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.
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.
When presented with the opportunity to raise money to help those with Multiple Sclerosis, Rachel Clift didn’t hesitate for a second.
“My mom told me about Swim for MS,” explains Clift. “Swimming is what I love to do, so when I heard I could raise money by swimming, I said ‘how can I sign up?’”
The Swim for MS initiative is a campaign run by the Multiple Sclerosis Association of American that challenges participants to take to the water with any sort of aquatic activity – diving, swimming, surfing, you name it – to raise funds to support programs for those with MS.
SwimOutlet.com has been an official supporter of the swimming fundraiser since January 2013.
“Missy Franklin supports Swim for MS and she’s totally my idol,” said Clift, from Scotts Valley, California. “So it was even more exciting to get involved.”
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.
Enough said. School has been out for the summer, but that also means double-practices. The good news? No homework, no studying and no tests. We get the summer to focus solely on practice, meets and of course, tanning. As a swimmer, taking naps is almost mandatory, even if it's for a few minutes. Between doubles, we now get to hibernate for more than 30 minutes. The added stress of school is gone, freeing up your time for summer adventures to the beach or spending the warm nights outside.
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:
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…
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
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.
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.
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.
TOP TECH SUITS REVIEWED:
Men's High End Technical Suits - Jump to Reviews | Visit Category Page
Arena Carbon Pro - Gangloff Review | Product Page
Blueseventy Nero XII - Gangloff Review | Product Page
Head Liquid Fire - Gangloff Review | Product Page
Dolfin Platinum2 - Gangloff Review | Product Page
Rocket Science FU2 Racer - Gangloff Review | Product Page
TYR AP12 - Gangloff Review | Product Page
FINIS Hydrospeed Velo - Gangloff Review | Product Page
Speedo LZR Elite - Gangloff Review | Product Page
Nike Flex LT - Gangloff Review | Product Page
Women's High End Technical Suits - Jump to Reviews | Visit Category Page
Arena Carbon Pro - Stupp Review | Product Page
Blueseventy Nero XII - Stupp Review | Product Page
Dolfin Platinum2 - Stupp Review | Product Page
Rocket Science FU2 Racer - Stupp Review | Product Page
TYR AP12 - Stupp Review | Product Page
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 February, click 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.
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.
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