Friday, March 12, 2010

Help! I Can't Breathe!

Last year I had two races in which I experienced what could best be described as panic attacks while in the swim portion of the triathlon. One event, the Waconia Tri, ended up being a very short day for me as I DNF. The other, Minneman, I made it out of the water after spending a few minutes on a life guards noodle...but the damage had been done.

In those two cases, I had been wearing a De Soto Liftfoil trisuit. Now, I love this suit. But is is very constrictive across the chest. I experienced no issues in warm-ups....and I get in a good 10-15 minutes of swim warm ups....but in each instance about 150-yards into the swim I found I could not catch my breath. I began to panic and despite my best efforts to calm the little voice inside my head screaming, "you are going to DIE!", I simply had to stop.

Two years ago, I had a similar experience at the Bismarck Triathlon. In that case, I simply rolled onto my back and swam backstroke for 10-15 yards and all was well again. In fact, I came out of the water with the ninth best swim split. In that case not only was I wearing the De Soto but also a QR wetsuit....also constrictive.

So this year, I intend to eliminate all that. I'm not going to wear the DeSoto but opt for a speedsuit that is not so tight across the manly chest. I also invested....and I do mean, a new westuit.

I purchased a De Soto T1 Water Rover.

This wetsuit is a unique TWO-PIECE DESIGN meaning more comfort and less restriction. Because the top and bottom are not attached, changing your stroke is not necessary. De Soto has eliminated the torso-rubber-stretch that causes shoulder restriction, and with it, the fatigue that occurs with traditional one-piece wetsuits. The different models of tops and bottoms are sold as separates so you can customize your fit and your performance needs.

PULLOVERS WITH ZIPPERS: Lightweight, custom-made zippers allow all Pullovers and Vest a more intuitive and faster removal.

LOW NECKLINE: This feature facilitates breathing, eliminating the "first timer's choking sensation," often accompanying one-piece suits. This feature makes it easier to turn your head to breathe and to raise your head to look forward. This also reduces chafing.

BIO-STROKE DESIGN: When lifting your arms, your shoulders rotate forward. A wetsuit should not inhibit this motion. The Bio-Stroke Design pulls the arms forward (resembling a mummy walking) and makes swimming less confining.

CORRECTS YOUR SWIMMING POSITION: The optimized hip flotation further lifts the hips and legs to put the body in the efficient "downhill" swimming position. De Soto was the first wetsuit company to do so.

SPEED: The T1 Wetsuit has repeatedly been proven to be the fastest on the market. It is made with Yamamoto SCSTM Super Composite Skin, making it flexible, buoyant, and very fast to remove.

De Soto Water Rover Upper Features ($280):

•2mm: The most flexible rubber is found on the entire torso, neck and shoulders. As with all T1 Wetsuits, maximum reach, shoulder flexibility and arm rotation are reached.

•8mm: Found only on the arms from the triceps to the wrists. This thickness creates a larger surface area with which to push water. The thick arms also create an additional level of surface buoyancy during the reach and glide phase of the swim stroke. De Soto is the first to offer this.

•5mm: These special panels on the forearms simplify the donning and removal of the Water Rover. On the forearms, the 5mm to 8mm seam creates a step that becomes a bigger “paddle” with which to push water.

De Soto Water Rover Lower Features ($370):

•2mm: De Soto's most flexible rubber is found on the bibstraps and body, on both front and back, to the crotch.

•2mm: This thin rubber helps keep the body from over-heating in warmer waters.

•5mm: These special panels simplify the donning and removal of the Water Rover.

•5mm: Runs along the back of the leg, from just above the knee, to the bottom of the elliptical leg opening allowing entry and exit from the water as easy any other wetsuit.

•10mm: De Soto put the thickest rubber right where you need the most buoyancy; the outer hips and legs, where the largest muscles and bones in the body are found.

•10mm: Runs all the way down the leg.

I've talked with a lot of people about the merits of this wetsuit. I've read reviews that show it does shave off valuable seconds. I was able to score a 15% discount at Just ask me how, if you are interested.

Now I can't wait to start training in it. So, if you are out nearby Lake Independence in May and see a guy wearing this..its me. Stop by and say 'hello'....if you can catch me!

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