*Originally posted on 9 June 2018*
It is that time of year when the lidos become packed like sardines, and anyone who is trying to train for a triathlon, well can’t because in London we don’t have beaches so they head to the swimming pools instead. Therefore, in a bid to helpful amidst my frustration, please find below a review my current spring kit which you may find helpful:
Swimsuit This is one of my main suits. I will most likely be wearing this during the 6k swim in October:
It deals with compression, the straps maximize flexibility, however one thing I found with this swimsuit is that if you have shoulder problems, it does pull down on them, and particularly where the ‘kite’ muscles are. This is obviously not a problem when swimming though, except in long distances.
I did have to purchase the following suit this year when I temporarily went back to indoor swimming. It is not lined, which unfortunately means it is also not supportive either. It is a great swimsuit, it is the usual Speedo quality, it is not see-through given how thin it is, but if you are heavier busted, then this will become uncomfortable when you are walking around outside of the water.
Here is another suit I purchased this year. It does not have the shelf bra, like the first suit, but it is fitted and has thicker lining. I use this more for leisure swimming, and when I am taking Monster swimming. Even though it could accommodate a long distance swim easily, it does lack support and compression.
To keep the brand consistent, I use the Speedo Aquapure IQ fit women’s goggles. I have used these for years, and my only gripe with them is that the straps loosen easily when swimming. Luckily the sockets stay fixed to your face once they have settled and you don’t have to readjust them, but the gradually loosening straps can become unsettling during the swim as you think they are going to fall off.
These goggles are contoured to fit a woman’s face, and if you have a small or narrow face, these are ideal in my opinion.
They are good with regards to anti-fog, as with all of the leading brands, and of course make sure you fit them before getting into the pool, as then you shouldn’t have to readjust them inside in the pool. Though they may move slightly when you take off for your first lap.
These on average last me three-four months, but I have found with regular upkeep they will last longer. I find as soon as I take them off post-swim, to put them in a mesh pocket of my swim kit bag, then they air out ready for the next swim. This is especially good if you are, like me, a commuter and your bag stays in your car at the train station following your morning swim.
On that note…..
…I have learnt recently (after 35 years of swimming), not to leave my kit in the back of my car, which does not have a compartment shelf cover. I was greeted by a strong smell of rubber when I got back to the train station car park the other evening, after a particularly hot day in the city.
To keep the brand consistent, again, I use the Speedo swim caps. I do not go for the cheapest, but even the more budget caps are more than sufficient. In the warmer months I do tend to move over to latex as it is thinner, but often I will opt for the silicon caps which I find much more comfortable and secure. However, they can be unforgiving if you wear protruding ear plugs or an underwater MP3 player, as there is not much give around the ear area.
Keep in mind that there are moulded swim caps for earphones/ear plugs and of course long hair caps, which are great if your hair falls below your collar-bone, or is very thick.
Like many long distance swimmers, I use other aids to help with my training. Many will use weights, fins or floats, I use an underwater MP3 player to keep me going. I have reviewed the one below several times. I have had it for nearly a year and works like a charm. Love it.
If you would like to read the review for this MP3 player, please click here to go to the old blog site.