The off-season is beginning and all athletes are starting to plan for their 2018 racing season. Are you part of that?
Have you started thinking about testing new gear, new fueling techniques, and new hydration systems? This is the best time to do all that, as it's far from the start line so ruining runs with cramps, gas, chafing, etc. won't hurt your upcoming race.
Outside of running, triathlon and obstacle course racing are very different sports, but there is one thing I think we need to consider having in common: The triathlon suit.
Hear me out for a minute!
A Case for The Tri-Suit in OCR
1. It's meant to get wet.
Sorry, but your lovely compression gear you spent WAY too much money on wasn't designed to get soaked. Triathlon suits are, though. They are meant to get 100% soaked and still give you the ability to ride and run for godawful amounts of time. They dry quickly without messing with the integrity of the garment, unless cute cotton tees.
Triathlon tops (and some bottoms) have pockets in the back. Nice, wide ones in fact. They are meant to hold fuel with comfort and easy access during running. Hydration packs during OCR are fine for this, but that doesn't mean it's easy to get to. How many times have you seen your fellow racers on the side of traffic opening their pack for food?
POCKETS, people. POCKETS.
3. Flat seams = No Chafing.
Chafing is inevitable for some, but triathlon tops are built with proper sleeveless proportions to avoid chafing during arms swings (think of how painful swimmers would be coming out of the water if that wasn't the case!). Tri bottoms are kept thin and flat seamed as well, avoiding inner thigh chafing once wet or sweaty.
4. Snug fit means less fidgeting.
Many people love compression for the snug fit, but compression can actually lead to muscle cramping, as counter intuitive as that may seem. Trisuits are meant to be snug, but comfortable. Little movement without squeezing the muscles you want to be working for you is ideal for freedom of mobility without fussing with shifting clothing.
5. Quality means less quantity.
Yes, even triathlon tops can more expensive than you may be spending on your gear (although, not if you're buying compression stuff). But quality of materials far surpasses most sporting clothes. A triathlon top and bottom can last through countless barbed wire crawls because the dang thing is meant to be put through hours of 3 different sports time and again.
To be honest, I'm not sure how this hasn't caught on yet in the sport. There are a few elites that wear triathlon tops, and it's clear they were thinking these exact reasons for their choice of garment.
Triathlon suits come in one or two pieces, and can be found in drastically different price ranges.
Check out theclymb.com for past season designs at discounted rates. Zoot makes a great selection with varying pricing, and Wattie Inc has some of the most fun designs.
Whatever garment choices you're considering for the 2018 race season, now is the time to start wear-testing. Don't put it to the last minute and end up showing your thong during the barbed wire. I swear if I have to see one more man in a thong...
Cheers to a successful 2018!