Posts Tagged ‘swimming’

Roka R1 goggles review

Monday, September 9th, 2019 | Reviews, Video

Roka R1 goggles

In this video, I’ll review the Roka R1 swimming goggles.

The Roka R1 goggles are Roka’s top-of-the-range offering designed for open water swimming. As with everything Roka to, the packaging is designed with care. But what about the product itself?

My initial thoughts were that the lenses were a little small and stuck into my eye sockets too much. Equally, the strap seemed rather small and tough. Having tested it, there is no discomfort when swimming, so neither of these concerns is a problem. That said, the strap is a little fiddly to keep together.

There are no frames around the lenses. In theory, this adds extra visibility as you can see out of the top or down the bottom. This seems to add some additional field of view when I am at home, but, to be honest, I did not notice a real difference while swimming.

The goggles come with a white cloth bag which is high-quality, but I am not sure if I should be getting it wet or not. It also looks a lot like tissue and I almost blew my nose on it several times!

This pair has the mirror coating. This is a little too dark for my taste when using in the pool. However, in the lake, they are perfect when the sun is out as you can swim towards the sun without being blinded.

So far they have been for free. However, I have only done three swims with them so far, and typically the anti-fog coating wears off after half a dozen swims, so we will have to wait and see how long this remains the case.

I like these goggles. I think they will be replacing my Zoggs Predator as my go-to goggles for triathlon races when the sun is shining. However, I’ll be using different goggles in the pool or may even the lake when it is overcast.

Zoggs Predator Flex goggles review

Sunday, September 8th, 2019 | Reviews, Video

In this video, I’ll review the Zoggs Predator Flex swimming goggles.

If you have ever done a triathlon, you will probably have seen someone wearing the Zoggs Predator Flex goggles. In fact, you may well have seen a lot of people as the goggles are ubiquitous. In some races, I am sure half the athletes were wearing them!

There is a lot to like about them. The ridges on the strap hold it in place so there is no slippage. The strap is comfortable and the seal is excellent, so no leakage, even when kicking off from the side of the pool.

The orange tint works okay in the pool. It is most at home in overcast days in the lake, and maybe a little out of its depth when the sun in shining directly down.

Unfortunately, after many uses, the anti-fog coating is long gone and they fog up a lot.

They come with a mesh case to keep them safe.

Overall, these are my go-to goggles for open water swimming. I prefer my Speedo mirror goggles in the pool, although they leak more than the Predators, so that will probably change. Their reputation as a great triathlon goggle is well deserved.

Back in the lake

Monday, May 20th, 2019 | Sport

The open water season has arrived!

Getting back into a wetsuit reminded me just how uncomfortable swimming in a wetsuit can be lol. Last year, the water was down to 11 degrees at one point so I was expecting the 16 degrees to feel balmy. It did not. But soon warmed up once I started swimming.

I put a small hole in my wet suit and, frustratingly, when I went to glue it back together I found that my glue had tried up over the winter. So, lesson learnt, order a new tube of neoprene glue in the spring.

ROKA SIM Pro II buoyancy shorts review

Friday, April 26th, 2019 | Reviews, Video

In this video, I’ll review the ROKA men’s SIM Pro II buoyancy shorts. It’s the full thing: I’ll take you from the unboxing into a long-term review where I report back on them after a month.

Buoyancy shorts simulate the position in the water that a wetsuit gives you. This means you can practice your open water swimming practice in the pool. This could be a lifesaver for triathletes who don’t have a local lake to swim in and thus only get to practice their open water swimming in triathlon races.

I spoke to ROKA about the difference between the Elite and the more expensive Pro version. They’re very similar but the Pro version is slightly more adjustable and slightly more buoyant, so will give you a slightly better position in the water.

Are they race legal? Not really. They count as a wetsuit. So, you can’t use them in a pool-based triathlon. If it is an open water event and wetsuits are allowed, you could use them. But, in that case, you probably want to go with a full wetsuit instead. So, they’re really intended for training.

They are made of neoprene, which is the same material as a wetsuit. Basically, it feels like they have cut a section out of one and added a drawstring. I was worried about tearing it, but so far, so good.

MUSIC CREDITS

Lostboy & Slashtaq – Elysium
RIVERO & Anna Yvette – Heaven

Finland swimming

Wednesday, August 1st, 2018 | Life

During our recent trip to Finland, we spent some time at the lake and in the sea.

When I first went swimming at the Blue Lagoon, they asked me if I had done open water swimming before. Because I said yes, they assumed I knew all about wetsuits, acclimatisation and how to get rescued. I had to explain to them that in Finland, we just jump in the lake and swim. Some drown, but that must be what god intended.

We went to the same lake we’ve visited during previous trips, which makes sense because it has a nice beach, changing facilities and toilets (both just huts) and a pier to jump off if you so wish.

We also tried to find a nice beach around Uusikaupunki so we could swim in the sea. The beautiful beaches of Pori they were not.

The first one had so much plant life that whenever you swam, you ended up getting caught up in it.

Meanwhile, the second one stubbornly refused to get deep no matter how far I waded out. Venla had a good splash in that one, though.

Next time, I think it is worth the drive up to Pori. Or just swim in the lakes, which is always a pleasant experience.

Open water swimming

Friday, May 4th, 2018 | Sport

In Finland, open water swimming is straightforward: you get drunk and then at midnight, jump in the nearest lake. Some swim, some don’t. But that’s just nature’s way; it’s survival of the fittest. Over in Britain, it seems a little different.

I wanted to get some open water practice in before the triathlon season gets any further. So, I booked into the Blue Lagooners down near Pontefract. Here’s me trying on my wetsuit beforehand.

It was cold. Very, very cold. But not as bad as I imagined. The wetsuit does a great job of keeping you warm. It was only my hands and feet that were frozen. This made for quite a challenge when it came time to get out, as trying to get a wetsuit off is difficult at the best of times, but even harder when your hands are numb.

The venue is nice. They have a 250 metre and a 500-metre course. The changing rooms are just huts on the lakeside. The staff are friendly and provided a lot of useful information on getting the most from the session.

I managed 1,500 metres in the end. Although, for some reason, my Garmin recorded it as 44 metres. I’m looking forward to future events and, more importantly, to the lake warming up a little more.

7 reasons The Edge is better than Kirkstall pool

Monday, January 29th, 2018 | Sport

I’ve been training at Kirkstall leisure centure for a few months. However, since January it’s been rammed. 9-10 people per lane, which is just too many to get a proper workout.

So, I decided to give The Edge at Leeds University a go. I’ve only been twice but so far it has been a success. Here’s why.

It’s open all of the time

Kirkstall has specific sessions. For example, I used to go to the 12:00 to 13:30 session. Most of the time the pool is closed, or something else is happening, so you can’t go. You have to wait for the specific sessions.

At The Edge, the pool is open almost all of the time. There are a few sessions such as water polo or canoeing where they close the whole pool. However, for most events, they just close a few lanes and keep the rest of the pool open.

You can swim for ages

At the end of a session at Kirkstall, you get kicked out. At The Edge, you can swim until you get bored.

It’s bigger

They have eight lanes. They’re half the width of Kirstall’s three, but it feels a much better way to do it as it reduces the number of people per lane. They have multiple slow lanes, for example. And a double lane at the end if you would prefer that.

It’s deeper

Kirkstall goes from 0.8 metres to 1.6 metres. 80cm of water is not enough for an adult. It’s a family place so I understand why they do it. But I can stand up, on flat feet, at any point in the pool.

The Edges goes from 1.2 metres to 2.0 metres. Their floor can go up and down so sometimes they bring it to 0.9 metres in the shallow end. But even then the whole thing is deeper, and that is only if you go to the morning sessions. The rest of the time it is much better.

It’s cheaper

Off-peak, The Edge costs £4.50. That’s the price the public play, let alone if you’re a member of the university. At Kirkstall it is £4.90. There is no off-peak price because nobody in Kirstall has a job.

They have hair dryers

They might be rubbish, but The Edge does have hair dryers that do work eventually.

The lockers are bigger

They have these big square lockers that are much wider than most places. This makes it much easier to squeeze your bag into.

Breathe stoke swimming

Wednesday, December 20th, 2017 | Life

Apparently, most of the internet believes that breaststroke is called “breathe stoke”.

The Hydro

Tuesday, August 8th, 2017 | Reviews

For week three of our swimming tour, we drove up to Harrogate to visit The Hydro.

Changing facilities were okay. It’s all one big mixed changing room with individual cubicles. This made it quite difficult to get Venla changed as we had to use a changing table, which is complicated when everyone is wet.

The pool itself very good. The main pool actually has a deep end. It claims to be 1.8 metres deep, but my measurement put it at about 1.7 metres. They had three swim lanes as well as a general area.

The children’s pool was very warm and had a slight gradient, too. In the shallow end, I could sit on the bottom while holding Venla. There were lots of toys and floats about. Venla really enjoyed the watering cans.

They have a diving pool, too.

The “session” was just general swimming all morning. This was great as it meant we did not have to be there for a specific time or get kicked out.

The viewing area is much nicer than other pools. They have a cafe that serves a good range of hot food including breakfast and main meals, and you can sit inside or pool side. It is cash only, though.

Fearnville Leisure Centre review

Saturday, August 5th, 2017 | Reviews, Sport

Fresh from our trip to Kirkstall leisure centre, we decided to hit Fearnville this week.

It is also operated by Leeds City Council and as such as much the same facilities and pricing. It’s £4.90 for an adult and under 5s go free. There is a 25-metre pool at the same depth of 0.8 metres to 1.6 metres, making it almost deep enough for an adult in the deep end.

Their children’s pool was open and it was nice and warm. Venla enjoyed having a good splash.

The changing room setup is a little different. They split into men and women but then merge back together for family changing: with big cubicles, changing tables and lockers. This worked really well because we could double-team Venla.

The showers were back in the separate gender changing areas and there was still no plug socket for my hair dryer. The lockers required £1 and the keys were less fancy: it was literally a rubber band with a key attached to it.