Category: Swimming

Neoprene Navigation


When looking to buy a wetsuit the choices can be overwhelming.

Here are some questions and a handy printable that will guide you through the purchasing process.

Neoprene Navigation Printable

Environment and Swim Details
What body of water will you be swimming in most often?
What water temperature will you be swimming in most often?
What distance will you be swimming most often and how long does that take you?
How often do you anticipate using a wetsuit?

Personal Details
What are your personal body temperature guidelines – tend to be cold? Get hot?
Will you wear the wetsuit for warmth or comfort from buoyancy, or both?
Will you be wearing the wetsuit to provide coverage from marine life such as stinging jellyfish?
Do you have a body shape that may need allowances? Broad shoulders, muscular arms, long torso etc
Do you get a feeling of claustrophobia easily and is it severe enough to cause breathing difficulty?
Take your measurements and have a look at the size charts for some wetsuit companies – do you fit comfortably within a size? Or are you on the edge of sizing in a particular brand?

Budget and Buying Considerations
What is your budget?
Do you need to have the latest model or could you be happy with a closeout on an older model?
Do you need to have a brand new wetsuit or could you be happy with a used wetsuit?
Can you rent a wetsuit or borrow one from a friend?
Does the wetsuit comply with regulations for your races?
Do you have a local store to try on any brands and models?
Will you be ordering online? What is the return policy of the online store? How is their customer service rated?
Look at the quality of the neoprene and the features of the suit relative to the price (type and quality of neoprene, one piece panels or smaller sections of neoprene, distributions of neoprene throughout the suit, seam construction, zip features, neck line etc) – what is the best choice for you?
Could you use other means to retain body heat – earplugs, neoprene cap, gloves, booties, neoprene sleeves?

Once you have a wetsuit, the next step is heading to the Discovery Aquatics studio for a comprehensive swim technique review to see how to get the most out of your wetsuit swim!

Gift Guide for Swimmers 2017

The holiday season is upon us…. seems to come around faster with each year!

Cutting straight to the chase, here are some gift ideas for you or the swimmer in your life. It is a total Amazon list, affiliate links and all. For me it is the easiest way to shop, that leaves the most time to be swimming!


Before a teeny bit of shameless self promotion there are a few note worthy books to look into.

1. This book has great ideas for real food that are easy to eat and digest in training and racing. The rice cakes – I like almond butter and jam – with just the right amount of salt saw me through Tampa Bay Marathon swim in April. They were easy to make ahead, and even ended up being a light pre race dinner after a heavier meal early in the day. Winner!

2. This remains my favorite all time book. The story of the Washington state underdogs using raw talent and hard work to rise and row at the 1936 Olympics. A lot of lessons we can apply today in our training and racing. I could not put it down.

3. I totally adore Michelle Tam, she nails flavor in every recipe I have tried. Faves in my house are the cherry bbq sauce and the curry turkey bites. Whole, clean, easy food to fuel your swimming. Nom nom is right.

4. Newly listed on Amazon and Kindle is my SwimEQ book. This is a must read for any athlete that has issues managing emotions in training – yes it does happen – or leading up to a race – we have all been there – or prior to race start – I can hear your heart beating fast already – or during the race – never a good sign….. Good news is this program will give you a solid framework and sequence of tools to keep your head straight and get the best from every situation. Probably the most undertrained area of athletics, get a jump start on your competitors for the 2018 season.

5. And of course our book of 99 swim practices to keep things FRESH! Excellent prezzie for the swimmer in your life! Make a challenge for 2018, who can complete the whole set of practices – you’re on!



1. Straight up I have to give a shout out to my favorite goggles. Seriously these were on my (broad, high nose bridge) face for almost 5 hours at the Swim the Suck 10+ mile race in October. Not once did I have to adjust them, not once did they leak, and not once did they irritate. I replace the factory strap with a TYR bungee for extra comfort and ease of adjustment. Go get you some TYR Nest Pro goggles!

2. I see a lot of equipment come through the swim studio. This snorkel by Michael Phelps impresses me with its sleek design and comfort….so much so Santa is bringing me one this year.

3. Feel the beat with the Finis Tempo Trainer – this is a must piece of equipment in any swimmers bag. I switch through the 3 modes in various sets to give my nervous system a little wake me up. If you want to be fast in 2018 then this is for you.

4. The New Wave Swim Buoy bag is the best around. I am particularly fond of the durable TPU version that is so robust and sturdy. Handy to carry car keys and wallets while you are out swimming in the deep blue, and of course the number one use for visibility and safety can’t be overlooked. Buoy up!

5. Once out of the water, use one of these space saving, quick drying towels to clean up. Our house has a stash of these towels that are so useful for travel I can’t say enough about them.



1. I have recently jumped on the essential oil train, and no surprise it has been great. Many moons ago I used a lot Ylang Ylang for sinus issues, that worked a treat. I now diffuse daily and feel it helps clear out the sinuses or relax the overused muscles, or boost the immune system – all depending which oil or blend you use. Here is the diffuser I am using.

2. I am fairly picky about the origin and quality of the oils. Make sure you check your labels! The added bonus of essential oils, as well as those from diffusing, is you can add a few drops to a carrier oil and use as a post swim moisturizer. Chlorine smell be gone, dry skin be totally gone. For example the oil below, in fractionated coconut oil would be great, I can smell it from here!

3. Accompanying me to many a long training swim this year was my Tervis mug. It was generally filled with Tazo Ginger Green tea that kept the stomach calm. I do love a cup of tea.

4. This is on my list this year. Making a quick change a breeze or breezy….and getting dry at the same time. Win win.

5. This one is hardly a luxury…in fact they are the total opposite at times. Insert tears. However, I sure as heck feel better for doing it. These massage balls get into those deep tense spots and help release those knots. Its a fine line between ouch and aaaaahhhh!

There you have it, a few ideas for the shopping cart. Click and ship, that’s what I’m talking about! Happy Holidays!