Monday, October 02, 2006

Wetsuit anyone???

Good morning,

Up early today! That is a change. Well I was at all3sports this weekend (for those of you who only order from them online, yes they do have an actual physical location in Atlanta), and I was talking to people about the upcoming race I have this weekend. One of the guys in the store told me that he had sold 9 wetsuits for the event just that day, and that more had bee purchased in previous days.

So my next question was, "Do you know how cold the water has been up there?"

"Around 75 degrees the past couple of days."


I have been trying to find a website or phone number to where I can call and find out the daily lake temperature for Lake Lanier for this stupid race, but to no avail have I found anything. So this begs the question, " Should I get a wetsuit, even if a cheap Sports Authority (or whatever sporting goods place in your city) Body Glove wetsuit, or not?"

I swam in the Gulf Coast Triathlon earlier this year, and the ocean temp was 76 degrees. I was fine, I was not cold or anything. Also it is supposed to get into the middle and upper 80's through Thursday, which should warm up the water a bit before the weekend.

Really the only concern I have is bouancy(?) for swimming in the lake. I have no problem swimming in the ocean, and I have no problem swimming in the pool, but for some reason I just cannot get it together in the lake. The last two lake races i have swam have been terrible. In the pool for a sprint race I can average 1:45/lap and the only time I have raced in the ocean was a half - iron distance event, and I swam that 10-15 minutes faster than anticipated.

Oh well. Any suggestions from anyone on lake swimming would be helpful.

Sunday is my last race of the year, and for some strange reason I am ready for it. I think it is due to the fact that I have had a lot going on for the past 6 months, and it will be nice to take off the next 5-6 weeks and just do light workouts. Not that my schedule will be getting any easier, that is not going to happen until March or April, but at least I will have one less thing demanding time from my life for a small period of time.

Signing off for now,



Jessica said...

Couple things:

Don't get a cheap wetsuit. They're not buoyant. I'm not sure what they're for, actually!

I did a tri this summer when the water was 77 degrees - wore my full wetsuit and was HOT. Really hot. And I don't swim that fast. :-)

I do swim faster with my full wetsuit than without - definitely due to the buoyancy and streamlining of my body.

So...I'm not sure what the distance is for your tri, but I would not worry about the water temp - 75 degrees is PLENTY warm enough to go without a wetsuit - and I'd worry more about changing something less than a week before your race. :-)

Good luck! Looking forward to the race report!

Steven said...

Take the time and spend the moola to get a decent wetsuit if you are going to get one. Jessica is correct that the cheapo suits are not as bouyant since they are made thinner. I'm a believer in using them for all open waters swims...because I would sink without one! It gives me that added little confidence boost knowing it would be really tough to drown wearing a wetsuit!

Rachel said...

If you're used to swimming without a wetsuit, and the water temp will be 76-80 degrees, you're better off without a wetsuit. It took me forever to get used to swimming in one. The lake will be similar to the pool--no waves or currents--so it should be easier than the ocean. You're buoyancy will be the same as the pool as well. Plus, you save time in transition! (I'm pretty buoyant as it is so wetsuits only keep me warm; that's all they're good for in my case)

Spokane Al said...

I agree with Steven. I like swimming in a wetsuit - I am faster, smoother and more efficient. I also second the comments on buying quality vs economy.

At this point, this close to the race I would be leery about jumping into a wetsuit for the first time - they do take some getting used to.

Steph said...

Wetsuits are nice for lake swims, but not so much if the water is really warm. Lake water doesn't move so much either, which might further contribute to heating. My personal preference is to feel comfortable and safe temp-wise in the water and sacrifice the buoyancy.

(Then again, if it reaches the 80's they might ban wetsuits altogether--problem solved!)

All my tri's and swim races this summer were in lakes (including a 2-miler), and it was nice to allow the lake to cool me off rather than cook me since I didn't wear a wetsuit.

Comm's said...

1. Get a quality suit from a known company.

2. Were it in every race you can if it is legal. The minute you lose taking it off in Transition is more than off set by the multiple minutes you save in teh swim.

stronger said...

The only thing I have learned from the lake swim is to practice swimming in the pool with your eyes closed and then open them to take a breath...since lake water is pretty murky you'll be better prepared to site when the lake water is brown.

Good luck in your race!