Running a triathlon is no easy feat. It’s a multisport race that requires a lot of stamina – and triathletes must-have swimming, cycling, and running down to a T to nail all segments within the entire sequence. Needless to say, the people who participate engage in hefty hours of practice before the final day.
The goal is to complete it faster than everyone else, so everything from transitioning time to knowing your gear from your triathlon goggles to your wetsuit inside out is imperative. But that’s not all. There’s a lot you need to check on the list before you’re good to go. Contrary to popular belief, performance strategy is only the tip of the iceberg and what goes under your triathlon wetsuit also requires your attention.
What is a triathlon wetsuit?
To the eye, a triathlon wetsuit looks like something you would wear while scuba diving, but professionals know that there is a significant difference between the two. Most brands use neoprene to make it, and the thickness varies with the manufacturer.
These wetsuits are specially designed to help participants ‘race through’ the swimming segment of the triathlon. Thus, their design incorporates enhanced flexibility for swimming positions, seamless transitions, and overall swimming speed optimization. Triathlon wetsuits also help keep the participant’s body temperature in check, particularly considering the challenges presented by open water swimming, making them nothing short of amazing.
What to wear under a triathlon wetsuit?
When it comes to what goes under the wetsuit, the right answer has to do with maximizing the athlete’s comfort. A triathlon can be too tiring, which is why it is prudent to eliminate all causes of unnecessary stress.
Surprisingly, wearing the wrong thing under your wetsuit is capable of adding to the difficulty level. Remember, what you wear underneath the wetsuit will get wet when you jump into the water – the neoprene is not waterproof.
Moreover, what goes under can also affect your transitioning time. Naturally, when you’re shifting from swimming to running or cycling, you want your wetsuit to slide off easily without giving you any trouble.
Therefore, wearing a tri suit underneath the wetsuit is every triathlete’s best bet. This has an aerodynamic fit and form-sitting structure to minimize discomfort. As a bonus, you can wear one throughout the entire race, and it will dry off once the sun hits your body.
Typically, tri suits are sleeveless one-pieces, but they can also be found in a different t-shirt and shorts style. Men and women usually go with the former, whereas women often wear a sports bra underneath. The fabric is lightweight, breathable, and stretchy, all of which, combined, allow for improved agility of movements throughout all the race segments.
Most brands include silicone grippers that hold on to the thighs and prevent slipping during rigorous transitions. So, once you’re done swimming, you can run to your bike and quickly slide the wetsuit off, slap your number onto your tri suit, and peddle to the finishing line.