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Thread: Water Temp v wetsuit

  1. #1
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    Water Temp v wetsuit

    Tried my new wetsuit out at the Y. Water temp around 80. Works very well, but too
    warm to do much of a workout. Question: What water temp would be the line for wetsuit
    or no wetsuit? Is there a temp set by the event?

  2. #2
    Participating Member Kris Calvin's Avatar
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    Re: Water Temp v wetsuit

    The answer to that question is going to be different for every person. Some, as you've seen from other posts, won't use a wetsuit no matter what the temp. Everybody generates a different level of body heat with a given activity, so that and the distance swum will all be factors. Two years ago I swam Elk Lake with a wetsuit at with temps around 68* and took some playful ribbing as a result. In my defense I was just trying to get used to the wetsuit in preparation for a 10K up in Alaska the following week. a 5K in 68* water proved too warm for me, but I love the xtra speed I get with the suit. Last year temp was about 62 and I was one of only a few to go without wetsuit. In hindsight I wish I had used my suit at that temp. The great thing about using the suit in cold water is that at least for me I look forward to the experience, instead of dreading the time spent getting numb, then taking so long after the swim to talk right again.

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    Re: Water Temp v wetsuit

    I wouldnt take the wetsuit in the pool other than that one time trying it bc chlorine significantly shortens its life. you may know that already. As far as cutoff temps I agree with the other poster...different for everyone. I swam in 68 water/50 air last weekend and felt really cold after a half hour. To others that's no big deal.

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    Very Active Member ALM's Avatar
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    Re: Water Temp v wetsuit

    Some events have a temperature cutoff and won't allow wetsuits if the water is above a certain temperature.

    As the other posters said, everyone has a different level of tolerance for cold water. I am a "cold water wimp" and get cold easily. We do one-hour open water workouts about once a week, year-round, and this is my personal guideline (it also depends on whether the sun is out and what the air temperature is):

    Water 74 or above: no wetsuit
    Water 73 to 64: sleeveless, knee-length wetsuit
    Water 63 to 55: long-sleeved, full-length wetsuit

    I haven't swum in water colder than 55.

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    Re: Water Temp v wetsuit

    Here are the rules from USA Triathlon:

    Wetsuits: Each age group participant shall be permitted to wear a wetsuit without penalty in any event sanctioned by USA Triathlon up to and including a water temperature of 78 degrees Fahrenheit. When the water temperature is greater than 78 degrees but less than 84 degrees Fahrenheit, age group participants may wear a wetsuit at their own discretion, provided, however that participants who wears a wetsuit within such temperature range shall not be eligible for prizes or awards. Above 84 degrees, wetsuits are prohibited.

    (http://www.usatriathlon.org/about-mu...iolations.aspx)

    I've always used this as a guideline for whether to wear a wetsuit or not - although in my experience, I've found I really didn't need it when the water was 74 degrees and higher (I only have a full/long sleeve wetsuit). I agree with Kris about the extra buoyancy when swimming - Its like swimming downhill. But 68 is downright cold for me!

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    Very Active Member chaos's Avatar
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    Re: Water Temp v wetsuit

    Quote Originally Posted by swimnbike View Post
    Here are the rules from USA Triathlon:

    Wetsuits: Each age group participant shall be permitted to wear a wetsuit without penalty in any event sanctioned by USA Triathlon up to and including a water temperature of 78 degrees Fahrenheit. When the water temperature is greater than 78 degrees but less than 84 degrees Fahrenheit, age group participants may wear a wetsuit at their own discretion, provided, however that participants who wears a wetsuit within such temperature range shall not be eligible for prizes or awards. Above 84 degrees, wetsuits are prohibited.
    triathletes have no shame

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    Very Active Member ViveBene's Avatar
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    Re: Water Temp v wetsuit

    Quote Originally Posted by chaos View Post
    triathletes have no shame
    I have heard they are also allowed to hang on to the escort craft when they get tired, without penalty.

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    Very Active Member orca1946's Avatar
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    Re: Water Temp v wetsuit

    I have used my sleeve less wetsuit when it's below 68 .
    That seems the ok temp. for me to wear it.

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    Very Active Member knelson's Avatar
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    Re: Water Temp v wetsuit

    Quote Originally Posted by chaos View Post
    triathletes have no shame
    It's pretty silly. FINA rules for pool swimming state the pool temperature should be between 25 and 28 degrees C. 25 C is 77 F, so triathletes would be allowed to wear wetsuits at the low end of what FINA allows for pools!

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    Very Active Member chaos's Avatar
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    Re: Water Temp v wetsuit

    Quote Originally Posted by knelson View Post
    It's pretty silly. FINA rules for pool swimming state the pool temperature should be between 25 and 28 degrees C. 25 C is 77 F, so triathletes would be allowed to wear wetsuits at the low end of what FINA allows for pools!
    and then everyone says... I didn't want to wear a wetsuit; but everyone else was wearing one and I didn't want to give up the advantage so......

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    Very Active Member Rykno's Avatar
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    Re: Water Temp v wetsuit

    under 60F I use a wetsuit and a neoprene cap under my silicone cap

    between 60-66 I use a wetsuit depending on distance and airtemp and only a silicone cap

    67+ and I get too hot in a wetsuit after only 20min swimming, but I still wear a cap so I can be seen in the water

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    Re: Water Temp v wetsuit

    Thanks to every one. The problem I have is when I was young cold was OK. No cap no wet suit no problem. Now at age 70 I get cold easily. "The older the colder." Think it will depend on the distance, air temp, and water temp. Thanks again for all of the information.

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    Re: Water Temp v wetsuit

    Quote Originally Posted by chaos View Post
    triathletes have no shame
    I got beat by a triathlete in a 2 mile OW swim in NC. He ran past me out of the lake holding his pull buoy. Seriously.
    --Mike Tyson (yes, my real name)

    http://blogs.marathonswimmers.org/IronMike/

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    sǝssɐןb ɹǝʇʇǝq ʇǝb That Guy's Avatar
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    Re: Water Temp v wetsuit

    Quote Originally Posted by mjtyson View Post
    He ran past me out of the lake holding his pull buoy. Seriously.
    OK, that's pretty funny right there.

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    Re: Water Temp v wetsuit

    Quote Originally Posted by That Guy View Post
    OK, that's pretty funny right there.

    I even hear that there are "noodle" waves now for triathletes.

    Race directors want $$$, so they allow wetsuits to keep the numbers up for their events. It obviously also allows a greater number of people to be exposed to events that they wouldn't otherwise do thereby promoting the sport.

    During the old IMSA pro days the only thing you were allowed to have was a suit, goggles, one cap (silicone/latex), and ear-plugs. Part of what separates an OW event from everything else is how you can deal with the conditions as well as the distance. My hardest swims were 15K ocean training sessions before the English Channel. The first day the water was 50 and the second day it was 48. I froze my ass off, but came out of it hard as nails.

    True OW marathons will greatly reward the tougher swimmers; not necessarily the fastest.

    Look at the shear number of people at the starting line for any Ironman event and compare it to the beach before the Tampa Bay marathon swim. Wimps need not apply.

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    Re: Water Temp v wetsuit

    I'm not a fan of wetsuits. At all. And, of course, the pull buoy thing is an abomination.

    But, in defense of my triathlete buddies, I have to say: I don't see how you could get on a bike after swimming 2.4 miles sans wetsuit in cold water. You'd either have a l-o-n-g transition, or you'd freeze (maybe literally) on the bike.

  17. #17
    Very Active Member E=H2O's Avatar
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    Re: Water Temp v wetsuit

    When I was training to do a half iron distance triathlon in 2009 I dropped down to 168 lb. I did a nearly 2 hour open water swim @ 60 along with a single and double Alcatraz @ 59. I definitely felt cold after I got out. I was in great shape overall and pushed myself hard which generated a lot of heat. This year I did a 5 1/2 hour swim in 59 water and never got cold. I was 200 lb. I was swimming much faster, but arguably not in as good shape. I also barely noticed the 65 water on my Catalina crossing, or the 5 drop at the upwelling near the mainland, and I can assure you I was swimming slow.

    As you might imagine, I think the extra fat helps. I do believe that as you get older you lose muscle mass so you can't generate as much heat. I also strongly feel that much of people's problems with swimming in cold water can be overcome through proper mental preparation. You need to learn the difference between feeling that the water is cold, and feeling that you are cold. The former needs to be identified and ignored. The latter needs to be addressed.

    PS: I wore a wetsuit when racing in triathlons for the speed advantage. I was not going to give up the advantage that WS provide.
    "If you didn't swallow water in your last open water race, you weren't racing."

    www.bobswims.com/

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    Very Active Member orca1946's Avatar
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    Re: Water Temp v wetsuit

    In Chicago - wet suits are not able to get awards in the Big Shoulders swim.

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    Re: Water Temp v wetsuit

    Whats so bad about wetsuits?

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    Very Active Member chaos's Avatar
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    Re: Water Temp v wetsuit

    Quote Originally Posted by Trail.dog1 View Post
    Whats so bad about wetsuits?
    nothing, until one learns to swim without them..........

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