCUBA as he could thrash me in an iron suit - allegedly

and the time was

19 mins 48 secs

he is beside himself as he was relying on the swim to beat me on Sunday and is sure that it has to be the suit rather than I may actually be any better - probably true but anyone else had what appears to be an amazing improvement in PB once in a wetsuit

and of course I have not been walking round with a cheshire cat grin on my face all evening oh no


  • musclesmuscles Posts: 4
    I recently did the Blenheim and rocked up with no training - afterwards I was complaining that the wetsuit had hardly any buoyancy and I struggled - I got the cheapest Speedo which I found out later the lady wouldnt suggest for a novice but it was 100 squid so still chuffed

    I went and did my first training at the Tooting Lido and forgot to pack the wetsuit - it was then did I realise I would have drowned without it and certainly not managed to finish the swim!!

    The wetsuit does plenty I reckon its the buoyancy bit that really helps!!! Seriously it saved my life or certainly the embarrassment of being pulled out by the lifeguards
  • andyb99andyb99 Posts: 229
    Its the buoyancy that does it for me too...i'm not a strong swimmer but it at least means i can 'catch my puff' mid swim without havign to continue treading water.
    having done my first tri at the weekend i realise i need a better wetsuit, but i'm confident enough to try a sprint distance next time knowing although i wont be fast, the wetsuit will ensure i finish safely even though its a longer swim.
  • poeple can correct me here if I am wrong. The wetsuit basically allows the average swimmers (I include myself firmly within this bracket) body to position itself correctly in the water for minimum drag. I have a tendency to allow my legs to hang in the water, and therefore slow me down when I am swimming without a wetsuit, however the bouyancy of the wetsuit brings them up higher in the water making me more streamlined and therefore reducing my resistance. (It also janks my a*se up nice and high so that I am practically breaching the surface).

    Am I wrong, please correct me if so!!
  • andyb99andyb99 Posts: 229
    BOTP....dunno, mine didnt make me any faster, in fact i felt slower.....i suppose when i got going it was easy to hold my position in the water...so you might be right mate
  • it takes me longer to get into a comfortable swim in the wetsuit, but once i am i feel like a can just keep going .. of course this is at my leisurely pace and each time I'm in a race i struggle a bit more and start to feel restricted, but the wetsuit buoyancy definitely helps me compared to doing the same swim without.

    First attempt at 1500m OW tonight at Datchett, it's followed by a bbq so my motivation is to finish before everyone else has got out and eaten everything .. in that light I may just take 1st.
  • cammykcammyk Posts: 36
    I'm not sure it makes me faster but its much easier to swim longer and as said elsewhere its easier to swim with slower stroke speed and not sink
  • moonshinemoonshine Posts: 335
    my analysis was that it put me in a better position in the water and therefore more streamlined whilst OH felt like he was fighting his suit and much slower, probably because he was still using arms as if out of a wetsuit. Whatever the reason I'll take 5 minutes in improved time
  • gdh250467gdh250467 Posts: 237
    "Keep your thighs together", great words of wisdom. I'm sure to use that in the near future when my daughter starts dating!
  • GGBGGB Posts: 482
    I much prefer OW swimming in a wetsuit against pool swimming - I can do 400m OW in 6.45 but my pool time is 7.30 .. a whopping 45 seconds faster .. I also can swim 7.30 400 pace for 2400m plus in OW - wouldn't stand a chance of that in a pool lol.
  • moonshinemoonshine Posts: 335
    "Keep your thighs together", great words of wisdom. I'm sure to use that in the near future when my daughter starts dating!
    would actually suggest putting her in the wetsuit
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