Friday, June 17, 2011

Introducing Speedo Endurance

My first racing swim suit did not last long. I started wearing it in late November 2010 (see related post), and I swam in it for the last time in May 2011. The fabric at the butt crack (wish there were a nicer phrase to use) was splayed and I had to retire the suit for fear of it splitting down the middle during a swim. I was completely surprised that the suit wore out so quickly, but in speaking with some swimming buddies it appears that the elastic Lycra material is damaged by pool chlorine, and my daily use of the suit led to its early demise. My swim buddies wear separate suits for training and for racing. I did not know this because I am new to the sport.

The "board shorts" style swim suit I wear.
So, what should I do? I thought my options were to go back to wearing a non-racing pair of "board shorts" while training (see left), or to train in a new racing suit that will wear out every season. There are also some training suits that are very short but feature a mesh outer covering. I've seen college swim team members wear these in the pool. These latter training suits seemed to be a good compromise between the bulkiness of board shorts and the sleek hydrodynamics of a racing suit. I can't swim as fast in board shorts due to the drag they create in the water. The drag is actually a good thing when training, as it makes the body work harder. Nevertheless, I am having fun at least pretending to be a competitive swimmer, so I want a suit that helps me show off and feel good about my progress. Anyway, all this discussion about trade-offs of different kinds of suits was a bit hypothetical because I was now without a racing suit, and my triathlon was coming up in mid June (in fact, it is tomorrow!). So my first purchase would be a racing suit, even if the thing doesn't last long in pool chlorine.

The racing swim suit I just bought.
Fortunately, a swim team member told me about Speedo's Endurance fabric, which is meant to hold up to chlorine a lot better. He swims hundreds of miles per year and he swears by the suit. So, I've now got one. I bought the Speedo Endurance Mercury Spliced Jammer in black and gold. It cost a pretty penny, but now I don't have to buy more than one suit. I plan to swim in this suit for both training and competitions. It contains PBT polyester in place of Lycra. has an awesome web page that compares these and other types of fabrics.

My initial reactions: (1) it is not as elastic as my previous jammer; in fact, it feels a little tight at the waist as I put it on. Once it is on, it does not feel too tight. In fact, the fit is really good. (2) the fabric feels thicker and more durable. (3) As mentioned on the website, the material does not conform as much to my body as the Lycra-containing suit. That is, it reveals less of my male anatomy, and I'm thinking that's a good thing....

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