Trigirl’s Triathlon Wetsuit Buying Advice for Larger Sized Women
It is important that your triathlon wetsuit fits you well – not too tight and not too big. But what do you do, if your wetsuit size is not available? What if you are looking for a women’s larger sized triathlon wetsuit? And why are XXL women’s wetsuits so hard to find?
Since this appears to affect quite a few women, we have gathered a few tips on larger sized triathlon wetsuits for women.
A good fit is key
A good wetsuit fit for open water swimming or triathlon is important because it will enable you to swim well (and fast) without giving you a feeling of restriction. If your wetsuit is too small, it can restrict your blood circulation causing your legs to cramp. If your wetsuit is too big, water can enter through the collar and cuffs and exit through your leg hem and back zip as you swim. This means new, cold water constantly flushes through and your suit will not keep you warm and you will get cold quickly.
You want to swim, not surf
Surfing wetsuits are available in a much larger range of sizes (and usually at a lower price point too), and so you may be tempted to opt for a women’s surf wetsuit instead. However, a surfing wetsuit will not work. Open water swim wetsuits are designed to improve your body position when you swim front crawl. Buoyant and flexible neoprene panels are combined in a clever way to allow you to swim more efficiently. Generally speaking, the shoulder area features highly flexible neoprene to help your front crawl arm movement. The legs feature thicker neoprene to aid buoyancy.
Neoprene thickness and properties are very different in a surfing wetsuit. Surfing wetsuits are predominantly designed to keep you warm as you stride atop the surfboard. Swimming wetsuits are designed to make you swim faster in the water. Insulation is less important as you constantly move while swimming.
The demand dilemma
Most respected brands like Zone3 for example, offer women’s specific wetsuits up to XL (UK16/18). Larger women’s sizes can be more difficult to find. The sport of open water swimming is still relatively new and demand for the XXL women’s sizes is small. Factories often expect a minimum order quantity in a size. There may simply be not enough demand in the bigger sizes to enable brands to meet the factories minimum order quantity.
Luckily the sport is growing quickly and with that in mind, we think there will be enough demand for larger sizes before long.
Try a higher-quality suit?
Swim specific wetsuits come in a wide range of prices, starting from £150 for a novice suit up to £500 and more. Much of the price difference comes from the different neoprene quality the suit is made from. A higher grade, more expensive material is much softer and more flexible. That means, if you have tried the largest size of a brand’s entry level wetsuit and found it just a bit too tight, the slightly more expensive, more flexible mid-range wetsuit of the same brand could fit you.
Go for the man
If all fails, do try a men’s wetsuit. Of course, this is not ideal as men generally have longer torsos, wider shoulders and longer arms than women. However, you may find that a little bit of bunched-up sleeve length does not affect your swim performance all that much.
By the way, do not be tempted to cut any extra length off. I once cut the leg cuffs of an old wetsuit to see if it would give me more room around the ankle. To my despair, a short cut in the neoprene did not stay a short cut. Each time I wore the suit, the cut ripped up longer and longer. I had to discard the entire suit soon after. My advice: if you end up buying a men’s wetsuit, find one that fits well enough as it is. Do not try to trim it!
Put it on correctly
Finally, putting your wetsuit on correctly is actually harder than you might think. If this is your first triathlon wetsuit purchase check out the following video. Even more experienced swimmers may not know about the advice given from minute 5:09 onwards. Pulling your wetsuit all the way up as described will make a big difference in feeling comfortable. This is even more important, if you have a men’s wetsuit that may have a longer torso: https://youtu.be/KXE7S9ub4jI
If you are struggling to find a women’s larger sized triathlon wetsuit, don’t despair. You are not alone. With the rise in popularity of open water swimming, larger female wetsuits will become available soon. In the meantime, you could try a higher quality neoprene material. Failing that, do try a men’s size. And make sure you are wearing it correctly.
Don’t let the wetsuit sizing issue stop you from experiencing the wonderful sport of triathlon and open water swimming. And don’t forget you can buy your gorgeous XL women’s trisuit from our webshop here: https://www.trigirl.com
You may also be interested in our related article – Tips for Buying a Wetsuit for Triathlon. Read it here:
As we saw, the Spanish triathlete Diego Méntrida was celebrated on social media this week. He sacrificed third place in the 2020 Santander Triathlon to British triathlete James Teagle. James was on course to win third place in the competition in Spain when, just meters from the finish line, he missed the last turn and ran into spectator barriers. Diego overtook him but, noticing the error, he stopped to allow James to cross the finish line first. “He deserved it,” Méntrida said later.
Diego’s gesture prompted a flood of support, a match of the 3rd prize money, and he has been hailed as a true sportsman by the media. So far so good.
However, imagine my surprise when I listened to Anne Atkins on the BBC Thought for the Day yesterday. She said:
When Diego let his rival pass, it was apparently the ultimate act of true sportsmanship. We have never heard of anything like it before, yet it is supposed to be all that sport is about.
I don’t think Anne’s doubts apply to triathlon. Anne defines ‘true sportsmanship’ as ‘fairness, kindness and a genuine sense of priority’. I feel this is what the sport of triathlon and what triathletes are about.
Do you remember when Alistair Brownlee carried his brother Jonny Brownlee over the finish line in the final of the 2016 World Triathlon Series?
High quality, open water beginner swimming wetsuits have become like gold dust in recent weeks – even expensive mid-range wetsuits have sold out fast.
Covid-19 has disrupted everyone’s 2020 triathlon training and racing agenda. Although most races are cancelled for this year, each separate discipline of triathlon has seen a surge in participation. Open water swimming is booming as a result of pool closures. Summer weather has also prompted people to look for social distanced exercise outdoors. When open water swim venues re-opened a few weeks ago, they have been swamped.
So what wetsuit can you buy if you are on a budget?
The wetsuit experts from Zone3 are launching a new open water beginner wetsuit – the Valour. Offering a perfect mix of flexibility and buoyancy, at an affordable price, the Valour is ideal if you want to try open water swimming this summer. With an emphasis on comfort, the Valour offers some excellent features, usually only found in more expensive wetsuits.
An innovative “Extreme Flex” inner-lining material gives excellent flexibility around the shoulders and arms for a comfortable and energy efficient swim. The low neckline and perfect fit, as well as fully stitched and glue bonded seams throughout, make it one of the best value entry level wetsuits available.
Check out the full product description and all features of the Valour here
Trigirl have been very lucky to get hold of a few of these very much anticipated entry level wetsuits for you. Available in the most popular sizes SM, M and L, you can pre-order the Valour (£169) from our website today for delivery mid of July. But be quick as stock is very limited and expected to sell quickly.
Enjoy your swim!
You may also be interested in our article Wetsuit Buying Tips here.
The Power of Planking – Plank Benefits for Triathletes
Stuck at home, races cancelled or postponed? Feeling the pain of limited outdoor exercise and wanting to stay as fit as possible? It’s difficult to maintain the cardiovascular strength at home that you would normally get from limitless outdoor training (unless you’re lucky enough to have a turbo trainer, an Endless Pool and a treadmill).
Assuming that most of us don’t have all of those fabulous fitness devices, may we suggest the power of the plank?
What is a plank?
A plank is an isometric (static, contracted) strength exercise, using the core muscles to maintain a stable, long line in a push-up position. There are many variations, but most common are the forearm (or low) plank and planking on your hands (high plank).
Planking is often referred to as one of the best overall strength exercises, but why? According to Harvard Health, “the plank pose activates all the core muscles at once, and doesn’t require extra movements that can cause stress or injury.” All of the core- let’s not forget, that includes not only front abdominals, but muscles on the sides and back of your body as well. This equates to better posture and less likelihood of back pain and injury!
And planks aren’t just for core- they also work shoulders, chest, neck, glutes, and quadriceps, especially with added variations.
What are the plank benefits for triathletes?
Triathlon gadgets – are they an expensive (and in some cases, intimidating) waste of money or a game-changer in your triathlon training?
Let’s look at arguments for and against and how gadgets can help – and hinder – your triathlon experience.
As a triathlete and triathlon coach, I’ve found over the years that men tend to get more into the triathlon gadgets and the data they provide than the women I coach and train with. Are we doing ourselves a disservice?
First of all, what counts as a triathlon ‘gadget’?
For the purposes of this blog, anything that involves technology and is a bit of an “extra” is a gadget. For example, a bike isn’t a gadget, but a power metre is. Over our next few blogs, we’re going to look at three different pieces of triathlon gadgetry to help you decide whether to splurge or save and which pieces of tech are right for you and your training style.
Triathlon Gadgets – The Fancy Watch
Last year I bought a Garmin Forerunner 735XT for an ultra-running race. I wanted mapping and timing functionalities that my super-cheap watch couldn’t provide.
Yes, it took the fact that I was running farther than a marathon to make me feel that I deserved to spend the money. But I’m (mostly) glad that I did. I struggle with heart rate monitor straps. My skin is prone to chafing and my lungs are prone to freaking out when a strap is squeezing them. So today’s watches with built-in heart rate offer more comfort with less faff.
With a bit of online research, I figured out functionalities that allowed me to download a route map. I also used the run-walk function to help pace me from the start. Even as someone fairly disinterested in stats, I like looking back and seeing how my pace and heart rate changes through races and training sessions.
In everyday life, the watch looks pretty cool. It is way less clunky than previous Garmin models and it counts my steps, so I’m inspired to get a lot of walking in.
Trigirl launched a new brand video earlier this year. We weren’t quite sure how the end product would turn out when we embarked on our mission. However, as it turned out, we are actually quite chuffed with the result. We love what the video says about us and about our values as a company. Please let us know what you think.
The Trigirl video crew
We just love our first-time model, Felicity. Felicity is a “real” woman (not a professional model) with a passion for the outdoors and for physical activity. She shares Trigirl’s mission to encourage women to discover physical outdoor activity as a means to a happier and more balanced life. Her zest for life really shows from the inside out!
We also worked with an amazing female cameraperson and editor, Amber of Rose Morgan Films. Both Felicity and Amber did an amazing job in really showing off our wonderful Trigirl triathlon outfits.
Trigirl brand mission and values
As a small company we can honestly say that we are here for YOU, our customers. Our founder, designers and coach advisor can all be reached directly by email.
We are always happy to offer help and advice. Whether it’s about how our kit fits, what you need for your next race or where to begin with your training. We are here to help.
The Trigirl website is full of advice on training, racing, nutrition, women’s-only races and much more. We aim to help you feel confident in your racing and training.
Our team races the races and we wear the product. We have had your race day nerves and your finish line frustrations. And, of course, your joy – oh so much triathlon joy! 🙂
The team at Trigirl value the world we live in, in which triathlon is just a part. We use recycled fabrics for our trisuits to make our product sustainable. However, we ensure no corners are cut in garment quality or fabric performance.
The (literal) irritation of triathlon chafing
When you thought about doing a triathlon, you considered whether you had time in your life to train, whether you were fit enough for the challenge, or if you could make it to the finish line. Something you probably didn’t think about was chafing- ouch!
We pride ourselves at designing our triathlon clothing to minimise the risk of chafing. We flatlock our kit so there are no bulky seams to deal with. Our suits are made of high-performance, quick-dry fabrics. We cut arm and leg holes so that they hit in the most comfortable spots.
However, even with all of that, when you combine moisture and friction over time, there’s still a chance of chafing. In fact, you may find similar in the form of hot spots or blisters on your feet when running.
Race Across America (RAAM) cycling race starting 15th of June
Trigirl is thrilled to announce that we are sponsoring the Serpentine Golden Girls in their second time racing as a four-woman team in the Race Across America (RAAM) cycling race.
RAAM, a.k.a. The Toughest Bike Race in the World, is a 3,000 mile race across the US, riding through 12 states, starting on the West Coast in California and finishing on the East Coast in Maryland. Taking in the Rocky Mountains, the Great Plains, Monument Valley as well as the Mojave and Sonoran Deserts.
The race also has 170,000 feet worth of vertical climbs! Sounds tough for even the most ‘typical’ lycra-clad road warriors… but the Golden Girls aren’t your typical cyclists! At a combined age of 280, the women were the eldest four-person team ever to complete the race when they did it at an average age of 60, 11 years ago. They are now looking to beat their own record.
Neoprene warmth vest review by Jemima Cooper
Loving Open Water Swimming – Warmth in the Water!
I hate being cold. My lips go blue and I shake like crazy. I lose feeling in my feet, not to mention, I get incredibly grumpy. So when my coach said “why don’t you go open water swimming?” last week (this is British May!) I obviously wasn’t so chuffed!
Luckily for me, Trigirl stepped in with a snazzy under-wetsuit top, Zone3’s neoprene warmth vest, and it saved the day!!
My thoughts on this little addition to your swim wardrobe:
The idea behind the Zone3 neoprene warmth vest is to add a bit of extra warmth for open water or pool-based swimming.
Trigirl Training Favourite HITT: High-Intensity Triathlon Training
Last year, Trigirl introduced a series of high-intensity workouts we called HITT (High Intensity Triathlon Training). Based on HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training), these sessions incorporate high to very high levels of effort, mixed with short rest or easy recovery intervals.
We still love these sessions as a way to get your training done in less time- and with more results!
As written in an article in Shape magazine, ‘When it comes to HIIT, less might actually be more. Squat jumps for joy.’
If time is of the essence (as it is for most people) and injury is a concern (as it is for most triathletes), could HITT (High Intensity Triathlon Training!) be for you?
YES. Studies (and anecdotal evidence) are proving that shorter workouts, performed at greater intensity, could equal faster race times and less injury. Save time and achieve your goals with HITT!
Want to know more?
We are excited to announce that our new Trigirl kit for 2019 is now available for pre-order online.
We’re continuing our partnership with ECONYL® to bring you gorgeous triathlon kit that’s also high-performance and environmentally sustainable.
In addition to our amazing fabrics, functional details, and flattering women’s-specific fits, here are some highlights coming up for spring that you’re sure to love:
- Extra-special details, including matte gold and hot pink trim and reflective transfers.
- Stunning prints! Following on from the success of our favourite prints, we can’t wait to see you racing in our new ones. We especially love the cheerful glitched floral!
- Exciting styling and colours – including our new, limited edition hi-viz pink Flow swimsuit!
- New soft leg hem – we’re using power mesh instead of gripper tape in our hems to keep them snugly in place without digging or chafing!
- Easy on/easy off back clasp detail for our tri tops and swim bras.
Due to popular demand there are now more options of our favourite swimsuit/ triathlon-capri combo! We love the versatility that this combo offers. Wear the super-supportive swimsuit on its own for swimming or aquathlon.
The Trigirl triathlon capris feature our female-specific triathlon cycling chamois for maximum comfort both cycling and running. And the matching set looks great together- especially in our new prints!
Click here to see the full collection and to pre-order.
Happy shopping, happy training.
Swim. Bike. Run. Trigirl!
Trigirl is proud to announce that we are once again partnering with Deva Divas triathlon and quadrathlon. Held in Chester on 14th of July, Deva Divas is a short distance ladies-only race, providing fantastic support for beginner and improver triathletes. They offer beginner’s seminars (one this year already attracted 55 fledgling triathletes!), training days, bike workshops and more.
Registrants to Deva Divas triathlon not only receive a Trigirl discount code, but have the opportunity to compete for Trigirl prizes and vouchers, as well.
Beginning in 2006, Deva Divas is now a very popular event- so popular, in fact, that the quadrathon (swim, bike, run, kayak) has now sold out for the third year and the triathlon is selling quickly, too. Part of the race’s popularity comes from its winning the coveted British Triathlon “Event of the Year”, Triathlon England Club Event of the Year and also North West Regional Race of the Year in 2016. Deva Divas is also the only race to have ever won the British Triathlon award twice, after winning it for the first time in 2009.
Why do we do what we do at Trigirl?
It’s not just about triathlon clothing here at Trigirl. We have a passion for the mental and physical well-being that sports, especially outdoor sports, can provide. And we love the sense of achievement that completing a race can being, whether it’s your first sprint triathlon, or your 100th parkrun, or your PB half-marathon. We want others to have that feeling, too.
By encouraging women to enter the world of triathlon and supporting them as they go, we hope to share the positive effects that sport has had on us with a wide range of women- women of all sizes, shapes, ages and abilities.
At Trigirl, we love seeing the sense of confidence that participating in our sport can bring. You don’t have to be the fastest or the fittest to experience the joy of crossing a finish line or the happiness of lacing up your trainers when heading out for a run.
So why clothing and why women-only?
Pat, Trigirl founder, has a background in clothing and it seemed to make good sense to combine her love of triathlon with that background. When she met me (Kristin), a former fashion designer who also happened to be a writer and triathlon coach, it was obvious that we would be the perfect team!
We feel that women often do triathlon for different reasons than men, including the mental and physical benefits already mentioned. In my coaching, my favourite part is supporting women who worry that they can’t, only to find that they absolutely can! I love seeing a beginner go from the tentative stages of “maybe I’ll sign up for a triathlon” to the big moment of being able to say proudly, “I’m a triathlete”.
Ultimately, at Trigirl, we want to help women get more out of the lives they lead, so while our business is triathlon kit, it’s not just about the trisuit!
Trigirl uses ECONYL® for a truly sustainable triathlon clothing collection.
Starting with our 2017 collection, Trigirl began using a new, high-performance fabric, made from ECONYL® regenerated nylon yarn. ECONYL® is an innovative fibre produced with discarded nylon consumer products such as carpets and fishing nets.
“Eco-friendly” or “recycled” are big buzzwords these days, but prior to introducing ECONYL® into our line, we did our research. We wanted to ensure that our eco-friendly fabric would truly have a reduced impact on the environment, and, very importantly, still maintain the high-performance qualities our customers have grown to expect.
Excitingly, this fabric achieves both!
According to the ECONYL® website: ‘… [ECONYL®] want to rewrite the rules for producing man-made fibres. The goal is to manufacture products that are not only entirely made of regenerated material, but are fully and endlessly regenerable.’ Which sounds pretty good to us!
Our new eco-friendly fabric comes from our most trusted fabric manufacturer, the number-one supplier of technical performance fabrics in Italy. They have supplied high-quality performance fabrics for our trisuits for years. They have now worked with ECONYL® yarns to create an equally amazing and environmentally-friendly fabric.
A win-win that enables us to bring you truly eco-friendly triathlon clothing!!
For more information about ECONYL® yarns, click here.
Team Trigirl has always been proud to develop triathlon clothing for women, by women. Our kit is exclusive to Trigirl and we carefully curate the items within our small collection to bring you the best triathlon kit out there. But what inspires us, what is important to us in our designs and how do we come up with ideas for the trisuits that you love?
As athletes, we are always thinking about the kit that we want to wear.
Performance-wise, we want it all – the fabric has to dry quickly to avoid being cold and wet and a comfortable pad for the cycling leg is MANDATORY. That same pad has to feel like it magically disappears when it’s time to run.
Of course, we also like to look good wearing it! We design triathlon clothing that is made just for women, so it fits well, isn’t some shrunken-down version of what someone designed for a guy and looks great. We firmly believe that we’re faster when we feel confident!
What inspires us?
In developing our new designs each year, we start by looking at what has worked in the past. We want a fresh look, but the main objectives are still what works technically and what our customers loved/ what’s worked for them.
That said, when designing, it’s always exciting to see what’s “next”. Design trends and inspiration can come from fitness and ready-to-wear markets, art, a fantastic print or our new favourite fabric colours for the season!
Of course, we are also inspired by our Trigirl customer. We listen to your feedback and implement it in our designs. Items like our triathlon capris and larger cup-size tops have come directly from what we’ve heard from you!
What’s next for Trigirl?
We’re still loving the prints-in-athletic-wear trend, so you’ll see some beautiful (and trend-right) prints in our upcoming season. Plus we’re excited to be adding in a couple of swimsuits with a Trigirl twist.
In our entire collection, you’ll get the same well-fitting, gorgeous and high-performing pieces that you expect from us. And, of course, in our trisuits, you can expect our ongoing commitment to fit, form and function- triathlon clothing that performs.