I am training for 70.3 Gulf Coast where the swim leg in past years has sometimes been wetsuit legal and sometimes not. In the past 11 years, May 15th (the date of the race in 2021) has been wetsuit legal 5 times, or 45% of the time.
So how would you factor this into your swim training with a pull buoy or buoyancy shorts? Given the 45% odds, it seems that I definitely need to be prepared for a non-wetsuit swim on race day.
I think of no-wetsuit swim preparedness as the default. Most triathletes do most of their swimming in pools, sans wetsuit, and need to go out of their way to get practice with one. If I were in your shoes, the only change I would make from the norm would be to do a mix of wetsuit and no-wetsuit swimming in my open-water forays.
Is there a role for pull buoy sets or buoyancy shorts workouts in a training plan where there is a 45% chance of a wetsuit on race day? I generally like to do a long of pull buoy sets, and just bought a pair of Roka Sim shorts, with a wetsuit in mind on race day (in general.) Knowing there is a 45% chance of a wetsuit for my 2021 A race, obviously I need to not solely rely on pull buoy or sim shorts for my swim training, but is there a role for either in my training at all? Can I do 1 (of 2 or 3) days a week in sim shorts, or certain sets with a pull buoy? I should also mention that I am recovering from severe shoulder impingement, the recuperation is going well and I have been able to do hard swim sets recently, but added buoyancy where is isn’t detrimental would be appreciated.
Matt/David – would love your guidance on this question about if for a race with a less than even probability of being wetsuit legal, is there a role for a pull buoy or sim shorts in training. I would like to think there is but want to double check that with you.