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2XU Winter Training Gear

With Kona behind us and colder months looming ahead, northern hemisphere triathletes are discovering that the opportunity for a warm daylight workout session is quickly being replaced with tenebrous training schedules. As each workout becomes subject to harsh winter weather the key to staying safe, snug and stoked lies deep within your stockpile of cold weather training gear and 2XU is eager to keep you in the training game.

2XU Winter Beanie

Ditch your visor in favor of this cold weather training staple. It keeps sweat away from your eyes all the while keeping you safe with its reflective highlights. Plus it helps to keep you warm. Duh.

2XU Active 360 Run Jacket

Lightweight and all sorts of shiny, the Active 360 Run Jacket will keep you comfortable during the entirety of your workout. Constructed with a warm jersey lining the Active 360 features large vents under the arms to help circulate air through the jacket while you run, keeping your microclimate comfy and cool, not sticky and sweaty. The jacket has only 1 small zip pocket, suitable for keys, but it remains fairly difficult to access making it unideal for storing nutrition. Perfect for short to medium runs the Active 360 will have you training safely and stylishly.

2XU Sub Zero Cycle Jacket

There comes a point in the season where a jersey and arm warmers simply don’t insulate enough. While I don’t recommend cycling in negative degree weather, the Sub Zero Cycle Jacket is designed to do precisely that (albeit as 2XU is Australian they are most likely referencing Celsius, not Fahrenheit). One of the most thought out cycling jacket designs that I’ve seen, the Sub Zero angles its rear pockets allowing easy access while riding and keeps those pockets deep so you can keep extra tubes and nutrition on your back without the fear that they will eject when you hit a rough patch in the road. Comfortably lined with fleece the jacket stays true to 2XU’s design strategy of stitching their garments along the lines of what can be considered a “performance cut”, all at once making it both form fitting and sleek looking.

2XU Men’s Racer Track Pant

When you realize that the idea of leaving your warm and comfy bed to face the stinging winter elements to be shielded by only the thin protection of your summer run shorts isn’t the most motivating means to begin your morning it’s time for a wardrobe upgrade. The Racer Track Pant from 2XU is designed to keep you motivated no matter what the outdoor conditions may be. A basic track pant design, the Racer features two zippered side pockets and drawstring cinching, but where the pant sets itself apart are the outstanding “3D Thermal Knit” high filament polyester yarns. This unique construction will regulate your temperature from the cold and chilly first mile to your steamy and sweaty triumphant finish, meaning that your body will be at a comfortable temperature throughout your workout. Suddenly leaving the shelter of your snug sheets becomes that much easier knowing that you’re perfectly outfitted to battle back against whatever winter weather you may find yourself facing.

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What is Yamamoto Neoprene?

38, 39, 40. These numbers do not reference European shoe sizes nor do they allude to a series of symphonies, instead these are the proletariat model numbers that correspond with Japanese rubber manufacturer Yamamoto’s lines of neoprene rubber. The fact of the matter is you may be able to find a tri-wetsuit that’s not made from Yamamoto neoprene, but it wouldn’t be easy. These ubiquitously used materials are pervasive within the majority of triathlon wetsuits found in today’s market and if you’re a triathlete you’ve more than likely heard the name and numbers thrown about alongside that sleek new wetsuit you’ve been eyeing.

You may wonder what the numbers mean and what significance, if any, they carry that makes these levels of neoprene best suited for triathlon wetsuits?

Yamamoto began producing wetsuit material in 1961 and have grown with the sport of triathlon ever since Dan Empfield’s pioneering work marrying the garment with the sport. Yamamoto’s rubber was chosen after the discovery of the unique properties that the rubber holds making it a perfect fit for triathlon specific garments. Yamamoto neoprene is a limestone sourced rubber and whose amazing properties include:

  • Nitrogen gas blown rubber that augments the insulation of the wetsuit, making it warmer
  • A 23% higher closed-cell structure than oil derived neoprene, making it more buoyant
  • Maximum elongation of over 480%, whereas human skin stretches only up to 60 to 70%
  • 95% water impermeable whereas oil derived standard is nearly 70%
With each model already possessing these impressive qualities, the underlying difference between each series is found within the increased flexibility and buoyancy gained by each subsequent model. It is understood that 39 is more flexible than 38 and 40 more-so than both, however where 39 represents an increase in durability over 38, 40 is considered to be more fragile than 39 and is thus used strategically throughout the suit to provide critical flexibility where needed without sacrificing the wetsuit’s durability.

Beginner Triathlon Transition Tips

Triathlon Transition Area

Your fingers scrape against dense sand, a startling and unfamiliar texture, after having swum across a bottomless and vast expanse for what seemed an eternity. As you near the end of your first triathlon swim course the roar of a crowd cheering penetrates the sloshing water and the guff of your hardened rhythmic breathing and your adrenaline spikes. The next few seconds become an overwhelming blur as your body wills itself through sand, sound and silhouettes towards the transition area, all the while your mind focusing on one question. What happens next?

The transition area is at best controlled chaos. You’re in race limbo, trapped within a fixed space where you must prepare yourself for the next stage of your journey, and all the while the omnipresent race clock continues to tick. Upon entering this area, triathletes, no matter their age, sex or elite status are immediately sorted into one of two categories. Prepared and unprepared.

This is a guide for beginner triathletes who want to better prepare themselves for triathlon transitions.

Swim to Bike – Transition One (T1)

Before you arrive to the course you should be practicing taking off your wetsuit. Don’t be that person searching for the pull zip while running through the transition chute. Instead take the time before your race to practice running while finding your wetsuit zipper and stripping it down to your hips. Run, don’t walk, out of the water while immediately taking off your cap and goggles.  When you do pull your arms through your suit pull your cap and goggles through too, lodging them into the arm of the wetsuit. This helps to keep the clutter of your own transition area to a minimum and will ensure that you don’t forget them when you’re packing up after your race.

Practice taking your wetsuit off beforehand!

Before your race you should have already mastered the art of taking off a wetsuit as to avoid the time-costly and comical transition wetsuit wiggle. And honestly it just takes a few tries to get it down pat.

How to arrange your transition area:

Transition Area Setup

Transition Mat Setup

  • Choose a spot as close to the bike exit as possible
  • Set bike equipment in front of your run equipment so that it is quickly accessible.
  • If your swim exit took you through sand you may want to have a tiny bucket or water bottle available to quickly rinse your feet of sand and pebbles
  • Never eat or drink while in transition. Attach all nutrition to your bike (taping it to the tube or inside a bento box). There will be plenty of opportunities to eat and drink while cycling!
  • Put your bike helmet on first! You should mount your helmet between your aerobars or on your handlebars making it easily accessible and immediately visible. You must have your helmet on and clipped before having any interaction with your bike otherwise you will suffer a penalty.
  • Run your bike to the mount line and mount your bike in one of 3 ways.
  1. Running bike mount – This is the fastest and most difficult mounting technique. With your shoes already clipped into the bike’s pedals, the triathlete runs alongside the bike and jumps onto the saddle while taking a few pedal strokes to gain speed and stability before slipping his/her feet into their shoes. 
  2. Push-start mount – Somewhat fast. With your shoes once again already clipped into the pedals, stand next to the bike with one foot on the pedal pushing off with the other foot before pedaling away and slipping your feet into your shoes.
  3. Over the bike standing mount – This is the slowest and most common form of mounting your bike. Chances are this is how you start off every training ride and is the way that most of us have gone about mounting our bike since our first ride. There’s nothing wrong with this technique, you’re just losing time putting on your shoes and beginning from a static state instead of doing all of this while gaining momentum and distance using either of the above techniques.

Bike to Run – Transition 2 (T2)

Some Triathlons will mark exits in chalk

When approaching the end of the bike course, shift to a higher gear and spin at a higher cadence to help prepare your legs for the run. Remember to keep your helmet on and clipped at all times until your bike is completely racked to avoid a penalty! After racking your bike, unclip your helmet and put on your triathlon running shoes and race belt before grabbing any extra gels or equipment. When making your way to the run exit, put on any extra run gear instead of staying static at your transition-mat. Finally, shorten your stride until your legs loosen up from biking. It may take a mile or so but don’t worry, you’ll find that running groove in no time!

I hoped to answer some of the following questions in this post. Let me know if I missed something.
– What do I need for my transition area?
– How to set-up a transition area?
– What is a transition area?
– What is the best way to set-up my transition area?
– How do I set-up my transition area?

Helix Wetsuit Review

The Helix. Crazy. Fast.

Finally, a high-end wetsuit designed for an elite level athlete. The Helix wetsuit is designed for athletes who understand that certain wetsuits may increase your buoyancy to the point where the suit counteracts a strong swimmer’s stroke, forcing them to float too high in the water, interrupting a memorized motion that’s been practiced and refined for years. Blue Seventy’s top-tier design keeps athletes neutrally buoyant while strategically placed buoyancy panels deliver float in all the right areas.

In addition to a high-performance body position the Helix offers a rare and dangerously thin 1mm thickness in both the shoulders and arms, giving the athlete serious range of motion but also allows for a greater “feel” of the water. This means that the athlete is more aware of their arm position, encouraging better technique and a more efficient overall stroke.

This is a great thing if you’re a serious swimmer looking for a serious suit, but for the serious triathlete the Helix not only offers full graduated compression in the legs of the suit, improving blood flow; the back of the knee is composed of special flex panels to keep your transition bound legs pumping up the beach without added resistance.

The reverse zip design is yet another advanced attribute that is designed for a more masterful athlete. What it means for you:

  • Faster suit exit
  • Can’t be pulled down by other swimmers
  • Thinner neck results in greater comfort and improved sighting

This is far and away the Helix’s greatest design triumph and tragedy. Honesty, I can’t zip it without help, period, which is where for me the suit looses some of it’s luster. If you’re a strong swimmer, advanced triathlete or swim stroke nerd then the Helix will be the fastest suit you’ve ever worn or will ever wear and if you’re not, you have a suit to look forward to wearing when all that training and coaching pays off.

Why Do Swimskins Work?

http://www.onetri.com/torque-swimskin-mens-short-john-2011-p-4841.html

Wearing a wetsuit for the added buoyancy gain and inherent thermal protection certainly isn’t cheating and for many athletes it can be an absolutely necessity, but at a certain level of racing the competitive advantage gained from wearing a wetsuit is banned. Triathlon’s pinnacle race distance, the Ironman, and its respective championship race, Kona, have witnessed the rise of a new form of swimming garment; the swimskin.

Bred out of the need for a hydrodynamic suit that adheres to the guidelines from the scrabble list of acronymic governing bodies: USAT, WTC, and FINA, the swimskin has evolved into a textile based solution for elite open water swimmers looking to always be faster than the rest of the pack and to gain a competitive edge against other racers. TYR would say that you’re only as fast as your suit will let you be.TYR Torque Pro

Enter the Torque Pro swimskin.

This swimskin is not only going to give you a competitive hydrodynamic edge in the water during the elite races, but for shorter, mid-temperature and high surf-condition races, you’ll be less buoyant through the break, actually making you faster out to the first buoy since you’ll be able to leverage your bodyweight in a more efficient manner against the waves. I’d say for any sprint race or elite IM athlete, these new TYR swimskins are exactly the edge that you need to get the initial lead on the competition and keep them in your rear sights during the swim.

2XU Perform Compression

What is 2XU Perform Compression?
2XU has created the first weapon in the arsenal of compression wear to utilize a combination of 50/70 denier fabric in conjunction with the properties found in a circular knit garment, resulting in superior fit, breathability and race-day performance gains. The Perform from 2XU doesn’t simply compress to impress but rather applies an ideal amount of pressure at the body’s extremities so that the levels of graduated mmHg (millimeters of mercury) enhances a healthy body’s circulatory system while augmenting muscle position and response, all without sacrificing range of motion.
Why Perform?
2XU created these race ready and high intensity training garments to assist athletes in four specific ways.
  • The improvement in a healthy circulatory system results in faster warm-up times, working with your body to actually increase the venous return to the heart and lymph to the lymph nodes.
  • Anatomically correct compression holds muscles, minimizing vibration, reducing the level of fatigue resulting from impact and exertion.
  • Perform aids the body’s natural sense of proprioception by stimulating nerve receptors in the limbs, giving greater feedback and response as to where various body parts/limbs are at any given time.
  • The PWX fabric used in the construction of Perform garments utilize a graduated compressive design and a circular knit process which naturally regulates the body’s tempurature, providing better cooling and warmth regardless of region or climate.

PXR Fabric:
Within each line of PXR compression garments 2XU has made use of one of three, or a combination of, their proprietary PWX fabric. This fabric, constructed from superior medical grade circular knit Invista Sport Lycra, has 4 times the durability when compared to elastane found in other garments. In addition to the PWX fabric’s durability 2XU utilizes 50 and 70 Denier Lycra in the construction of it’s Perform garments, where competitors use 30/40 Denier, representing a thicker yarn that delivers a stronger compressive effect across all PWX garments. The Perform garments utilize the PWX FLEX fabric whose elastomeric yarns, when wet from sweat, separate from each other, resulting in increased flexibility and breathability (moisture/vapor transmission). Perform is designed to offer the ideal amount of compression and range of motion for competition and training.

2XU Refresh Compression for Recovery

What is Refresh?
Swelling, muscle degradation, soreness. Every athlete has experienced each of these symptoms and to vary degrees based on each individuals unique level of exertion and natural recovery cycle. The Refresh compression garments from 2XU separate themselves from the already impressive Perform and Xform garments who use 50/70 Denier Lycra in their construction by utilizing a 150 Denier circular knit fabric to provide the highest form of compressive power and stability found in the sports industry. This rigidity augments your natural circulatory flow, enhancing the body’s natural recovery abilities all the while providing the correct level of compression so that the garment may be worn comfortably over prolonged periods of time.

Why Refresh?

Have you every asked your self: What is the best recovery tights? or What is the best recovery socks? From my experience and based on what I’ve read I think 2XU Refresh products should rank well because they seem to put thought and effort into creating their products.
According to 2XU and studies by the Australian Institute of Sport, in approximately 1 hour of wearing a Refresh garment:
  • A significant decrease in and clearing of blood lactate
  • Decrease in exercise-related swelling/blood pooling
  • Decreased perception of muscle soreness.

Simply stated, Refresh gets you back training in better shape with less muscle fatigue. Research has shown that the average femoral vein blood flow may be increased to as much as 138.4% base line when a compression garment has graduated pressure ratings of 18mmHg at the ankles and 8mmHg at the thigh. The Refresh line of recovery garments delivers this level of pressure, meant for a healthy circulatory system, instead of the highest level of pressure found in medical garments, which may inhibit blood flow in a normally healthy athlete, removing any perceived or substantial recovery benefit. The Refresh by 2XU is a purposeful engineered garment and is designed to apply consistent, graduated pressure with the highest quality and longest lasting construction. After wearing Refresh recovery garments it is clear that not every compression garment has been created equal.

PXR Fabric:
Within each line of PXR compression garments 2XU has made use of one of three, or a combination of, their proprietary PWX fabric. This fabric, constructed from superior medical grade circular knit Invista Sport Lycra, has 4 times the durability when compared to elastane found in other garments. Competitor’s fabrics, built from Nylon or elastane yarn may feel “tight” after a first use, however over time these garments struggle to maintain previous adequate levels of pressure, making them a poor investment for the savvy athlete. Refresh’s 150 Denier PWX Power construction results in a compressive garment that will continue to provide recovery benefits long after similar competitor garments have lost their elasticity, lending to 2XU’s trademark, “It’s In Our Fabric”.
If you want to find out a lot more about 2XU compression click here: New 2XU Compression PXR
To buy 2XU PXR compression go here: 2XU PXR Compression
To buy 2XU Refresh specific compression visit here: 2XU Refresh Compression
To learn more about the research done on 2XU products visit here: 2XU Compression Research

What is your running foot type?

So you’re a runner. Either you’ve been running for quite awhile or you’re savvy enough to research the sport before you dive in feet first, but the fact remains you’ve been inquisitive enough to find out that there are different running strokes (Gary Coleman not being an option here) and you’re fuzzy on how you fit into these categories. There is a simple test outside of inquiring with your local running shoe / triathlon shoe shop.

Neutral Pronation:

Neutral pronation may be described as an ideal running strike where the foot pronates with proper timing so that your feet utilize their natural cushioning effectively. This timing combines an ideal blend of your foot’s natural cushioning and stability and is in fact, a rare phenomenon among runners.

  • Ideal running strike
  • Running shoes don’t need to have extra cushioning or stability

Pronator: Motion Control / Stability Runner

Overpronation is marked by excessive motion in the foot resulting in an outer foot strike with an aggressive inward roll. Basically this means that the foot is cushioning too much and the runner suffers from a lack of stability.

  • Noticeable wear along the outside of your running shoes
  • A flat foot / lower arch for your feet
  • Referred to as the open pack position
  • Runners need greater support and rigidity in the heel and instep of the shoe, not cushioning

Supinator

This running strike results in a tight inward foot roll so that the foot isn’t able to take advantage of its natural cushioning abilities, resulting in a rigid joint. A runner who is a supinator doesn’t need extra stability in their shoe and should seek a shoe with extra cushioning to help the supinator to run efficiently and prevent injuries over time.

  • Noticeable wear on the heel and instep of your running shoes
  • High arch
  • Referred to as the close pack position
  • Runners need a shoe with maximum cushioning in the heel and instep of their shoes

Race Day Revo Review

Economical, budget minded, thrifty. Any way you word it the Louis Garneau Race Day Revo backpack gives access to top-tier features, found in other more expensive bags, while maintaining an entry-level price point.

The Race Day Revo all suited up and ready for business

You’ve seen the 10 gallon hat, now meet the 5 gallon bag

This transition bag, in this humble reviewer’s opinion, doesn’t strike an especially strong aesthetic chord with my discerning eye for what’s kitsch or cool, however the bag delivers where it counts. Louis Garneau manages to fit in numerous bells and whistles into the Race Day Revo, incorporating:

  1. Vented wetsuit compartment
  2. Double sided-internal dry compartments for shoes
  3. Vented towel compartment
  4. Sunglasses/goggle pouch
  5. External helmet connector

The Race Day Revo manages all of these extras while still showing off the usual assortment of side pockets and water-bottle holder.

Just another day as the office water-boy...

Constructed from extremely thin nylon, this race day bag is completely waterproof and collapsible to the point where you could just roll it up and pack it anywhere when not in use. The internal compartment doesn’t seem large, since the bag itself is smaller than most, however we managed to fit a 5 gallon water bottle inside with ease meaning that it will fit all of your race day gear, and then some. When you break it down the Race Day Revo’s weight is designed to be light (it won’t break your momma’s back) and when a problem comes along, the Revo whips it (whips it real good).

TRISLIDE and BodyGlide

We’ve all made the same mistake and suffered similar chafing consequences and while we can’t all be “Slippery Pete’s”, the alternative to having a natural friction free sheen has been either BodyGlide or the new to market, TRISLIDE.

Both of these products offer a silicone based formula so that it applies and stays where you want it to, forgoing the days of applying Vaseline or cooking spray which stains clothes, washes away with sweat and is just a generally messy experience. Having used both of the products I was impressed with TRISLIDE’s unique spray applicator approach and diminutive size that won’t hog a lot of space in your transition or gym bag. On the other hand, BodyGlide is every bit as functional as the new kid in school, TRISLIDE, and has more training years, chafe free miles and a tried and true race pedigree to its credit.

You can’t go wrong with either, but without, you’re facing a not so slippery slope of painful swims and running workouts which will ultimately increase recovery time and as a result, an increase in race times. Pick up a stick or can and you’ll know what I mean.

Zoot Ultra Speed Shoe

So I’ll admit, I’ve been rather partial to my Ultra Tempo 4.0 over the past year and it’s become my little race baby. The kind of shoe that I take out once a week for a PR attempt and save for race day occasions. I loved that shoe.

Too bad.

I’ve just spent the last week with the Zoot Ultra Speed and to be truthful I’ve seen it (the Ultra Speed) before. It was that one shoe sitting on the sales wall looking like a g*d*mn electric smurf with its blue and yellow (hear them haters talk, but there’s nothing you can tell ’em….sorry wrong color/song) lace-less smug face forcing me to pass it off as a, “sure it looks fast, but that’s what they want you to think” shoe.

My opinion after a week:

Basically I was slapped in the face by how light it is (yes, I’ve said that many times and I’ll say it once more just to piss off redundancy grammar nerds.) It’s seriously 1337 sauce on your feet. You can’t even tell that they’re there. Whiiiiiiiich can be a problem if you want to treat these a daily trainer.

Don’t.

These shoes are race specific. Meaning they’re cutting all the corners in a shoe to give you the absolute fastest, best performing and overall biggest advantage that your feet can fathom come race day. Think of them as track spikes. Elite track runners don’t train in their spikes and neither should you.

This is literally the first shoe that I’ve felt that I should save for race day. Which makes me super giddy and happy to race knowing that they’re actually angled with a 10mm drop to give you a more aggressive platform for a mid-foot / forefoot running strike. Basically, long distances need not apply but you sprints / olympics / 70.3’s you’ll be in the clear with regard in having the lightest and fastest shoe.

I can’t wait to test these in Orangeman!

Zoot Compression Sock

First compression sock I’ve ever tried.

It felt like a sock. It looked like a sock. It did NOT act like a sock. I mean how complicated can these shoe liners get?

Apparently quite a bit.

So yes. I haven’t worn it in a race setting (it’s only been a week), but that’s what the Zoot compression sock is meant for; long-term performance / recovery benefits coupled with improved strike padding which results in a sock that will outlast whatever race you’re running in, no matter your level.

Frankly I like how I stand out from other runners on the trail while I’m wearing this advanced gear and I’m pretty arrogant in the fact that I’m ALWAYS wanting someone to come and race me during a workout. So far no takers when I’ve been wearing this coupled with my Ultra Tempo 4.0’s and ridiculously short electric lime green running shorts. (Sorry no link there. Those shorts are mine!)

But then again, I’m willing to wager it’s just the shorts that’s keeping people away, which only makes me wonder, “if only Zoot would make some lime green socks…”

The long sock: no longer a modern day Shark vs. Jet accessory but rather comes with added athletic/recovery specific benefits.

Orca Alpha Review

My first impression on the Alpha is that it’s another flagship wetsuit from a quality manufacturer, and it is. What I’ve discovered is that reviews or outside industry impressions are scarce and far-between for the Alpha and that the majority of the copy on the internet comes straight from Orca’s marketing department. Allow me to fill in the blanks.

You can expect the standard top of the line qualities from the Alpha: 40 cell Yamamoto, Nano SCS coating, quick out ankles etc. These are all features that have become commonplace most of the uncommon top tiered suits but what sets the Alpha apart from the rest of the pack are three key features.

  1. The Alpha’s shoulders are ridiculously thin. 1.5mm thin to be exact. The idea is that you want a balance between form and function and the 1.5mm thickness gives your body the range of motion needed for your swim stroke without sacrificing buoyancy.
  2. Instead of simply adding a gripper or pattern for the catch panel the Alpha instead features a 3mm thick contoured catch panel, branded as “AquaTread”. The added thickness layered on the super thin 1.5mm shoulders/arms gives the suit just a bit more buoyancy positioned in the perfect place
  3. “Aerodome” 5mm neoprene.  Orca took a 5mm cut of it’s 40cell Yamamoto neoprene, put a bunch of holes in it and then sealed it. The holes increase the buoyancy of the paneled areas by 30%, trapping air and using it to keep your tired rear afloat.

After looking over the suit I can’t wait to take it out for a test swim and as far as flagship wetsuits go, the Alpha is now at the top of my list.

The Truth About Compression Clothing (for endurance athletes)

This is my first run with compression, pun intended.

I understand that I’m late to the game as a serious triathlete, or athlete in general, who may wear these garments, but I’ve always viewed nouveau products with added skepticism. Believe me, I sell these for a living and people ask me what qualities they provide and I always repeat the same thing (the basic facts which the manufacturer provide in their literature):

  • Increases blood pooling to critical muscles
  • Decreases amount of lactic acid buildup
  • Assists in muscle recovery post workout
But to be honest I had never tried it and I always told my customers that. Call it a macho-man reflex to the latest and greatest; that I trust my training more than I do the ever revolving door of 20(xx) latest and greatest gear.
2XU Compression Tights
Come to find out these garments were pioneered in the 1930’s as a means of assisting medical patients undergoing rehabilitation from vein conditions such as varicose veins, Sclerotherapy, chronic venous insufficiency, Lymphedema, pregnancy and thrombotic syndrome or post venous stasis ulcers (yes I have some sources).
Basically these garments act as a giant, strategically placed, “Ace Bandage” which in turn acts as a means to reduce swelling in critical areas in the body which allows for improved blood flow in addition to a decrease in swelling, to targeted areas. Think of it as a wearable ice-pack for your muscles with deep-vein benefits.
Well color me interested. It only took 20 minutes of investigation to find this out.
None of the products on the market will give you this easy explanation, nor do they give you guidelines for wearing the garment. All I can tell you is that, yes, it is backed by 80 years of therapeutic science, it does work and the simple idea is to wear it as much as possible during or post workout, however, there are a few graduated lines of compression clothing for athletes, namely:
  • Race ready, high performance (high flexibility, low amount of compression)
  • Post-workout / recovery (low flexibility, high amount of compression)
  • Hybrid (50/50 mix of flexibility and compression. A one stop purchase which gives the benefits of both garments)
These compressive clothes don’t come close to the medical grade garments in terms of the mg of mercury (pressure rating) that they’re classified by, but for good reason. The medical garments are meant for one staying stationary and for a patient that requires SERIOUS compressive needs in order to achieve a beneficial medical effect. You, our loyal readers, are able-bodied and require a garment that is both flexible and compressive as to reap its therapeutic benefits while smashing age-group records or recovering faster than the other ill-informed athlete (last-week me).
Since trying out the new recovery line of 2XU recovery compression and following up with a hefty bit of research I’ve come to the conclusion that, yes, this ‘ish does work. You will feel an added benefit. You will be able to return to training faster and with more intensity than you previously thought and you should have a new-found joy for sports-science.
Why?
Because you’re a trihead and you don’t take trends for face value. Compression is here to stay but for good reason. If you’re serious about endurance training or for any sort of sport that requires a lifting/training period coupled with a competitive showing / race period at least pick up a pair of recovery garments if not the hybrids. You’ll be back training harder in a faster amount of time and you’ll get more out of your season’s length by wearing these products.
Also, you’ll look like you’re wearing Batman’s pajama’s. Which is worth anything in my book…

Sleeveless vs Sleeved Tri Wetsuits

It’s a roaring debate between some, others it’s a cut and dry situation, but still the debate remains: is there an added benefit to swimming with or without sleeves? The short answer is sleeved tri wetsuits will always be faster, but then again, only for some.

The facts:

Sleeved

If looks could kill this suit would leave competitors dead in the water
  • Added buoyancy (aids in sighting strokes as well)
  • More efficient glide stroke
  • Greater surface area with addition of catch panels
  • Increased insulation for colder water swims
  • By far the more popular version of triathlon wetsuit
  • Can potentially keep water out better (which means less weight to pull)

Sleeveless

  • Greater range of motion
  • Less strain on shoulders
  • Better feeling of the catch
  • Increase in comfort for warmer water

What the debate ultimately boils down to is which suit best fits your body type and the water conditions that you’re racing in. If you have shoulder problems from an injury or surgery or an old-school/hardcore swimmer, you will notice an added benefit from wearing a sleeveless suit. If you’re a struggling swimmer looking to gain from added buoyancy or a hardcore racer looking for the latest and greatest to shave off a few seconds on your splits, a full-sleeve suit is what you’re looking for.

Debate over sleeved vs. sleeveless wetsuits at the Slow Twitch forum:

http://forum.slowtwitch.com/forum/Slowtwitch_Forums_C1/Triathlon_Forum_F1/When_is_a_sleeveless_wetsuit_faster_P3430382

What triathlon wetsuit is the best? – This is another resource to help you determine which tri wetsuit is right for you. If you want to learn more about buying the right triathlon wetsuit this article may help.