I went shopping today to pick up some swimming essentials, since triathlon training starts Monday and my first workout will be in the pool! I trekked (it actually wasn’t a bad trip, and it’s a beautiful day) downtown to Paragon Sports, which you should visit if you live in New York or are visiting. This place has a ton of stuff and an incredibly helpful (and not at all snooty) staff. Plus you can try on goggles before you buy them, which gets an A+ in my book.
My mission was to get what I would need for the swimming component of my training: a suit, goggles, and a few swim caps. Mission accomplished! Paragon Sports has a great selection of everything you could possibly want. I used to swim competitively, so I had a clear idea of what I wanted: basic suit, thick straps (it seems like a lot of brands are making thinner-strapped suits now, which I don’t really see being all that comfortable, what with the chafing), latex caps, mirrored and tinted goggles. It was strange buying swimming gear again, it’s been a super long time since I’ve done that. Very little has changed. It really took me back, though, to the days of weekly swim meets and being current with the latest suit designs, and having a favorite brand (I’m still partial to Speedo and have a weird thing againt TYR). You’ll also notice that I couldn’t help but pick up a PHELPS swim cap. I thought that was too hilarious to pass up. Sean (if you’re reading), that one’s for you! You may also notice the bottle of talcum powder, which I didn’t actually pick up at Paragon, but at CVS on my way home. This is to prevent your caps from becoming mushy, chlorine-eaten balls of useless latex. After swimming, let the cap dry a bit, then powder the inside. This makes it much easier to manipulate and get on your head, and also prevents the cap from sticking to itself (trying to separate it from itself can cause tearing and breaking). I hate the smell of powder, but this is an essential if you want your caps to last!