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postheadericon Beginner triathlete – novice ironman and the importance of wetsuits – warmer, lighter or faster

Beginner Triathlete – Novice Ironman and the Importance of Wetsuits – Warmer, Lighter Or Faster?

It is pretty obvious to the triathlon community that triathlon wetsuits are not all created equal.

At the same time, it often feels like we have taken the importance of exactly how a triathlon wetsuit is actually constructed a bit too seriously. After all, when it comes right down to it, is really necessary to get excited about a wetsuit because it is a millimeter thicker than the one you owned the previous season?

It appears that the goal is to have a creation that is thinner and faster, but still as warm as a wetsuit with thicker construction.

IN THE EARLY DAYS

In the early days of triathlon the races were few and far between. To make matters worse, in many areas with water temperatures that hovered around 60 degrees Fahrenheit it was a challenge for many triathletes just to avoid hypothermia. There simply were no wetsuits back then except perhaps for the early “Farmer John” type that did nothing at all to keep a person warmer, which begs the question, “what exactly did they do”?

Of course a person could always buy a “dry-suit” –that would be impossibly heavy and hot– at a dive shop, but it would be years before the real triathlon “wetsuits” were available to all triathletes regardless of where they lived.

For the Canadian triathlete, it was pretty much almost a certainty that hypothermia was going to rear its head in any triathlon swim leg in Canada back in the eighties unless the race happened to be on the West Coast. The severity of the hypothermia often depended on actual swimming ability of the triathlete. The better a triathlete could swim back then, the sooner the swim leg would be over so it was a simple matter of those whoever got out of the water the soonest were less likely to suffer from the cold as much.

EFFICIENT SWIMMING IS THE KEY

If a triathlete did not have an energy-saving stroke it was often difficult to retain enough co-ordination once out of the water to be able to climb on a bike. It was not unusual for it to take ten minutes or more for a triathlete to warm up enough to be able to cycle at all. Some of the early triathletes reached the danger point of hypothermia and were often unable to carry on in the race at all.

The wetsuit was born in the mid to late eighties and began to evolve at a quick pace in the decades to follow. Every single year you could pretty much be guaranteed that a new improved wetsuit would be on the market. Often the new wetsuits came with the promise that it would make you a faster swimmer then ever before.

FASTER IS NOT ALWAYS BETTER

This philosophy of “faster is better” really sucked people in because they had yet to figure out how little importance swim time really has on the end result of an Ironman. This is especially true of age-groupers who simply want to finish the race any way they can. Still, many triathletes were sucked in over and over again and could spend a few thousand dollars on wetsuits over a career.

Unfortunately, it would take years for some triathletes to figure out that swimming faster is not the secret to a successful Ironman. Real success is realized when emphasis is placed on finishing the swim leg of an Ironman with as little energy loss as possible. In reality, success in an Ironman has very little to do with the thickness of a wetsuit, how seamless the stitching, or how stretchy the armpits are.

STAYING WARM IS THE KEY

Ultimately, the most important feature of a wetsuit for the average age-group triathlete or novice Ironman is the protection it provides from the cold. It is of paramount importance to always keep in mind that if you burn yourself out from the swim because you lack a smooth, energy-saving stroke you will most likely be part of the Ironman “death march”.

For the beginner triathlete or novice Ironman, the goal should be to get through the swim with as little discomfort as possible and with as little mental, emotional, and physical stress as possible. Any type of stress has a way of contributing to the loss energy that will without a doubt be desperately need later on in the race. This is most especially true to the Ironman because of the sheer distance of the race.

postheadericon A balloon flight is fun for all ages

A Balloon Flight is Fun For All Ages

While traditionally seen as a setting for romance in the sky, a hot air balloon flight is meant to be fun for everyone and is an adventure for all.  Ballooning is safe for children over 6 years of age, and is considered a low risk activity in general.  Perhaps not quite as fun for those with a severe case of acrophobia (fear of heights), hot air flights are for the most part an activity that can be participated in by almost anyone.  As long as you are careful to ensure all safety guidelines are met, your balloon flight should be an experience that everyone on board will find enjoyable and thrilling.

The younger lot may find it exciting to be as high in the sky as their favourite super hero, while the older may be glad to be able to go on adventure they’ve always wanted to embark upon.  The view from so high in the sky is something that is breathtaking enough for anyone to appreciate.  Even those who experience apprehension about going on a balloon flight, find the thrill of the ride so great they’re likely to do it all over again.  

From couples to families to colleagues, a hot air balloon flight is an experience that can be enjoyed by just about anyone.  If you happen to be an adventuresome sort, the exhilaration will appeal to you.  Conversely, if you seek a journey into the clouds as a way to reflect on the majesty of the land below, it is sure to please.  Hot air balloon rides offer a diverse array of sensations that will appeal to all ages from all walks of life.  From kids to kids at heart and everywhere in between, there is plenty to enjoy on a balloon flight.  

When in search of a unique and unparalleled escapade that all can appreciate, you just might choose to take flight in a hot air balloon and find what you’re all looking for.  The perspective offered from miles in the air is enough to clear away any stress from daily life and give-renewed vitality to your journey.  For the younger crowd, finding themselves high in the clouds might excite them so much they’ll be chomping at the bit to tell their schoolmates about it.  Whatever the case may be, finding the right setting for a balloon flight and taking off into the sky is something that is sure to be loved by all aboard.

postheadericon Choosing the right towable tube

Choosing the Right Towable Tube

There are a lot of really great options out there, and the first obstacle you’ll face when trying to choose a towable inflatable is how to choose the right one for you among so many options. By looking at your specific needs, however, you can easily narrow down your choices and make choosing the right tube for you a much easier task.

The first question is who will be riding in the inflatable? There are ones made for one rider, or a dozen. Of course, the more riders your tube is capable of the bigger, and more expensive, they’ll be. Many people find it more fun to ride in a group which makes that worth it though. Another consideration on this front is whether everyone will be riding on this tube, or just children. If you’re only getting this tube for a child to ride on there are ones made specifically for the size of a child that may better fit your needs. Of course, the child can ride in one of average sized ones as well.

Price is always a consideration of course, and as mentioned above the price will go up with the number of riders. There is such a large selection though that there really is something in every price range, you can spend anywhere from a hundred dollars to a few thousand on a tube.

The rest of your decision is all your personal tastes, for instance, color, design, style. You can find a bright yellow tube, or a green one. You can find a typical circular shaped inflatable, or one shaped like a giant hot dog. This is all up to your personal tastes.

Before heading out for a day on the water be sure you’ve thought about any safety equipment you may need-for instance, life vests, water helmets, and a tow or harness in good condition.

All of these decisions should be fun ones to make and hopefully get you excited for your days on the water!