Sheila Taormina's wetsuit time

Discussion in 'General Fitness' started by Swanger, Sep 20, 2003.

  1. Hug

    Hug Guest

    [email protected] (AW) wrote in message
    news:<[email protected]>...

    > >However, significant differences were found
    > in velocity between both swimsuits (1.28 +/-0.059 m/sec) and full-body wetsuits (1.31 +/-0.033
    > m/sec), and the sleveeless wetsuit (1.36 +/-0.065 m/sec) and the full-body wetsuit (p <0.004).
    > These results suggest that the use of a wetsuit compared to a swimsuit can increase velocity while
    > maintaining a constant heart rate.

    So if I am interpreting this correctly, the swimmers in the study swam faster with a sleeveless
    wetsuit than a long-sleeved one. Interesting since nearly all elites wear long-sleeved suits.


  2. Aw

    Aw Guest

    [email protected] (hug) wrote in message
    > So if I am interpreting this correctly, the swimmers in the study swam faster with a sleeveless
    > wetsuit than a long-sleeved one. Interesting since nearly all elites wear long-sleeved suits.
    > -hug

    You are correct. In the study, the authors write, "Contrary to the proposed hypothesis that the
    full-body wetsuit would provide the greatest increase in performance, the sleeveless wetsuit was
    shown to give the greatest improvements in swimming velocity." Later in the study, however, they
    gave several explanations for the results.

    The study was conducted in a pool at a relatively warm water temperature, 27C. The authors cite a
    wetsuit study by Cordain and Korpiva whose subjects registered complaints for being too hot in pool
    water while wearing full suits. Also, according to two other studies cited by the authors, when
    water temps are below 25.6C, there's less build-up of core body temperature resulting less heat
    stress in later portions of the race. 25.56C (78F) is the highest temperature at which wetsuits are
    "legal" in USAT sanctioned triathlons.

    All of the swimmers were female; females have a higher body fat percentage than males, and thus
    women may realize less of an advantage from the added buoyancy of a full suit.

    Also, the authors noted that 56% of the swimmers tested usually swam with a 6-beat kick. They noted
    in their results that the greatest inhibition in kicking occurred with the full suits. This would
    indeed seem to affect negatively the swimmers who swam normally with a six beat kick.

    Although the authors didn't consider stroke styles, I would tend to think that those who are
    "constant pressure" swimmers would benefit from more a full suit. Conversely, those who swim with a
    long, forward stroke and rely heavily on kicking in order to conserve momentum would probably be
    faster in sleeveless suit.

    When I first read the article, I was dismayed initially as it was contrary to my own experience.
    But after a more in-depth perusal, I've decided to stick with my full suit. I am indeed fortunate
    to live in an area that has several excellent bike/triathlon stores. When I was shopping for
    wetsuits, I was able to time trial full, sleeveless, and farmer-john (legless) suits. During the
    course of a couple of weeks, I swam sets of 20 or 25 x 200's, or thereabout, in a 33 1/3 yard
    (100ft.), 69 degree F, water-well fed pool. I can't remember the specific results, but I think that
    my average pace per 200 was about 3 or 4 seconds faster in the full suit than in the sleeveless. I
    turned in the worst results while wearing the farmer-john. Once I settled on a full-body suit, I
    tried out 2 or 3 brands, and I settled on a 2-piece, Desoto T1. I think it's the fastest in and out
    of the water, it's really durable, and it's much more comfortable through the shoulders than a
    single piece.

    Hope it helps, AW
  3. Tom Henderson wrote:

    > "Swanger" <[email protected]> wrote in news:[email protected]:
    >>What could possibly be the explanation for her faster Olympic times when compared to her open
    >>water wetsuit times?
    > Um, perhaps her olympic times were the culmination of years of swim specific training which were
    > designed to peak on race day? Perhaps she didn't train at the same time for biking and running
    > while she was an olympic swimmer? Also might it be possible that in the olympics she could swim at
    > 100.1%, knowing that she didn't have to hop out of the water and keep pace with world class
    > cyclists? How 'bout the possibility that there's no need for her to expend the energy gaining 60
    > seconds on the field only to have them form a peloton and swallow her up, leaving her in worse
    > shape for the run than evryone else?
    > Those would be my top 4 guesses.

    How about the fact that it's so damn cold at some of these venues?

  4. In article <[email protected]>, STP <[email protected]> wrote:
    >Second - why are you assuming she is actually swimming as fast as she can? Since drafting on the
    >bike is legal in Olympic and international competition, it does her no virtually no good to crush
    >everyone in the water. Tactically, she may actually be better off cruising (relatively) in the swim
    >and coming out of the water more rested than her competitors. All she gets if she blows everyone
    >away in the swim is the pleasure of riding alone while the girls behind her band together and bike
    >faster while expending much less energy.

    To be precise, draftathons apply to ITU events, and the Olympics. Most olympic/international length
    (1500/40k/10k) events are draft free. You're quite right in describing them as running events where
    there is rarely a reward for swimming well. Boring to watch.

    And yeah, there is little reward for swimming at 100% instead of 95%. Twice as much effort to take
    one minute off, effort that would be better used later.
    Jason O'Rourke