Getting The Right Fit In Your Triathlon Swim Suit

If you think the swimming portion of the triathlon is at least a part of the race where you’re safe from chafing, then you’ve probably never tried to swim in open water with an ill-fitting wetsuit. The running and cycling portions are prime areas for chafing and to have problems like blisters on your heels, but the swim portion can offer up some challenges, too. If you get a properly fitting triathlon wet suit, you’re much less likely to have a problem.

The basic rule is that the less edging there is, the fewer places there are where you can get rubbed raw or chafed. So the edge of your wetsuit coming around your wrist offers less opportunity for chafing than the edges of it going over your shoulder and under your armpit, with a sleeveless suit. If you tend to chafe there in a sleeveless wetsuit, you should try one with long sleeves unless the water temperature is so warm that you would be overheated. Sleeveless wetsuits make some people feel more comfortable, but if you get a good neoprene suit it can actually help you with your buoyancy and speed. A wetsuit that goes to the ankles offers less edge area to chafe than one that only comes down to the knees, as well.

Regardless of which one you choose, you should get a good lubricant that is safe to use with the neoprene suit. Lubricate ankles, wrists and your neck area where the edge of the wetsuit touches, as the neck is a prime spot for chafing during the swim portion and one that many people don’t consider beforehand. Not only will the lubricant make it less likely that you’ll get rubbed raw, it will help you get your suit on and off more quickly so that you don’t lose valuable time during the triathlon.

It’s also important to make sure that your triathlon wetsuit fits very snugly. It should fit like a second skin or it’s going to hold you back. And whatever you do, purchase one designed for a triathlon and not just for general diving or swimming. These will be too stiff and may actually cause you to slow down a great deal.

Diving suits are designed more for the cooler temperatures deep below the surface so they’re thicker and aren’t going to have as much give or flexibility as a wetsuit designed specifically for a triathlon. Also, when you choose a triathlon suit specifically designed for the race, it’s easier to choose other things like cycling tights or a singlet that will work well together and help you do better and make better time.

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