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Wetsuit fatigue. How to overcome it?
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So, not a swimmer. Last winter did a 3 month swim block where I was swimming 5/6 times per week. Improved my mechanics, gained some speed, and some endurance.

Fast-forward to last Friday, I went to the Bay to try my new swim progress and BAM! it happened again: about 200 yards in my arms are just so tired. I only managed to get 1800 yds in before my left arm was just gone. I couldn't finish the pull, my tricep was just dead.

I have an Xterra wetsuit, one of their low-end models (Vortex 4), and I had this issue last year too, and I thought that with all the swimming I did over the winter (I still swim 4 times per week, about 2500 yards per session, mixture of speed work and endurance, I swim with a Masters Club). But a lot of my friends have similar or the same wetsuit, in fact, a really good swimmer (25min HIM) swims with us and he owns the same wetsuit I have, and he does not have this issue. None of my triathlete friends have this issue.

I went to Xterra today here in San Diego to check if maybe I'm in the wrong size wetsuit. I'm 5'10", and weigh 168lbs, according to their chart I'm an M. They agreed. They offered their high-end suit, the Vengeance:

https://www.xterrawetsuits.com/collections/vengeance-full/products/vengeance-fullsuit?variant=3163696771


But before I unload even more money into this sport, I'm trying to figure out if flexibility of the wetsuit really IS my problem, or if it's something else.


Anybody had this issue? How did you overcome it?
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Re: Wetsuit fatigue. How to overcome it? [guscrown] [ In reply to ]
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Check out the new Roka arms up tech, but what helped me was doing shoulder press combined with squats, also rotator cuff exercises. That said, more experience swimming in a wetsuit also helps.
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Re: Wetsuit fatigue. How to overcome it? [EnderWiggan] [ In reply to ]
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EnderWiggan wrote:
Check out the new Roka arms up tech, but what helped me was doing shoulder press combined with squats, also rotator cuff exercises. That said, more experience swimming in a wetsuit also helps.

Thanks. Other people have suggested also to do dry-land band work. I have started that too.
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Re: Wetsuit fatigue. How to overcome it? [guscrown] [ In reply to ]
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Very interesting been wondering about this. So been doing a number of wetsuit swims getting ready for Florida 70.3. Have Roka maverick and a Roka maverick x. My x is my race suit. Noticed my shoulders getting tired about 1500 yards open water swimming in my maverick. I do weights and stretch cords. Today alittle tired from other workouts but decided to swim in the x to see if the same thing happened. No problems with shoulders 2009 yards I was tired around 1700 yards but I expected that beacause i needed a rest day. The arms up really works
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Re: Wetsuit fatigue. How to overcome it? [rhudson] [ In reply to ]
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rhudson wrote:
Very interesting been wondering about this. So been doing a number of wetsuit swims getting ready for Florida 70.3. Have Roka maverick and a Roka maverick x. My x is my race suit. Noticed my shoulders getting tired about 1500 yards open water swimming in my maverick. I do weights and stretch cords. Today alittle tired from other workouts but decided to swim in the x to see if the same thing happened. No problems with shoulders 2009 yards I was tired around 1700 yards but I expected that beacause i needed a rest day. The arms up really works

I've been eyeing the Roka for quite some time, but what bums be out is that other people have no issues swimming in low-end wetsuits, and for some reason I need to spend $700-$900 on a wetsuit. And add also the fact that I'm a little nervous I spend that much, and I continue to have this issue.
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Re: Wetsuit fatigue. How to overcome it? [guscrown] [ In reply to ]
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I bought both my suits at Ironman Wisconsin half off.
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Re: Wetsuit fatigue. How to overcome it? [guscrown] [ In reply to ]
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200 yards in your arms are already "so tired"? Do you feel noticeable strain/resistance when making swim motions while wearing a wetsuit? I train in a pool but semi-regularly do open water swims in a wetsuit, usually 1-2 but max 4 miles, and I've never felt fatigued wearing the wetsuit. But my turnover is fairly mellow. And my Roka Elite (older, non-arms up model) fits exceptionally well.
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Re: Wetsuit fatigue. How to overcome it? [niccolo] [ In reply to ]
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Quote:
Do you feel noticeable strain/resistance when making swim motions while wearing a wetsuit?

No. I know sometimes I don't spend enough time putting it on perfectly, but this part Friday I made sure it was on the way it should be. Pulled the sleeves up towards my shoulders. No separation between my armpits and the neoprene. Pulled it up into my crotch, etc.

I'm thinking it has more to do with lack of strength/endurance, and lack of familiarity with being in the wetsuit/openwater. Maybe I don't gauge my effort that well when I'm in OW? Maybe all the neoprene covering my skin does't give me that feedback you get when being semi-naked in the pool? I don't see the black tiles underneath me so I can't really judge how fast/slow I'm going? One of my hypothesis is that I am swimming harder than I think I am.

I am thinking I go next Friday and go easy, and see how far I can go before I get fatigued.
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Re: Wetsuit fatigue. How to overcome it? [guscrown] [ In reply to ]
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guscrown wrote:
rhudson wrote:
Very interesting been wondering about this. So been doing a number of wetsuit swims getting ready for Florida 70.3. Have Roka maverick and a Roka maverick x. My x is my race suit. Noticed my shoulders getting tired about 1500 yards open water swimming in my maverick. I do weights and stretch cords. Today alittle tired from other workouts but decided to swim in the x to see if the same thing happened. No problems with shoulders 2009 yards I was tired around 1700 yards but I expected that beacause i needed a rest day. The arms up really works

I've been eyeing the Roka for quite some time, but what bums be out is that other people have no issues swimming in low-end wetsuits, and for some reason I need to spend $700-$900 on a wetsuit. And add also the fact that I'm a little nervous I spend that much, and I continue to have this issue.
Sleeveless are cheaper, if that's the main concern.
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Re: Wetsuit fatigue. How to overcome it? [spudone] [ In reply to ]
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Quote:
Sleeveless are cheaper, if that's the main concern.

Yeah, I may go this route for now. I was just curious to see if other people had this issue and how they solved it.
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Re: Wetsuit fatigue. How to overcome it? [guscrown] [ In reply to ]
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Might be that you do not pull the shoulders all they way up when you are putting it on. Do you make sure you pull the sleeves ALL the way up your arms so the armpit of the suit comes all the way up to your skin and is not stretched or even separated from your armpit at all? This makes a huge difference.

-------------
Ed O'Malley
http://www.motivengines.com
@EdwardOMalley
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Re: Wetsuit fatigue. How to overcome it? [RowToTri] [ In reply to ]
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RowToTri wrote:
Might be that you do not pull the shoulders all they way up when you are putting it on. Do you make sure you pull the sleeves ALL the way up your arms so the armpit of the suit comes all the way up to your skin and is not stretched or even separated from your armpit at all? This makes a huge difference.

Yes, I do that. I've watched a ton of youtube videos on how to put a wetsuit on and I always make sure the skin of my armpits make contact with the neoprene.
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Re: Wetsuit fatigue. How to overcome it? [guscrown] [ In reply to ]
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guscrown wrote:
RowToTri wrote:
Might be that you do not pull the shoulders all they way up when you are putting it on. Do you make sure you pull the sleeves ALL the way up your arms so the armpit of the suit comes all the way up to your skin and is not stretched or even separated from your armpit at all? This makes a huge difference.


Yes, I do that. I've watched a ton of youtube videos on how to put a wetsuit on and I always make sure the skin of my armpits make contact with the neoprene.

Can you raise your arms straight up over your head squeezing your arms into your ears like you were streamlining off a wall in the pool and feel zero resistance in the shoulders from the wetsuit? If not, spend more time pulling it up. That's the key metric for me to know when I have it on properly.
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Re: Wetsuit fatigue. How to overcome it? [guscrown] [ In reply to ]
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I can't believe I'm the first one to say this. Get a DeSoto two piece suit.

Not everything is as it seems -Mr. Miagi
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Re: Wetsuit fatigue. How to overcome it? [guscrown] [ In reply to ]
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Sleeveless.
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Re: Wetsuit fatigue. How to overcome it? [guscrown] [ In reply to ]
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Start at minute 2:20. Ever since I have had someone do this for me my shoulder fatigue has gone away.
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Re: Wetsuit fatigue. How to overcome it? [chxddstri] [ In reply to ]
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I think the newer suits such as Roka probably address this better. I have a De Soto 2 piece and still get same type of fatigue.
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Re: Wetsuit fatigue. How to overcome it? [timmywins] [ In reply to ]
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Re: Wetsuit fatigue. How to overcome it? [guscrown] [ In reply to ]
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I always seem to have this issue with wetsuits. It's NOT a swim fitness problem - I do most of my open water swimming sans wetsuit and can go for several miles without fatigue. With a wetsuit, I start to experience significant shoulder fatigue about a half-mile in. It has happened with every brand I've ever tried.

I do think a huge part of the problem is not having a proper fit (which can be hard for some body types). I'm not sure why it seems to plague some people more than others - might be your anatomy, stroke mechanics, or something else.

Most of the wetsuit companies have a liberal return policy, which really helps. I would say try out a few until you find one that works. Only go to sleeveless as a last resort.
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Re: Wetsuit fatigue. How to overcome it? [kells] [ In reply to ]
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Going to also put in a note for Desoto two piece. With my build the shoulders on many models were just too tight but Desoto has been awesome. I LOVE my long sleeve top and the sleeveless I found marginal. The other bonus on the two piece is just utilizing the bottoms training in warmer temps.

Banger
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Re: Wetsuit fatigue. How to overcome it? [guscrown] [ In reply to ]
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Like the previous poster said, it could be due to it not being pulled up enough in the arms. I had the exact same issues in my Xterra suit, and then I got a new brand new wetsuit and had the very same issues. It turned out that I just needed to spend a lot of time really pulling it up over my upper arms, and get it ridiculously high. Once I started doing that, the arm restriction I was feeling almost disappeared.
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Re: Wetsuit fatigue. How to overcome it? [guscrown] [ In reply to ]
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I used to have the vortex and had some mild fatigue. Nothing major but it was noticeable. Then I got a good deal on a Roka pro, and the difference was amazing. They way they designed the shoulder I don't feel any fatigue at all. I have been nothing but happy with the Roka.
Given, I paid a lot for that shoulder functionality, but it's been great. You could also go the cheaper route and get a sleeveless.
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Re: Wetsuit fatigue. How to overcome it? [guscrown] [ In reply to ]
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guscrown wrote:
Fast-forward to last Friday, I went to the Bay to try my new swim progress and BAM! it happened again: about 200 yards in my arms are just so tired. I only managed to get 1800 yds in before my left arm was just gone. I couldn't finish the pull, my tricep was just dead.

Are you getting the wetsuit wet a day or two before you go out to swim? Soak it for an hour or so, then hang it up. I noticed this when the first open water swim of the year was awful because the suit has been in the closet for six months. By the end of the season, no more shoulder fatigue when I swim.

Get that wetsuit up up up up over your shoulders. Pull up through hips and chest, then arms. Get it up over your shoulders. You're probably already doing this.
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Re: Wetsuit fatigue. How to overcome it? [guscrown] [ In reply to ]
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You're in the US, so with ridiculously easy shipping options, just get both a DeSoto and a Roka to try. They both have very generous return policies. As does Xterra too, no?
So you have nothing to lose by trying them.
I have pretty wide shoulders, and DeSoto has been the most comfortable for me (after trying B70 Helix, Roka, and Huub).
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Re: Wetsuit fatigue. How to overcome it? [guscrown] [ In reply to ]
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Is there not the possibility of renting the suit to try it out.
A lot of shops in my area rent them out, probably not the higher end models but you never know.
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