Sunday, 3 March 2013

What do Swimmers Wear?? Guide on how to look like a swimmer

Swim season has just about finished up at YorkU.  The Ontario Championships are over, and most of the swimmers are winding down.  I on the other hand will be continuing to train hard to gain swim fitness and improve my stroke.  It has been a memorable season, and I wanted to reflect a bit on the changes I have seen in my own swimming.  The main question is: Am I a swimmer yet?

At the beginning of the season, it was very apparent that I was a triathlete swimmer, with the long suit, and big goggles.  As the season progressed however, I adopted many of the traits seen in true swimmers.

Here is a list of traits that when employed, will be sure to get people thinking you are a real swimmer, and not just a triathlete who swims only to bike and run.

Out of the Water

1) The Suit:  If you are going to be a swimmer, you need to start getting comfortable in briefs (or "speedo").  Wearing briefs shows that you are confident and capable, and it is the first point that people look for in a real swimmer.

2) The Goggles: Triathletes seem to be big fans of those big lensed goggles with a large gasket for cushion.  Popular examples include: Aquasphere Kaiman goggles, TYR Nest-Pro goggles (my previous choice of goggle), or perhaps the much hyped Sable Water Optics goggles.

Sable water optics ($50!!)

These goggles are  not that bad, but they can be expensive (the sable pair runs for about $50).
If you want to be considered a real swimmer, there is really only one choice: Swedish goggles

Amber Swedes

Phelps and I wear the same goggles

Not only are these goggles super stylish, they also have a custom fit, are worn by olympians, are very durable, for only about $10.  This tip worked well for my friend Raffi, who's swimming is, shall I say "medium at best".  Once he started wearing the Swedes though, everyone thought he was a swimmer

These tips will get you as far as the edge of the pool, but here are a few more tips to really convince people you are a swimmer.

In the Water
1) The entrance:  Swimmers never get into the water slowly, they only jump in and swim right away.  To show people you are serious, don't ease your way into the pool, just jump in and get going (sprinting off the start is always good).

2) Where you swim:  If your swimming at your local pool and want to be taken seriously, reserve the spot right in the middle of the lane.

3) The turns: Flip turns are the only way to go for real swimmers.  If the swedish goggles and speedo haven't got people thinking your a swimmer yet, just do a few flip turns in close proximity to those non- swimmers who hang out and talk in the shallow end of the pool.

For myself, I think it is still a bit of a stretch calling myself a swimmer (and it may always be this way), but I defiantly look more like a swimmer now, and will hopefully be considered more of a swimmer than a triathlete next swim season (or just a really good triathlete).  

**Please keep in mind, these small tips will definitely get you instant swimmer credibility, but will only get you so far.  To get people to think you are an actual swimmer, you have to actually swim like one (which means just get out there and practice).