Friday, August 6, 2010

What to wear Race Day!

Just had an interesting exchange with my coach about what to wear on race day. I have a conundrum because I have a new tri-suit I was planning on wearing, but after two swims it wasn't feeling right. The first swim, I felt it constraining around the shoulders, and the second time, I felt it tight in the chest. It's been fine on the run and bike, but I was concerned about the swim especially considering the water is going to be really warm on Sunday, and it's likely the chest tightness will feel even more constricting in warm water.

Well coach was puzzled not really seeing the appeal of a tri-suit since it's unlikely you'd ever get the length right (and I see his point.)

So far, I've done two races, one in tri shorts and a bike shirt, the second in a tri-suit.

In response to my coach I pretty much laid out my philosophy for wearing what I'm wearing race day.

I'm average height so haven't had too many issues with the two tri-suits I've got. My goal has been to not have to put on or take off anything additional in transitions. I'm hesitant to wear a Tri top under a wetsuit for fear it will ride up and you can't do anything about it. Also, with the shorts, I feel better having the snug suspenders-like feel keeping the shorts high on the hips to make sure the padding is where it needs to be. Sorry to be base, but it's kind of like wearing an athletic supporter that doesn't need constant adjustment. Running, I'd rather run in a runner's top and slit shorts, but as I don't want to do any clothes changes, that's not going to happen.

I've got two suits, neither of which I paid more than $100. I felt good in the one race I used it. This new one is theoretically an upgrade and it does feel comfortable, just tight around the chest. I'm encouraged though since the first time I wore it, I felt my shoulders constrained but I've worn it in somewhat.

I'd really love for my suit to have rear pockets like a bike shirt (or my running shorts) for gels. But to get a tri-suit with a pocket is more expensive and as far as I can tell not discounted. My Spibelt solves the problem for the run, and on my race in the tri-suit, for the bike I stuffed the gels in the elastic around my thigh.

I'm not going to go shirtless since my experience, with a good tech material, sweat is wicked away and cools you better with a shirt of some sort than shirtless. Also, when I'm shirtless (on the run at least) the sweat soaks the shorts beyond their capacity to wick and I'm running around with fabric stuck to my legs and butt and not "breathing".

So, call me crazy, but I like the tri-suit.

Anybody have rationale for why they wear what they wear? Am I selling the tri-top short (pun intended). Does it bunch up under a wetsuit? Does anyone else feel wearing tech fabric is better than shirtless (for the guys I guess).

With regard to the race, since I've been remiss in keeping y'all up to date on training (I know there's someone else other than my mom who reads this), you won't know, but I'm pretty confident with what I've done. My only hiccup was swimmer's ear that kept me out of the pool for about 3 days. Since my training was pretty swimming intensive, it means I dropped off just prior to the taper. Swims have been a challenge since then but seeing as this is only 500m swim, I'm confident.

At this point, all I'm worrying about is my gear and what I'm wearing. It's not shallow, (at least I don't think so), but rather the conditioning is either there or not. I strongly believe it is, so now I'm focusing on the secondary factors that may not make a race, but can ruin it, i.e. my gear.

See y'all on the flip side.

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