Friday, April 17, 2009

Wetsuits & What Not To Do Pre-Race

This year I decided to get an early season half ironman distance under my belt with the Lone Star Half Iron. The idea was to get all the jitters and mistakes out early, instead of at my "A" Half IM race in June (Buffalo Springs Lake Triathlon). I have to say I did pull some "Rookie" mistakes in Galveston that thankfully didn't turn into disaster. Everything went relatively smoothly and I was pleasantly surprised, considering I was setting myself up for some bloopers out on the course.

Some mistakes I made that I DO NOT recommend others making are: lacing up my shoes with EZ laces the night before the race after going without EZ laces for almost a year; putting an aero bottle on my bike without practicing ahead of time (last time I used one was Buffalo Springs last year); getting a new wetsuit two days before the race without practicing in it at all; utilizing a new wetsuit lubricant, Trislide, race day without ever trying it in practice (I loved it by the way!); and last but not least, using a nutritional product, Carbo Pro, without using it since Buffalo Springs last year. Yikes! I was really asking for it. Fortunately, I had no major issues.

One potential mistake I made race weekend was wearing my new wetsuit without practicing in it first. I am the first to admit that I have never been a big fan of wetsuits. I have always felt too restricted in them (typical swimmer!), like I just can't get my arms rotating the same way. Over the years I have intentionally avoided races that were wetsuit swims for this reason. The last wetsuit I purchased was back in 2002, so needless to say my wetsuit was outdated. The guys at the shop encouraged me to check out the new wetsuits and said that I would most likely be pleasantly surprised. I was a little skeptical until I tried my wetsuit on the night before the race in my hotel room. Boy was I impressed! I could actually move my arms freely in my new Blue Seventy Helix. It was awesome! I was excited to complete a wetsuit swim.

Race morning came pretty fast and the time to put on my wetsuit came and went. Once my wave went off I was in full race mode. I realized half way through the swim that I actually had a wetsuit on and I barely noticed. It also kept me super comfortable temperature wise...not once was I too hot nor did I even notice the cold temperatures that some commented about post race. I wasn't even sore from the wetsuit after the swim. Thanks to the Blue Seventy Wetsuit I am no longer deterred from a wetsuit swim!

Blue Seventy has several wetsuit options at various prices. For those of you who aren't sure you will race many wetsuit swims or if you don't want to spend the extra money on a wetsuit, the Sprint Full Suit is a great option. You can get a full wetsuit at a great price! Blue Seventy also makes a mid range wetsuit called the Reaction, also an excellent option sleeveless and at a great price. And for those of you who are going to participate in lots of wetsuit legal triathlons, the Helix is the way to go. It has all the bells and whistles! Those of you interested in checking the Blue Seventy line out please stop by the shop and try a few. You can also check them out online.



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