Tuesday, April 18, 2006

About those Olympic Swimmers Swim Suits

Today, we're back shopping again. This time we are going to buy a swim suit. Even if you are a non-swimmer, or novice, I can bet fairly confidently that you own some kind of swim suit. There is a problem though. It something you probably never thought about. Is your suit suitable for swimming (bad pun, I know)? I discovered the serious nature of this issue when I bought a casual (non-lap-swimming) suit and wore it to the pool one weekend. It was attractive enough. Bright yellow, with handy pockets. The color made my pasty white skin look tan even in the early part of the summer! But there were problems too, which I quickly discovered after I took my first two strokes in the pool. The pockets opened up under water, and caught the flow at my waist like a parachute catches air. I bet this single "feature" slowed me down twenty-percent easily. The legs billowed out too, adding even more drag. Now remember in yesterday's post how we want to be sleek and streamlined in our position? We want that in the suit you pick out. You don't have to buy one of those crotch huggers like the Olympians wear (but now you know why they wear them). Just find something that is sleek and avoids any tendency toward billowing. For men I suggest a suit that looks like bicycle shorts. They come down near the knee but are tight fitting (the thigh cut designs are just as good ... and unless you are confident type - or a bit strange - you don't want the tighty briefs). Whatever your choice, you still want to fit in, so just wear them under a regular (billowing) suit and strip off the billowing suit before (or just after) jumping in the water. I do this and just laugh it off when anyone questions me tossing a wet suit up onto the pool deck. I may feign pulling myself out of the water, stop and tell them they'd better just close their eyes (when unbeknownst to them, I've got the second suit on all along). For women, find a suit that is tight fitting, yet allows you to move your arms unrestricted. I've heard some complaints about the models with straps that come up high around the neck. Avoid those to prevent rubbing rash. Still, you want it high enough on the chest to cover any cleavage which can cause significant drag - think about it. The suit should fit snugly under the collar bones with no cleavage exposure (I can't believe I wrote that!). Also avoid any suits that feature dangly trim (e.g., skirts). Once you have your new suit, for fun you might want to try the kick off the wall torpedo drill before and after you've put on the sleek suit. Notice the difference. You'll go a lot farther with the same effort using the sleek suit. See, a good suit matters after all and now you have a perfectly good excuse to go bathing suit shopping - again.

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