The UPS guy dropped off the new 2XU wetsuit today, pretty exciting. It fits completely different than the old OR I've been using. Wetsuit technology has advanced a bit, panels are of a different thickness here and there to give an athlete more mobility and/or float better.
They also fit tighter. This is much smaller than the old one, and I suspect faster.. The old suit most likely let water in, which weighs a person down and creates drag.
Either way, I put it on right away out of excitement and it felt great. I won't really know if it performs better for months but since I made a commitment to swimming frequently and hard last year my times have dropped alot, and I'm closer to parity with folks that I want to be racing.
I have no illusions about swimming faster than anyone, I just don't want to give anything up!
At Alcatraz last year I had a great swim that was indicative of the work I'd done.. 35min for a 1.5mile swim; (Half Iron is 1.2mi) so I knew I'd done the right things, then I got to USAT Nats and swam like a moron.
In the first 150 yards or so I swam directly into another wave of folks on the in-bound portion of the swim, and worked like crazy to find my group again.
Needless to say, navigation skills are pretty important in open water, and that day I had minimal skills. The swim was really affected by some blinding sun and I just didn't take it into account.
The result was a swim a good 5min slower than what I hoped to do. C'est la vie.
I'm hoping to implant a GPS Nav system into this suit to mitigate that mistake next race.