Paddles in swimrun – How far can they be developed?

“To all whom it may concern:”

Robert Henry Wallace Dunlop wrote already in 1876 and little did he know that his letter to the US Patent Office would come to affect swimming from that moment on, up until today.

What Robert had invented was the heart-shaped swim paddle with accompanied swim fins. After years of field testing he felt confident that his hand-and-foot-plate invention would “help improve human locomotion in the water.”

Continue reading “Paddles in swimrun – How far can they be developed?”

Why cutting the wetsuit will give you a better running economy

The topic on cutting the wetsuit or not, is under constant debate. Especially now with all the new swimrun wetsuits hitting the market in 2017. Should you cut it and if so, what are the reasons for doing it? Read more about it further down.

Dont forget to check out our 2017 swimrun equipment test results:

(Just click on any of the links)

/The WoS Team

– – – – – – – – – – –

Sure!

This text will mainly focus on the running economy in swimrun, but everyone who runs should read it! Here you’ll learn a lot of things about your running efficiency, regardless if you like to run in rubber or not.

Approaching my debut in swimrun, having trained a lot of people running in various running contests, including several ÖtillÖ challengers and winners, I thought it’d be a good idea to try this myself. Especially since I give courses on how to best use the biomechanics to become the most energy efficient runner as possible in forests and on rocks. I put out a question on Facebook on whether I should cut or not, and most racers seemed to agree to cut the wetsuit above your knees, but failed to give any further explanation on the underlying reasons to do this, apart from the fact that it will become easier to run? As a nerd I decided to investigate this myself. Continue reading “Why cutting the wetsuit will give you a better running economy”

2017 Swimrun Equipment Test Results – SOCKS

– A good swimrun sock can almost replace a shoe!

(Old Jungle Saying, the ‘Phantom’)

Many of us spend plenty of valuable time researching and trying out the perfect shoe, but hands up all of you who spend the equivalent time on socks? A good pair of socks should treat your feet like royalty, help decrease or to avoid the risk of general discomfort, blisters, fungus, toenail problems and even odour. In swimrun they should also help release heat, promote movability and help discharge excessive water.

Finding a good swimrun sock takes time.

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At the end of March, World of Swimrun (WoS), Swimrun France (SR-F) and Swimrun Germany (SR-G) teamed up in Marseille, France for the 1st ever international swimrun equipment test. During 4 days the team tested and debated swimrun equipment from over 40 manufacturers, among them, different types of socks. An important note here is that we only tested different types of socks from the same brand, i.e. NOT as a comparison between brands. There are many good socks on the market why you should test several before deciding.

Socks come in different colour, shape, form and level of complexity in stitching. There are multiple factors to take into consideration such as if they are seam-free, come with differently stitched panels, the type of fabric used, if certain wear-and-tear areas are reinforced, how they stretch when running and how they fit your favourite shoe and so forth. In swimrun you’ll see most racers use socks that can be put into 4 different type-categories e.g.;

  • Long 1-piece,
  • Medium (ankle high),
  • Short (ankle-low) and
  • 2-piece.

Our preferred model – The Medium (ankle high)

Our overall test winner was the medium version (ankle high). Its reasonable height on the lower leg will help prevent sand, mud or rocks from coming in on the inside, while running and during transitions. At the same time as allowing for proper ventilation in hot races. It’s also a good choice if you want to have the option to use a separate set of swimrun calfs. This sock we tested is specifically made for running off-road on, rocky, uneven and muddy surfaces, designed with extra attention to support and moisture management, which drained well and remained light even when being wet.

 

Long 1-piece – The Robust Protection

The long 1-piece was our second choice. Even though it doesn’t give you the same feeling of ‘freedom’ as the medium model, this one  provides full support over the foot and calf. It will protect you from sand, mud and stones but also sun and bushes when running on the trail. If you want you can insert floating material on the inside for buoyancy purposes, or why not gels, bars or waste during a race. They carry many usage options. Plus, if you race in teams of 2, they provide good visibility in the water for the person swimming behind. If you are prone to heating up they can become a bit too warm, especially in shorter warmer races. The compression version will help increase circulation in the calf.

 

2-piece – The Choice of Flexibility

If you want to maintain the feeling of ‘freedom’ around the ankle, you should opt for the 2-piece. The testing team fund this one to be a good choice when balancing between a lower type socks, where still wanting the benefits of compression. Also the option to change the type of sock depending on the type of swimrun race.

Short (ankle low) – The Minimalist Choice

This short-type sock is perfect for running however, it does allow for small stones or mud to enter inside, which can be a nuisance. If you’re the hot-type of swimrunner, you probably want go for this type anyway.

 

By swimrunners – For swimrunners

#srgeartest2017

På återseeende – Tschüß und Auf Wiedersehen – Entendre en arrière – Until next time – Zbogom!

/The WoS Team, Swimrun France & Swimrun Germany

 

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  • READ ABOUT OUR 2017 PADDLES TEST HERE
  • READ ABOUT OUR 2017 SHOE TEST HERE
  • READ ABOUT OUR 2017 WETSUIT TEST HERE
  • READ ABOUT OUR 2017 GOGGLES TEST HERE

We want to thank all manufacturers that helped us by providing equipment for our test:

AquaShpere
Bagheera *

Barracuda *
BrooksCamaro
Colting
Decathlon
Garmin
Glorify
Gococo
Head
Huub
Icebreaker

We also want to extend a BIG thank you to www.randorunning.com for helping us with the logistics, Fix parents for housing the testing team, and last but not least, all you swimrunners who have followed us over the weekend, liked what we do and asked us so many intelligent questions. 

 

2017 Swimrun Equipment Test Results – PADDLES

Cruising through the open waters with the propulsion of swim paddles. That’s the signature move of a Swimrunner. There are as many levels of swimming fitness as there are different race course / training types. From flat-and-fast sprint Swimruns to demanding rough water stretches, as seen in the Hvar race this April. The transitions and trail running add additional demands to which “shovel” to use for racing, that go beyond the average pool swimmers usage for e.g. strength workouts?

So, which paddles should you choose?

Paddles on table_smallere

At the end of March, World of Swimrun (WoS), Swimrun France (SR-F) and Swimrun Germany (SR-G) teamed up in Marseille, France for the 1st ever international swimrun equipment test. During 4 days the team tested and debated swimrun equipment from over 40 manufacturers, among them, 9 different paddles. Contrary to normal calm conditions in the rugged and steep terrain of Calanque de Sormiou, Marseille, the test was conducted in rain, storm-winds, huge waves, strong currents and sun.

    

Test Results

Click on the table to enlarge it

Overall winner

Even though the different types serve different purposes, the green Strokemaker paddles reached the highest overall score. Looking at the small gaps to other models which is actually good since it shows good performance overall, one might look at other focus areas as weight, size, transition ease or water feeling.

Best performance in the water

By far the best paddles in the water were the Colting paddles. They might not be leading in other fields but if the swim is you main focus, you might want to go for them. As from the rough waters experience during the testing weekend: Water performance is NOT determined in your training pool. Hit the waves to see what suits you well!

Best in transition

The test team consensus here was that the Racepaddles are fastest, yet with other models close behind.

Best strap comfort

Strap comfort is again very individual? some like it tight, other more loose. The Strokemaker models were the test teams favourite here.

Lightest

We all have to carry the race gear weight from start to the finish line. So, if you want to go really light you may want to choose a full carbon model from Racepaddle. They are not cheap but have their strengths in transitions. Their weaknesses could be easily modified with the test teams comments on performance, see the charts table.

Largest

OK, size does matter. For some. Others might consider paddles that fit their swimming strengths and technique better. Strokemaker offers a large range of sizes and the red one we tested is by far not the biggest in stock. Large paddles take time to get used to, so start small and work your way up. 

Thank you!

We want to thank all manufacturers that helped us by providing equipment for our test:

AquaShpere
Bagheera *

Barracuda *
BrooksCamaro
Colting
Decathlon
Garmin
Glorify
Gococo
Head
Huub
Icebreaker

We also want to extend a BIG thank you to www.randorunning.com for helping us with the logistics, Fix parents for housing the testing team, and last but not least, all you swimrunners who have followed us over the weekend, liked what we do and asked us so many intelligent questions. 

  • READ ABOUT OUR 2017 SHOE TEST HERE
  • READ ABOUT OUR 2017 WETSUIT TEST HERE
  • READ ABOUT OUR 2017 GOGGLES TEST HERE

/The WoS Team, Swimrun France & Swimrun Germany

2017 Swimrun Equipment Test Results – SHOES

Besides the wetsuit, the shoes are the most important item in swimrunning. First of all they have to fit well and be comfortable. Furthermore, how they perform in different environments – stone, forest trails and narrow paths – both dry and wet. As you’re going to swim with it (most of us will do so) it’s also a question of how they drain water, and performing in swimming. Still there’s no perfect swimrun shoe yet, as there’s no perfect running shoe. However, there are some important points to check for when buying a swimrun shoe, foremost weight and draining capacity. Maybe you‘ll miss the “classical” running shoe with more drop and stability, but they are all trail running shoes which are mostly neutral with less drop. In Swimrunning it‘s all about weight, draining capacity but also how much they will drag in the water. So, less is more when you have to swim with your shoe. Cushioning or stability isn’t as important since individual running sections in many races are no longer than 8 to 12k.

 

Continue reading “2017 Swimrun Equipment Test Results – SHOES”