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Published on: 15 Feb 2017 by jshaw
Competitive swimmers invest a lot into
their sport. There are the endless number of two-a-days, the very
early morning swim practices, the long weekends at competitions, and the
sweat, blood and tears that come with training 6-days a week, 50 weeks a year.
The investment isn’t just in time and sweat
equity, however. For competitive swimmers, particularly those with designs on
swimming at the elite level, there is the hefty cost of competitive swimmer.
For women the cost of technical suits is
particularly expensive. While most men’s tech jammers cost around $300, a women’s
tech suit can cost as much as $600 USD. Which, when you consider that the suits
only really last for a dozen or so wears, is profoundly expensive.
Here is what you can do to help make your women’s tech suit last
a little bit longer.
Rinse with cold water after use. The temptation to
wash your fancy new tech suit with soap and shampoo in the shower after your
swim is understandable. You’ve finished up with your session at the meet, and now
it’s shower and change time. To make the most of the lifespan of your suit make
sure you only wash it with cold water after you are done for the day. The
chemicals in the soap and shampoo will degrade the suit. Rinsing it with cool
water in the sink (or in the shower) will help get the chlorine and whatever
other chemicals are used to treat your suit.
Don’t put it in the dryer. Ever. The biggest
mistake swimmers make when caring for their racing suits is putting these
fragile suits in the dryer. While the suit might come out nice and toasty, it
will also come out disfigured. The suits are specially designed (quite
literally, by space scientists) to be water repellant, and more importantly
compressive. Putting it in the dryer will disfigure the compressive panels
within the suit, leaving you with a suit that is damaged and will stretch
Put it on carefully. In a perfect world you will
have plenty of time to put on your racing suit before competing. This means
having 10-20 minutes to slowly slide and inch your way into the suit. Use the
rubber grip strips that line the inside of the suit, and avoid using your nails
to pull on the fabric. Another little sneaky hack to help your body glide into
the suit is to line the inside of your legs with a plastic bag—it will help the
suit “slide” over your skin. Once the suit is on you just pull the plastic bag
out from the bottom of the trunks.
Insure a proper fit. In going over the instructions
from one particular swimsuit manufacturer they advised that you should have
40ish minutes available to you to put the suit on. That is way too long.
Besides the obvious time problem, spending that long wrestling into a swim suit
before your biggest race of the year will just leave you winded and tired. Odds
are good if the suit is so tight that it requires that long to squeeze into
that the suit will also not be fitted properly. While the compressive elements
of a women’s techical
suit is very important—and one of the main benefits of the suits—it shouldn’t
compromise range of motion in the process.