LAST CALL for Lough Cutra Triathlon Training Day!!!

The training/recce day for Lough Cutra Castle Triathlon is on tomorrow Saturday 9th May at the Castle in Gort, Co. Galway with GoTri, Amphibian King Oranmore and Burren Cycling Club.

Adult and children’s triathlon training covering all 3 disciplines and transitions. Suitable for beginners as well as more experienced triathletes.

There’s also a recce cycle and run for The Gauntlet (half iron).

There is no charge for this but you are required to book in advance.


How do you wear your TYR goggles?

We like TYR goggles. In particular we like the TYR Special Ops goggles which are in the words of TYR:

Our #1 all-around goggle, the Special Ops is engineered for triathlon, open water and training. Constructed with polarized lenses, the LGSPL latex free performance goggle provides clarity, optical precision and comfort by filtering out 99.9% of the surface glare that causes eye fatigue.

We agree. Having used them through last year for training and racing, in pool and open water they lived up to the promise.

This year as well as the regular styles, we are getting some new colours and styles from TYR.

The Cheetah print

TYR Special Ops LGSPLCH_810_1
Faster than a Cheetah!


the Camo print for Ninja swimmers

TYR Special Ops LGSPLCAM_310_1
For stealth mode racing

and the regular multicolour version too.

TYR Special Ops LGSPL_962_1

While rooting through the sample bag we found some National coloured Special Ops for Canada, America, Denmark and the United Kingdom. Pretty cool we thought but there was no Ireland ones!!

2014-03-05 12.08.40

Naturally a call out to our friendly Photo editing friend was required and he delivered, again, brilliantly!! 🙂

TYR Ireland

What do you think? Should we ask TYR to make Special Ops goggles specifically for Ireland?

Comment below to have your say.

Are you looking for your first Orca triathlon wetsuit?

As stockists of the Orca range , the Orca S5 has just arrived into our Galway and Limerick stores ready for you to check out the perfect wetsuit for tri-beginners and improvers.Orca’s generation S-series wetsuit continues its evolution with the S5. While retaining many of the great features of the S4, the new S5 introduces a 5mm front panel from neck to mid-leg, increasing flexibility and buoyancy.Orca S5

The removal of a front seam ensures that it is the most flexible wetsuit to date in this range. Like its predecessor, the S5 promises hydrodynamics, flexibility, buoyancy and durability. 2014-orca-wetsuit-s5-fullsleeve-women-frontIts full neoprene coverage includes SCS coated 3-4mm Yamamoto 39-cell neoprene across the full front. 2mm Yamamoto 39-cell coated neoprene underarm and shoulder panels provides superb range of motion.

The back is made of 3mm Smooth Skin neoprene, offering buoyancy and thermal protection. Silicone-print Hydrostroke forearm catch panels increase power through the stroke, while Speed Transition calf panels make transitions a cinch.2014-orca-wetsuit-s5-fullsleeve-women-back

  • 2mm SCS Neoprene Arms & Shoulders – High stretch SCS coated upper torso and armsbecome-true-triathlete
  • Yamamoto Neoprene – Performance level durable Yamamoto neoprene provides excellent buoyancy, flexibility and thermal protection.
  • Speed Transition Calf Panels – Guaranteed easy removal of the wetsuit and faster transition times.2014-orca-wetsuit-s5-fullsleeve-men-back

Orca wetsuits are available in a wide range of sizes to suit everybody an we are on hand to help you select, size & we’ll show you how best to handle your wetsuit when fitting and removing to avoid unwanted pulls and tears.

If you are ready to know more we have a handy Appointment Maker on the website to help you get the most of one-on-one time with an advisor.
See you soon!!


Ready to be Vanquished?

On being demoed the Zone3 wetsuit range we were really impressed in Amphibian King with the quality of the materials and the manner in which they had been designed and put together.

I was so impressed that I put my wetsuit from last year up for sale and ordered a Vanquish for my 2013 season and beyond. I’ve still got my original wetsuit which I will continue to use for training and hopefully I will get the benefits of the technically advance Vanquish when racing. (Bit like the wetsuit equivalent of having a training shoe and a racing shoe).

Features include:

  • The Vanquish makes use of some of the World’s highest performance materials and combines these with a thoroughly researched panel design to ensure maximum flexibility and balanced buoyancy.
  • Aerodome neoprene designed with air bubbles built between the fabric layers producing up to 30% more buoyancy than conventional neoprene. Featured on the top of the chest to help aid the essential course sighting when swimming open water and also on the thighs to help support the core leg muscles
  • Buoyancy carefully balanced through the suit to ensure the optimum streamlined swimming position and maximum efficiency through the stroke.
  • Stylish graphite neoprene on the arms and gold and bronze tones for an exclusive look.





You get a Zone3 wetsuit storage bag when you look under the suit. Perfect, ventilated bag for storing your suit between swims with a sturdy shoulder strap for carrying it around.




V-shape neck design with built-in moulding which keeps the suit in position at the sides but allows a lower and more comfortable ‘T-shirt’ fit on the front keeping the suit away from the adams-apple


Speed Channels on the chest to divert water flow and direct more water on to the legs to increase natural buoyancy and to give a boost with each leg kick.


Sensory Catch Panel: Aeroforce fabric is used on the forearms to give an improved feeling and catch in the water. Rather than a traditional rubber fabric, the Vanquish uses a double layer of high performance, water-repellent lycra fabric. This firstly reduces arm fatigue as there is not as much buoyancy resistance during the catch phases of the stroke but also allows the swimmer to improve their efficiency in the water. No water can enter the suit but you will feel the coldness of the water on the forearm panel which helps to align your hand and forearm during the stroke to give more propulsion and also a more natural feeling swim.


Designed with an ultra thin one-piece shoulder panel stretching from elbow to elbow. As soon as you put this suit on you can feel the difference! Maximum flexibility meaning you can increase your distance per stroke, conserve energy and minimize any shoulder pain.

Upwards breakaway zip design for even quicker transitions and protection from having your zip pulled down during a race.


Pro Speed CuffsTM on the arms and the legs for rapid removal after the swim to ensure the quickest transitions, saving you vital time on any course.


I’ve been in for a swim since I got the suit. The fit is brilliant, the quality neoprene ensures that the fit follows your body shape with no gaping and hugs you like a second skin without being constrictive. The first swim was a bit short to actually check out all the benefits of the features, however, the buoyancy was just perfect! Not too much and not too little allowing me to swim through and under breakers without having to fight the buoyancy and having enough to allow me to lift my legs high and ‘body surf’ back into shore.

A more in-depth review will follow as I venture more into the open water.

Stay tuned!!

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Is triathlon getting cold feet?

What a hot topic water temperature is right now.

Of course in Ireland open water temperature is never hot, its not even warm, and it is a feature of the typical Irish person to have a body type more suited to prolonged immersion in these water conditions than not.
There’s quite a discussion going on over on in the T/D/M forum about early season triathlon and the combination of water conditions, weather and ITU rules resulting in the swim leg of triathlon being curtailled or cancelled.
But that discussion is nothing compared to the recent back and forth in relation to the changes that have been drawn down for Ironman under the SwimSmart pilot plans.
(I’m only going to touch on this topic as it is a different barrel of fish)
Now we need to remember that Ironman is a corporation defining its own rules, for it’s own races. These rules do not form a part of the ITU rules governing the swim.

Modified Swim Starts at Select Races

  • IRONMAN will pilot several alternative race starts at select events to further enhance athlete experience and reduce swim anxiety. Three events in 2013 will feature new swim start formats – IRONMAN Coeur d’Alene, IRONMAN Lake Placid and IRONMAN Mont-Tremblant – while two other 2013 events, IRONMAN Lake Tahoe and IRONMAN Florida, will feature modifications in how athletes start their races. 

Pre-Race Swim Warm-Up

  • North American IRONMAN events will include a pre-race, in-water warm-up whenever possible. 

Swim Temperature

  • Water temperature below 52 degrees Fahrenheit or above 88 degrees Fahrenheit will result in cancellation or shortening of the swim portion of the race  

Swim Course Additions

  • Numbered course buoys to assist in positioning of water assets/personnel and provide more accurate communication for locating and rescuing distressed swimmers.
  • Anchored resting rafts to be strategically placed along the swim course (please note that athletes will NOT be disqualified by resting on these floats).
  • Increased professional swim course personnel to enhance the overall athlete experience.
  • Additional rescue boat and personal watercrafts (PWC, kayaks, paddleboards, etc.).

Safety has to be the number 1 motivation in making these sort of rule changes. The cynics would have you believe the move by Ironman is to make the events more attractive to non-swimmers or those who are weaker swimmers. So is money the key motivation here rather than safety?
At National levels the affiliation with ITU (International Triathlon Union) provides us with out rules and regulations. And there is a mine of information, which each and every one of us confirms we have read AND understand when we sign into a race. Read it, 139 pages of essential education for any triathlete.
Regarding water safety, the ITU rules are quite clear on what call Race Directors and Triathlon Officials should make on the morning of a race in the event of inclement weather.
“Water temperature must be taken one (1) hour prior to the start of the event on  race day. it must be taken at the middle of the course and in two other areas on the swim course, at a depth of 60cm. The lowest measured temperature will be considered as the official water temperature.”
They don’t leave much to chance and quite clearly lay out the guidelines on the decision making process.
ITU water temps
ITU water temperature chart
Our own Triathlon Ireland governing body also add a stipulation based on wind factors.
TI wind factor
Thinking about our training environment surely by virtue of training in colder waters we should be more accustomed to the cold water and the regulations could be relaxed a little for our more temperate zones?
This leads to comparison with our neighbours the British Triathlon Federation (also ITU affiliated), what do they do when the water is cold?
BTF Swim regsBTF Swim regs contd
So very similar to ITU with a little bit of clarity on the length (which is linked to duration) permissible in the event of a swim shortening. They also leave a little gate open by saying below 11°C it is recommended that open water swimming does not take place. They don’t state it shouldn’t take place, it could but is not recommended and then there is a little caveat about considering air temperatures.
Very much left open to interpretation and probable abuse by Race Directors and competitors alike.
That then led me to think about our Scandanavian counterparts. They of the frozen plunge pools and saunas. If anyone is better suited or conditioned to swimming in cold open water, it has got to be those living and training close to theArtic Circle.
What do they do?
Surprise, surprise, the rules are the same ITU rules (except in Norwegian).
Norway Swim rules
So while the rules are very definitive and quite clearly the governing bodies are singing from the same song sheet, what does this mean for early season racing?
My Norwegian is a tad rusty but their first sanctioned OW race appears to be a sprint race on 15th June.
Even in the UK most of the calendar at this time of year (May) is either duathlons, pool based swims or sprint distance triathlon. A very definite weighting on the duathlon and pool based side of things.
The problem is hypothermia.
In ‘The Chilling Truth about Cold Water‘, it is explained that:
“Cold water carries heat away from the body 25 times faster than air of the same temperature and as a result, the body core immediately begins to lose heat to the outside environment.”
“Within 20 to 30 minutes depending on water temperature, body core temperature drops to below 35C… this cooling, if not checked, leads to disorientation, unconsciousness and eventually death.”
The critical bit for triathletes is:
“…the steady decline in core temperature will continue until after the person is removed from the water.”
This is the massive safety risk in triathlon. Not the risk of freezing to death in the water, or sudden heart attacks triggered by the cold. Its the disorientation, loss of dexterity and the risk of continued lowering of core body temperatures whilst on the bike leg of a triathlon that is the main problem.

Like all solutions, if you remove the cause of the problem in the first place, there is no problem.

So while the Ironman decisions are defined as improvements in water safety, the main goal is to make their events more attractive to punters.

The ITU rules are to save lives.

So no matter how ready we think we are for the open water, or how frustrated we get when swims are shortened or cancelled, it is Safety First each and every time.

Maybe the solution would be to rethink our calendar for triathlon in Ireland?

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