How to put on a wetsuit
The following tips are listed below to help you put on a wetsuit and reduce the risk of damage. The use of a wetsuit is often mandatory in Ironman Triathlon races however if the water temperature is high enough then wetsuits are not allowed. Be sure to check the race rules prior to an event to clarify this. It does tend to be in events in hotter countries such as Hawaii and Australia.
For easier fitment and faster removal use a product called bodygilde, Vaseline can destroy the glue used to join the seams on the wetsuit or the stitching.
1. The body should be dry.
2. Use soft gloves to avoid cutting the rubber.
3. Nails should be evenly cut and not sharp, damage can still be caused by wearing gloves.
4. Pull on the legs as high up the body without straining, ensure no folds or air pockets and no creases behind the back of the leg as this will cause chafing when kicking in the swim.
5. Pull up wetsuit from the waist and remove any space or air pocket from the groin area.
Some athletes get a taller person to actually lift them from the waist to ensure the legs are in and the groin are a snug fit.
The wetsuit should be 5-14cm above the anklebone for easier removal also neoprene around the ankle inhibits flexibility when kicking.
6. Close one hand or clench fist and put one hand in at a time so as not to damage the inside of the suit with your nails or accidentally pull a finger back.
7. Before zipping up the suit make sure that the suit is over both shoulders. Then push both shoulders back, not out and get a fellow competitor preferably with the same style suit or a friend who knows what to do to zip you up.
8. Allow 10-20 minutes for the first time you do this and 10-15 minutes before an even if could take you less but you want to get the fit perfect and then concentrate on the swim rather than something rubbing.
9. If you are able to practise in a swimming pool wash out the suit thoroughly as the chlorine can destroy the seams.
Things you need to know about a Triathlon wetsuit.
1. You will often feel more buoyant so you could over roll more when breathing this you want to avoid. Forward motion is required not sideways resistance movement.
2. The wetsuit will help you glide by being more streamlined and buoyant so use this to your advantage by doing long slow strokes, a comparison would be cycling down a hill you can push a bigger gear.
3. Wearing a wetsuit often the recovery phase is minimised due to less flexibility in the shoulders and concentrate on this so you can recover fully ready for the next powerful stroke.
4. Wearing a Triathlon wetsuit will feel tight almost claustrophobic to some people. On dry land and you may get hot putting it on, once in the water after practise you may not even notice you are wearing it.
Do not put on your swim hat until you have completely fitted your wetsuit as you may get too hot and over heat unless of course it is a cold day or you are concerned about the cold water.
5. Less kick is often required.
6. A swim session in the pool wearing your wetsuit is advisable before your triathlon in familiar territory but you will need their permission, as some swimming pools do not allow you to.