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I guess the only issue here is the use of the word "Compete" since even with RD and USAT exception, you likely wouldn't be eligible for awards. Other than the awards issue, If the RD OKs it, have at it and enjoy the race.
808 > NYC > PDX
2019: Honu, IMC, IMMD, IMAZ
AFAIK, most swim run events allow snorkels for anyone. So maybe that's worth thinking about?
I wouldn't care at all, even if you were in my Age Group. I had a cervical disc replacement in October so understand why someone might need to use one to compete. I occasionally use a snorkel in the pool for drills. I personally don't think it would work very well--water getting in it, people bumping it, but if it allows you to compete more power to you. I will be working on a new type of siting (not sure how yet) as a result of my surgery.
Also, using a snorkel open water isn't like using it in the pool with lanes lines that diminish the chop. I've had athletes swallow a lot of water who tried to use snorkels in open water.
Hope this helps.
I don't think your Doc knows much about swimming and about how using a snorkel affects your ability to breath. As Tim ("SnappingT") points out, the snorkel actually makes it HARDER to breath, not easier. I think you should just swim normally as only having 70% lung capacity is not really going to affect your triathlon swimming all that much; now if you were shooting to qualify for the Oly Trials in swimming, sure, your lungs would hinder that but, just for tri swimming, i can't see it being a big problem.
"Anyone can be who they want to be IF they have the HUNGER and the DRIVE."
as others said, not sure that the snorkel is going to help. At high effort this just adds an extra obstacle to airflow, probably better off breathing every other stroke 1:2 or even Gary Hall/monty's 2:3 breathing.
I went through flu, pneumonia, pleurisy, a decade or so ago. Lost about 20-30% of lung function permanently, which has been a bore. Swim sprint times are unchanged, longer distances really fall off.
For tris I used to swim the first few minutes with 1:4 breathing, but can't do that anymore.
my son had pneumonia and a collapsed lung in Dec 2017, was back swim racing in a month or so, and set PRs at conference meet in Feb. What it is to be a young dog..
I also swim slower with a snorkel than without one. Not sure why; I always assumed it was because the snorkel is tiny in diameter and restricts breathing somewhat. Maybe it is hydrodynamics too
And seconding the issue of being in OW with one unless you are not near anyone and it's glass flat. I recently joined a swim program that uses snorkels often, and swam for the first time last weekend with one. There were a few lengths when I had to figure out whether I stop or could I get to the wall as it was full of water. Either through chop, or more often my habit of turning my head even though I didn't need to.. introducing water.
I guess just saying even without lung problems unless you practice quite a bit snorkel in a race is going to introduce ay more issues than it solves
As for how i'd feel if you showed up, wouldn't really care.
Whats wrong with just swimming the pace you can? Swimming is swimming, train in the pool for the pace you can, and then replicate it at the race. Just stay right or left of the group(the opposite side you breath on), take it easy until it sorts out, and then find a pair of feet to swim easily on in a line, or back of a small group..It is already hard for you, no need to make it even harder...
There was a snorkel using participant the year I did IMWI. I didn't care.
ETA - If you want to try a snorkel, check out the power breather. It has 2 tubes vs one and uses one way valves to keep air fresher (no CO2 build up). The one way valves also help with splashing water. Drips of water run down the tubes and out the bottom one way valve, not into your mouth.
That said, it's still freaky to use one in open water. A group I swim with holds regular time at the local river so I tried it out. It would take a bunch of practice for me to not feel panicked with that and lots of other swimmers around me. You see, unlike goggles with an elastic strap, this has a plastic adjustable head strap that is not just quickly pulled off your face in a moment of panic (think flat turning disk like a boa on bike shoes). I'd love to retrofit the head strap to be a standard stretchy band. Last thing, I have a small mouth and the power breather came with a big enough bite piece that it was uncomfortable to hold my jaw like that. So I bought a replacement mouth piece for a generic snorkel and like it much better. (Of course, the dentist also uses kids plates to make molds of my teeth, so I may be an outlier here.)
To breathe, to feel, to know I'm alive.
But more than the diameter of the pipe, what a snorkel allows is CONSTANT breathing both in and out. Whereas the in breath is limited to only being avaliable what, something like 15% (as an educated guess) of the time if on breathe-every-3.
So if your limiting factor is being able suck air in, being able to do it constantly (or ok 50% of the time as you're breathing out the other 50%) vs say 15% helps.
But i do agree there is more drag. However for me the ability to generate more power by being able to get more air in and out, easily outweighs that drag. (+ any technique flaws i have do not appear so much, as most of my technique faults are at the breathing point.)
The limiting factor for someone with no respiratory problem may be different.
like Monty and Tim, I'm surprised by your doc request.
The main reason is that from most studies, swimming is requesting much less air than biking and running, at same muscle effort level. Because arm muscles are lighter than legs muscles ? Because lack of access to air push anaerobic ?
Apparantly, from research studies, elite swimmers only use 3 liters oxygen per minute at 4mmol/L lactate (1 hour max effort), vs 4,5 liters for bikers.
At 52 years old, with my average lungs and heart and blood, I can't support 4.5 liters for an hour (neither 5mn), but 3 liters is OK.
And with my small swimming muscles (if I do not overuse my legs), 1.5 liter is probably enough.
Consequence is that swimming is putting less pressure on lungs and cardio system than biking and running.
Personally I noticed that on both breathing and BPM.
On the other side :
yes, in tri, I probably swim at a lactate level higher than bike and run, as it is a shorter part.
maybe snorkel giving constant access to air is better for you. Necessary ?
Either you want to follow your doc, and tri "pre DSQ", or you can test normal breathing (maybe limiting leg use) and see another doc with swimming experience ?
Hope you will find solution to overcome the issue. Good luck !
Then I donâ€™t think about them. If I see them pass me I say, man looks like that guy is fast so he can do whatever he wants.