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Triathlon Talk: Gear for the Open Water Swim

What will you need for the open water swim?

TRIATHLON TALK Gear for the open water swim

TRIATHLON TALK Gear for the open water swim

It’s time for another round of Triathlon talk. My training for the Timberman Ironman 70.3 hasn’t been smooth this summer due to health issues (hashimoto’s disease) and life but I finally feel like I am in a good groove which is a good thing because the race is coming up soon! Since I am primarily a runner when I comes to training for a triathlon I spend much of my training focusing on the swim and the bike. I have so much to learn when it comes to these disciplines and so many laps and miles to get under my belt. The hot weather this summer has made open water swimming appealing pretty much every day so I am trying to squeeze it in whenever I can. Over the weekend I got some time swimming in the Connecticut River which we are lucky to have access to about 2 minutes from our house.

Open Water Swimming Gear for Triathlon Training

Open water swimming can be fun but you also need some equipment to help make things go more smoothly and also to make your swims safer.

Here is some must have gear that you will need for open water swim training for triathlon:

  • A swim partner or swim group, safety in numbers is always the way to go. If I am by myself swim laps close to shore.
  • A personal swim buoy! Your swim buoy attaches around your waist and will make you visible in the water to boaters.
  • A brightly colored swim cap again for increased visibility.
  • A pair of googles that doesn’t fog up. Find the perfect pair before race day!
  • Silicone earplugs. If you are like me I have always needed these since an awful ear infection left me with ears that fill up with water as soon as I turn my head to breathe.
  • A wetsuit, sleeveless or with sleeves. Unless the temperature is warm enough most races require a wetsuit for the swim. A wet suit will provide you with additional buoyancy and warmth. Wearing a wetsuit feels very strange when you use one at first. You will need to practice swimming in your wetsuit before race day to get used to the tight feeling around your neck (this can cause some people to feel anxious and like they can’t breathe). This is also important to find possible chafing spots (I got terrible chafing around my neck during my first Olympic Triathlon)
  • Bravery! Get used to swimming in water where you can’t see the bottom or where you may see fish swimming below. Also, you will need some courage to get used to swimming with many other people swimming around you (the flailing body parts can be a bit intimidating!)

What essentials do you bring with you when you are training for open water swimming? Are you new to triathlon? What makes you most nervous about the swim?

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