Preparing For Your Next Swimming Competition

The summer nationals are just around the corner, and many competitive swimmers will have been preparing for these competitions by training as much as possible to achieve the best performance.  But there are other factors which swimmers need to take into account when preparing for a big swim event. 

The team at Sharks Swim & Triathlon have come up with some guidelines to help you prepare not just in the pool but before and during each race too,

The Importance of Investing in a Quality Race Suit

When it comes to race suits, leading brand manufacturers use a variety of technologies to enhance swimming performance. One of the most important benefits of race suits is that they provide muscular compression. This in turn increases muscle activation and allows blood to circulate more quickly. Increased blood circulation leads to faster replenishment of oxygen and nutrients in the blood and faster removal of lactic acid and toxins. So in a nutshell, muscle compression can help to reduce tiredness and increases power, leading to faster swimming.

What’s more, as reported in an article in Swimming World magazine, “According to a study done by Journal Of The American College Of Sports Medicine, the suits can significantly improve swimming performance. The study found that, on average, swim performance improved by 3.2% when swimmers wore a tech suit as opposed to a regular training suit. Additionally, the study found that tech suits can reduce drag by 4.4% to 6.2% and reduce the amount of energy needed for swimming by 4.5% to 5.5%.”  See full article here.

Importantly, race suits are also made of a lightweight, water repellent fabric which does not weigh swimmers down, decreasing water saturation and reducing drag. These suits are almost completely seamless, which also decrease drag and allow the suits to have a tighter fit.

At Sharks Swim & Triathlon we stock a huge range of race skins from top brands including Michael Phelps, Arena, Speedo, Tyr and many more.

Selecting the Right Goggles

When it comes to selecting racing goggles for the best performance, you should look at two things.  Firstly, the aim of the goggles is to provide clear vision as you swim, and secondly they should create as little drag as possible.

As most swimmers know, races that take place in pools often come down to hundredths of a second, which means that every tiny detail of the race is important.  For competitive swimmers, goggles should fit especially well and not slow them down in the water. In fact, racing goggles need to be hydrodynamic, with a lens that fits cleanly into the socket, and without any protruding pieces that will catch water. Small and curved lenses tend to generate the least drag in the water.

The straps on your racing goggles should lie flat against your head and silicone or rubber straps will provide the best snug, close fit.  You should make sure that the goggle straps don’t have excess strap material hanging off the sides or back, as this also generates drag.

 For competitive racing, it’s very important that the goggle lenses should stay clear. So make sure any goggle lens you purchase has an anti-fog coating.

Again at Sharks Swim & Triathlon, we have a huge range of goggles from leading brands in a range of shapes and sizes to suit all swimmer.

Between Races

At most swim meets, there are warm up sessions ahead of the main races.  It’s very important that you keep your muscles warmed up after these warm ups. So, don’t hang around in wet bathers, always change out of warm up swimwear to dry race wear ready for your race

Following your pre-swim warm up, you should always put on some warm clothing, even if the pool environment already feels very warm. In most competitive pools, air temperatures will be very similar to the water temperature (around 27C or 80F). While this feels warm, it’s still well below your body’s core temperature of around 36C (98F), which allows for steady heat loss.

Choose clothing that feels as warm as possible, but not so warm it become uncomfortable or makes you sweat. Loose clothing, like a dry robe or a Swimzi, that can easily be removed when you are called for races also a good idea.

Sharks Swim & Triathlon

If you’re not happy with your competition swim gear, why don’t you pop down to our shop in Gorseinon to have a look at our range of race suits and goggles.  Alternatively, you can order online from our website at

Leave a comment