Tri people - I need your help

Ok a bit of background before my question. I’m returning to tris after 3 years off. I am a FOP swimmer going low to mid 50s for IM distance.

Last 18months I had 2 bike accidents. The first one (jan) broke my collarbone left side, right at the shoulder joint, the second one, was in December and my right collarbone snapped in the same spot, plus shattered my olecranon, never to get a straight arm again.

I’m after a new wetsuit after my full sleeve one feels likes it’s not quite right anymore, with my slightly new technique. I’m thinking sleeveless as mobility will be greater, but are they that much slower in the ‘real’ world?

Boy howdy! That’s a nice break. Broke my right clavicle in high school and had to wear a figure-8 brace for weeks, never healed straight so I feel ya.

To the wetsuit question. I wear a sleeveless mainly because I thought it would feel more natural (or less unnatural depending on how you want to look at it), something about being compressed head-to-toe doesn’t sit well with me. If you’re a FOP swimmer I cant imaging that any drag caused by the edges are going to cause more of a degradation than poor form would. I say go with whats comfortable and you’ll be more efficient.

Worst case scenario, buy one and if it slows you down that much you an probably return it or sell it on a FB page pretty quickly and go back to a full sleeve.

You might want to post this question on SlowTwitch. Of course, they will tell you to buy a new bike … and argue over the answer. But you will get lots of information as someone over there has been/ is in a similar situation.

1 Like

At your level, I wonder what the difference would be regardless of your injuries. If you find out answers, let us know please. If I had to make a Price is Right guess (without any scientific backing just a hunch) I would say maybe 1min in a perfect condition Ironman swim

A full sleeve suit gives you a bit more surface area on your pull, and slightly better hydrodynamics on your upper body. All equal, full sleeve will be faster. Can’t tell you exactly how much.

That said, the more important factor is water temps. Here in SoCal, you need a a full sleeve for ocean swims 9 months out of the year or more most years, lest you come out of the water completely numb in your upper body.

If you’re doing lake swims or warm ocean, won’t matter.