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THE REVIEW

Top Swim Products Tested and Reviewed by Gold Medalist Mark Gangloff

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The Official Blog of SwimOutlet.com!

  • Aug

    August Interscholastic Coach of the Month Award

     
     

    Coaches are the backbone of any swim team and frequently the unsung heroes of an athlete’s success. They are the instructors, motivators, teachers and role models for many young athletes and swimmers. That’s why it’s important that SwimOutlet.com partners with organizations like the National Interscholastic Swim Coaches Association (NISCA). Every month, we recognize a different coach around the country for their tireless devotion to our sport and its athletes with our SwimOutlet.com Coach of the Month Award.

    This month’s SwimOutlet.com Coach of the Month spotlights Chris Deger, a 33-year coaching veteran of both water polo and swimming at Maine South in Park Ridge, IL. Congrats!

     

     

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  • Aug

    Open Water Swim Tips

    by Jarrod Shoemaker, 2008 Olympic triathlete & SwimOutlet.com expert contributor

     


    The growth in open water swimming in the past decade has been tremendous, whether for fitness, competition or multi-sport events like triathlons. Venues range from lakes to rivers to bays to oceans and each one presents different challenges. Most open water swimmers train for races exclusively in the pool and this can leave them unprepared for open water swimming. There are a few important techniques to think about when swimming open water, so I put them together with my tips: sighting, stroke efficiency, buoy turns and water entries and exits.

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  • Jul

    The Gangloff Review: Mark Gangloff & Julie Stupp Break Down the Latest Swim Watches

    By Mark Gangloff, Olympic Gold Medalist

    For quite some time “land” athletes have benefitted from technology. Between watches, GPS devices, computers, and even shoes that provide key metrics, land athletes have been able to track their training, compare results, and set goals rather easily. In the pool, we are often left to our own devices (no pun intended): counting.

    Recently, there has been a transition to swimmer-friendly technology. Among them, Swim.com has launched in beta this summer, providing a swim tracking and workout platform that is compatible across multiple wearables, including some tech watches that I have reviewed here.

    Tech watches – some people call them smart watches – for swimmers provide key feedback and relieve the athlete of counting, tracking, and roping an innocent bystander into keep your pace.

    Over the last several weeks, I have tried many tech watches for swimmers. I am thrilled about these innovations and what they could do for our sport and our athletes so a brief overview follows.

     

     

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    Tagged with: #gangloffreview #markgangloff #juliestupp #swimwatches #swimoutlet #swim.com
  • Jun

    Swim Like a Champion Video Series Wins National Award

    The Telly Awards has named the “Swim Like a Champion” DVD series – available online exclusively at SwimOutlet.com – as a Silver Winner in the 35th Annual Telly Awards. “Swim Like a Champion” was produced by The Fitter & Faster Swim Tour presented by SwimOutlet.com together with Championship Productions and has been the best-selling training video on SwimOutlet.com since its launch last December.

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    Tagged with: #fitterandfaster #swimtour #swimlikeachampion #DVDseries #tellyawards #swimoutlet
  • May

    5 Things You Didn't Know About Jimmy Feigen

    Behind every swim champion is a normal person, just like the rest of us. They have a sense of humor, friends and family that inspire them to do better, hobbies (other than swimming-- believe it or not), favorite foods, and places that they call home. Olympic swimmer and TYR Athlete, Jimmy Feigen, gives us a glimpse into his world and shares 5 random facts about himself.

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  • May

    The Shoemaker Tri Review: Using Stretch Cords

    By Jarrod Shoemaker

    As athletes we are constantly bombarded with information about the next best gadget that can measure this or help us do that. However, there is one accessory that is cheap, useful, and every athlete should have in his or her bag of tricks. That gadget is a stretch cord.

    Stretch cords are a useful tool for every athlete. The list of uses for stretch cords are long, but I will focus on some of the important uses and some recommendations for buying stretch cords.

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    Tagged with: #shoemakerreview #triathlon #tri #stretchcords #dryland #training #jarrodshoemaker #swimoutlet
  • Apr

    The Training Arena - Q&A with Laura Sogar

     

    The latest installment of our series about training features Arena athlete Laura Sogar.

    Leave a question or comment for Laura below by May 5 11:59PM, and you will be entered to win a pair of the Arena COBRA goggles.


    1) We all know getting in the pool can be a struggle some days, what keeps you motivated on days like this?

    I will be the first to admit how hard getting up for those 5:30 morning workouts can be but thinking about my competition and if they are working hard that morning always gets me motivated to make sure I am not losing out on any training time. It helps that I always end up having fun with my teammates once I am at workout and any of that initial desire not to go is quickly forgotten when we are laughing during warmup.

    2) What does the inside of your swim bag look like- do you have a favorite practice suit, type of goggle, or training accessory?

    I really really love my arena challenge back suit, I wear them every single day at workout and they’re super comfortable and flattering. As far as equipment goes I cannot do without my kickboard. Kicking is a huge part of my stroke so I spend a lot of quality time with my board doing kick sets. I also am getting really into yoga so at a meet you can often see me with my yoga block stretching out before warmup.

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    Tagged with: #trainingarena #laurasogar #arena #q&a #swimmer #swim #swimoutlet
  • Mar

    Top 2014 Tech Suits Compared - The Gangloff Review

    TOP 2014 TECH SUITS REVIEWED:

    2014 Men's High End Technical Suits - Jump to Reviews | Visit Category Page
    Arena Carbon Pro - Gangloff Review | Product Page
    Blueseventy Nero 14 - Gangloff Review | Product Page
    Speedo LZR Racer Elite 2 - Gangloff Review | Product Page
    Engine Armour Wingskin - Gangloff Review | Product Page
    Nike NG-1  - Gangloff Review | Product Page
    FINIS Vapor - Gangloff Review | Product Page
    TYR Tracer Light - Gangloff Review | Product Page
    Arena Carbon Flex - Gangloff Review | Product Page 

    2014 Women's High End Technical Suits  - Jump to Reviews | Visit Category Page
    Arena Carbon Pro - Stupp Review | Product Page
    Blueseventy Nero 14 - Stupp Review | Product Page
    Speedo LZR Racer Elite 2 - Stupp Review | Product Page
    Engine Armour Wingskin - Stupp Review | Product Page
    Nike NG-1 - Stupp Review | Product Page
    FINIS Vapor - Stupp Review | Product Page
    TYR Tracer Light - Stupp Review | Product Page
    Arena Carbon Flex - Stupp Review | Product Page  

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    Tagged with: #technicalsuits #MarkGangloff #JulieStupp #techsuitreview #swimoutlet
  • Mar

    The Shoemaker Review: Compression Socks

     

    by Jarrod Shoemaker

    Until just a few years ago compression socks were confined to hospitals and rehab units for use in post-surgery, diabetes and people who needed to stimulate blood flow. The few athletes who used compression socks used them to combat dreaded “cankles” (pooling of blood in the feet and ankles during prolonged periods of sitting) on long-haul flights. Then suddenly, athletes were wearing compression socks in racing, from 5Ks to marathons to triathlons. 

    Since the increase in popularity of compression garments began, there have been numerous studies to determine how effective compression socks and sleeves are. Generally, the majority of the studies have come to the conclusion that they do not increase performance. But just because they don’t directly impact performance, doesn’t mean there aren’t a lot of other good reasons to use or try compression clothing.

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    Tagged with: #compressionsocks #shoemaker #shoemakerreview #triathlete #triathlons #socks
  • Feb

    TYR Athlete Matt Grevers Reveals His Favorite Training Equipment

    As swimmers, we know that the key to success is being dedicated to your training day in and day out. With that said, we asked 4-time gold medalist, Matt Grevers, what his two must-have training items are. Here's what he had to say:

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    Tagged with: #training #TYR #MattGrevers #Olympian #swimoutlet
  • Jan

    The Training Arena - Q&A with Claire Donahue

     

    The latest installment of our series about training features Arena athlete Claire Donahue, who is also a regular on the Fitter & Faster Tour Presented by SwimOutlet.com and appears in the Swim Like a Champion DVD series.

    Leave a question or comment for Claire below, and you will be entered to win the Swim Like a Champion – Butterfly DVD featuring Claire.

     

     

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    Tagged with: #trainingarena #arena #fitterandfaster #olympian #clairedonahue
  • Jan

    January Interscholastic Coach of the Month Award

     

     

    Coaches are the backbone of any swim team. They offer motivation, support, advice, praise and criticism.

    Without a swim coach, many swimmers might not have the self-discipline and determination necessary to achieve success.

    For that reason, SwimOutlet.com has teamed up with the National Interscholastic Swim Coaches Association (NISCA) – the organization of high school swim coaches – to celebrate a monthly SwimOutlet.com Interscholastic Coach of the Month Award.

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    Tagged with: #NISCA #SwimOutlet #Coach #Award #NationalCoachesAssociation
  • Jan

    Michael Phelps: The Comeback Predictions

    The greatest swimmer -- greatest Olympian -- of all-time is mulling a comeback. Michael Phelps may not be saying so publicly, but his actions have clearly left a trail of clues that signal a return to the sport he dominated from 2003 to 2012. During that time, he won a record 22 Olympic medals, including an incredible 18 gold medals and 11 individual gold medals. Phelps began training again last year, and, in October, public records showed that Phelps had re-entered the U.S. drug testing pool, a pre-requisite for swimming athletes looking to compete at elite-level competitions.

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    Tagged with: #michaelphelps #comeback #olympian #swim #phelps
  • Dec

    The Training Arena - Q&A with Matt McLean

     

    Here is our monthly SwimOutlet.com blog featuring a Q&A with an Arena athlete talking about all things training! December's edition features 25-year-old Matt McLean, a 2012 Olympic Medalist. Leave a question or comment for Matt to answer at the bottom by December 31 and you’ll be entered to win an Arena prize!

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    Tagged with: #Arena #trainingarena #olympian #mattmclean #2012olympics #swim
  • Dec

    Swim Like a Champion DVDs: Behind-the-Scenes of the Production

    By Chloe Sutton

    When I work with the Fitter & Faster Team, I know that no matter what we do, we do it big! We take an idea and we do everything possible to make it the best thing out there. When you’re working with a group of Olympic Swimmers, you know that we’re competitive, disciplined, and we never settle for anything but an epic success. So when I was invited along with a group of my favorite fellow Olympic swimmers to San Jose, California for a secret project, I knew that something amazing was in the process. 

     

     

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    Tagged with: #swimlikeachampion #olympians #swim #dvd
  • Nov

    The Training Arena - Q&A with Caitlin Leverenz

     

    Here is our monthly SwimOutlet.com blog featuring a Q&A with an Arena athlete talking about all things training! November's edition features 22-year-old Caitlin Leverenz, a 2012 Olympic Medalist and NCAA athlete at University of California Berkeley. Leave a question or comment for Caitlin to answer at the bottom by November 29 and you’ll be entered to win an Arena towel and goggles!

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    Tagged with: #caitlinleverenz #arena #q&a #olympicmedalist #trainingarena
  • Oct

    The Training Arena - Q&A with Megan Romano

    Today starts a new monthly series on the SwimOutlet.com blog featuring a Q&A with an Arena athlete talking about all things training! The first features 22-year-old Megan Romano, a 2013 World Champion and NCAA champion at Georgia. Leave a question or comment for Megan to answer at the bottom by October 28 and you’ll be entered to win an Arena backpack!

    1.) We all know long training sessions are not always the most glamorous, what is the thing you love about training most and what’s your least favorite?

    I don’t know many people who enjoy anything about practice (haha). But I love the feeling you get after having a really good practice and you’re really pumped about practicing the next day. You can’t wait to get to the pool and have an even better practice. I also like the feeling of getting stronger and better each day I practice. There is always something to work on. On the other hand, my least favorite thing about practice is waking up Monday, Wednesday and Friday mornings at 5:30 am. It’s tough but you know it’s for the best. Getting up and actually going to practice and actually jumping in the freezing cold pool is another one of my least favorite things. But once you’re actually there and swimming, it’s not bad.

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    Tagged with: #swim # Megan Romano # Arena # training # interview # athlete
  • Oct

    The Open Water Challenge of the RCP Tiburon Mile

    As the ferry neared the shores of Angel Island, the idea of lunging into the icy bay for a nautical-mile swim became a reality. Hundreds of people stripped down to their swimsuits and lined the beach waiting for the start of the race. Among us were a dozen Olympians, who chatted with one another as they anticipated the final countdown. They were the first to go -- at 9:10AM the elite division departed at the blast of a shotgun.

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    Tagged with: #Tiburon Mile # open water swim # RCP Tiburon Mile # swim
  • Sep

    Preparing for the Open Water Challenge of the Tiburon Mile

    Preparing for an open-water swim is both mentally and physically exerting. Swimming in a large body of water, as opposed to a pool, can also be an extremely rewarding experience. However, the preparations and training leading up to the event are crucial.

    A few swimmers here at SwimOutlet.com are getting the chance to swim the popular RCP Tiburon Mile at the end of September -- so it's been a crash course to get ready. The RCP Tiburon Mile is one of the best-known swim races in the San Francisco Bay. This particular event features a mile of swimming in open waters, and solid preparation is key.

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    Tagged with: #open water swim # tiburon mile # swimming # preparing for a race # race preparation
  • Aug

    Swim Team: Celebrating Teammates

    With many swimmers wrapping up summer training and heading back to school, it’s a great time to remember one of our favorite aspects of our swim team: teammates! Best buddies. Family. Our weirdest friends. Whatever you call them, they are the people we see day in and out, sometimes for hours at a time.

    To on-lookers, it may appear that swimming is an individual sport with one person racing in their own lane, swimming for their personal best time. Behind the scenes, it's so much more than meets the eye.

    Teammates are with us doing our best sets, or when we false start at a meet. It's one of the aspects that make this sport so amazing. From playing cards between sessions to celebrating best times after a meet, teammates are there to make those little victories sweeter and pick us up on our toughest days.

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  • Aug

    Top Tech Suits and Fashion Suits at 2013 Worlds

    While the world was checking out times and tallying scores at the recent 2013 Swimming Worlds, the fashionistas at SwimOutlet.com noticed other aspects of the meet: the best and brightest swimsuits on display in Barcelona.

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    Tagged with: #competition swim # fashion # swimming worlds
  • Jun

    Top Self Massagers Compared - The Gangloff Review

     

    Hey guys! It’s Mark Gangloff and I am back with another product review. Let me start this post by thanking everyone who gave feedback on my last post. Your comments, questions, and general interest have gotten me even more excited about continuing to share my own experience and thoughts with you about the products that I choose and love. I hope you will enjoy this review just as much! 

    This review will be a little bit different from the last one, as it is not about equipment that I use in the pool. Instead, it is an out-of-water, out-of-practice piece of equipment.  Yet, it’s VITAL to my success. I have been swimming for the last 22 years and I have never had any major injuries. One of the most common questions that I am asked is, "How do you prevent injuries?" My answer is always, "I get regular massages." Most people think (and sometimes even say), "Oh he is an Olympian and is entitled to a fancy massage." I have to explain to them that while I do get a massage every two weeks, the majority of massages I do myself.  I give myself some sort of massage at least every other day – if not every day. 

    While this review is not intended to be a teaching session, I must say this: DO NOT WALK OFF DECK WITH TIGHT MUSCLES. IT MAKES TOMORROW MUCH HARDER. While stretching does help, I find a combination of stretching and massage is what really allows me to maintain high levels of performance day in and day out.

    During this review, I am going to be speaking specifically about three of the products that SwimOutlet carries:

    1. AeroMat Elite Foam Roller
    2. Tiger Tail Rolling Muscle Massager
    3. Moji 360 Massager

    There are 18 different foam rollers and massagers on Swimoutlet.com, but many of them are variations of the same product. So I will review these three categories and will do my best to make suggestions about the other products along the way. I will start this review with the most general type of massager and move onto massagers great for specific uses. 

    First and foremost: Why use a self-massager? The main reason for using a self-massager is for myofacial release, which is a fancy way of saying “relaxing tight muscles.” The other, less obvious reason to use a self-massager is to warm up before a workout. In fact, I use one kind of massager for warming up and another for muscle relaxation. I’ll explain my reasoning throughout the review.

    Here we go…

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    Tagged with: #selfmassager #Gangloff #swimming #recovery
  • May

    UPDATED: Global Market of Arena POWERSKIN Carbon-Pro Suits Waived of FINA Approval

    Arena Waiving FINA-Approval on the Global Market Supply of POWERSKIN Carbon Pro Technical Suits, Offering Replacement with New Generation Carbon-Pro Mark 2

    UPDATE (7/22): The new FINA-approved Arena Powerskin Carbon Pro MK2 has arrived in stock and is now available for purchase in limited quantities for both men and women.

    To order women's Carbon Pro MK2

    To order men's Carbon Pro MK2

    Dear Customers,

    Arena announced on Monday May 6, 2013, that it was waiving FINA-approval from all Arena POWERSKIN Carbon Pro suits, even those produced and sold prior to 2012. 

    This includes:
    Arena Powerskin Carbon Pro Full Body Short Leg Closed Back (AR220994)
    Arena Powerskin Carbon Pro Full Body Short Leg Open Back (AR220993)
    Arena Powerskin Carbon Pro Jammer (AR141364)

    Arena has stated suit problems arised due to manufacturing irregularities which caused an unintended - and unexpected - reduction of the permeability to air of some of the racing suits produced between the end of 2012 and the beginning of 2013. While only part of their production has been affected, FINA is withdrawing the approval codes for all Carbon Pro models at Arena's request.

    We realize this is a major announcement and unfortunate to current owners of the suit, as the Arena Carbon Pro is considered to be one of the most popular technical suits for competitive swimmers on the market. As testament to Arena's unwavering commitment to its athletes and customers, Arena will provide a new generation, Carbon-Pro Mark 2 as an exchange to any customer with a current model Carbon Pro suit with proof of purchase.

    We will provide a replacement suit (FINA-approved POWERSKIN Carbon-Pro Mark 2) to all customers who have purchased Arena Carbon Pro suits from us in the past. Arena has alerted us that replacements suits will be available to the global market around the July 2013 time frame. We have already alerted current purchasers of this suit about this time frame in case they have any important competitive swim meets planned before that time period. 

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    Tagged with: #arena #powerskin #carbonpro #fina
  • Apr

    Final Training Weekend before Wildflower

    Less than a week to go to Wildflower, I spent this past weekend getting race ready. Saturday morning I slipped into my On Cloudracers and linked my Garmin Forerunner 210 to the satellite. Heading out on the trails I started at an easy pace and charged the hills like I was racing up San Antonio Drive. I spent the last mile of my run focusing on my form and pacing to dial in the right speed and comfort for race day.

    Sunday I was eager to get on my bike and test out my new Giro Air Attack Aero Helmet. I headed out on a flatter course so I could stay in the aerobars as much as possible. The helmet was incredibly comfortable and felt fairly lightweight. My test on a local Strava segment proved it would help my speed on race day. The remainder of the week my workouts will taper down as my excitement grows for Sunday’s race.

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    Tagged with: #Wildflower #Triathlon #Trianing
  • Feb

    What to Look for When Choosing a Women's Tech Suit - The Julie Stupp Guide

    This month, SwimOutlet.com has brought in Olympic gold medalist Mark Gangloff and former US Olympic Trials finalist Julie Stupp to do independent reviews of some of the top tech suits on the market. Those reviews will come later in Februaryclick here to checkout those reviews and here's a quick "what to look for in a tech suit" written by Julie for women's suits. You can also check this handy reference guide from SwimOutlet.com on women's tech suits here.

    Choosing a Women's Tech Suit

    By Julie Stupp

    When choosing a racing suit, each individual athlete has their own likes, dislikes and style preference. You can compare choosing a suit to differing stroke techniques. Every swimmer's stroke is built from the basic technique, but every swimmer has their own flair. Just like every suit has a basic cut, but each suit has its own differing high-tech qualities that makes it stand out.

    While one particular stroke technique or suit brand works for swimmer A, it may not work for swimmer B. When I choose a suit I look for five main components including: 1.) ease to get in; 2.) fit; 3.) comfort while swimming all four disciplines; 4.) compression and; 5.) durability.

    1) Ease to get in
    When I am at a major competition I don’t want the suit to take me too long (more than 8-10 minutes) to get on and I definitely don’t want it to wear me out in the process. If I get too tired while putting on a suit or it becomes a struggle, it is not worth the trouble.

    2) Fit
    The fit of the suit is very important in competition. For me, the suit must not be too tight in the shoulders and it must be long enough in the legs. If the suit is too tight in the shoulders then I know my muscles will easily fatigue in a race, because of all the tension the suit is causing. The suit’s length in the legs is also important to me, because if the suit is too short then it will most likely be too tight around my quads and hamstrings. This tightness can cause a loss of circulation throughout my body, which can cause fatigue and hinder my race performance.

    3) Comfort while swimming all four strokes
    Because I swim the Individual Medley, I must have a suit that functions very well in all four of the strokes. If the suit is comfortable for only a few of the strokes, it does me no good. I want a suit that will stay in place for the breaststroke, create compression in my core and legs for butterfly and freestyle and one that will resist water in the chest for backstroke. This is a tall order but there are definitely suits that have all of these qualities.

    4) Compression
    Finding the perfect balance of compression is tricky. If a suit is too tight you can lose sensation and fatigue quickly but if a suit is too loose you run the risk of trapping water in your chest, torso or legs, which causes major drag. I like my suit to be on the tighter side of compression throughout my core and legs, but I don’t want it to be too t Read More

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    Tagged with: #Julie Stupp # Tech Suits # Technical Suits