Tri-Swim Tuesday: Goggles

9 03 2010

Remember those days of college where you got a whole week in the middle of the semester to go to some exotic location?  This was always complicated by being broke so you ended up bumming places to sleep and spending one night passed out on the beach?  Yeah – me neither.  I always studied during spring break too.  Really, I did.   Moving on.

It’s spring break for the JMU Tri club, so no morning swim workout.  Instead we are going to talk goggles.  Everyone wears them, almost everyone complains about them – lets figure out how to get a pair that fit correctly so you don’t finish your workouts like this:My first words of wisdom are to go to a swim shop or some other sports shop and TRY THEM ON.  They might cost an extra couple dollars at a shop, but it will cost you a lot more to order the wrong goggles that leak or are uncomfortable that you have to replace! (once you find the right style feel free to shop at a cool online store like All3Sports and save some $$)  So how should they fit?  When you put the goggles on your face, there should be a little bit of suction and they should stay there for a second or two, without the need for the overhead strap.  Yes, you need to use the strap for actual swimming but you should not have to rely on the strap to tighten them down to keep them on your face.  Make sure the nosepiece fits properly across your nose (it shouldn’t be pushing or pulling, the sockets should sit right down into your eye sockets.)  If you have a small face you might try a pair of children’s goggles.

So you’re at a swim shop gazing at a wall of goggles unsure of what the heck you’re looking for.  Here’s a run down of the types of goggles and how they work for triathlon.

1.   Swedish Style:  You’ve seen those cool collegiate swimmers on deck with their Swedish style goggles. These googles are good for racing and are likely to stay on during a competition (diving in.)   Since they have no material between the plastic and your face, they are also good for those who are alergic to other materials.  These are not great for triathlon racing because there is no material between your face and the goggle.  One hit to the face wearing these in an open water swim and you’ve got one heck of a black eye!

2.  Gasket Style:  These are the most popular type of goggles. They are usually leak proof and fairly comfortable.  They tend to be pricier, but they tend to last longer than other types as well. If you’re going to be competing and practicing often, you should go with this type over the others.   There are so many different styles and brands of gasket style goggles, make sure you check the fit well to avoid leaking and the need for over-tightening.

3.  Mask Style:  More and more triathlets are choosing mask style goggles.  Masks offer wider peripheral  vision which is especially helpful in an open water swim.  I have also heard (I of course always look fresh and perky so I don’t know anything about bags under the eyes) folks say that the mask goggles help prevent bagging under the eyes.   The down side to the mask is the size which can be cumbersome and cause more drag in the water.

Next, to tint or not to tint?  My answer – both.  If you are doing an open water swim triathlon you should arrive at the race with both tinted and non-tinted goggles in your bag.  There’s nothing like a glaring sun to blind you and cause you to swim off course during an open water swim!!

Finally, fogging.  My husband used to use baby shampoo, rub a bit into the inside of the goggles, rinse and swim.  When I tried this I ended up with stinging eyes, so that one was a no-go for me.  I have paid $25 for anti-fogging goggles, I believe those are the same pair I had to use baby shampoo on.  The icky one a lot of folks swear by is spit.  Give the goggles a good swish in the water, shake off any excess water and then spit into the lenses. Rub the saliva over the lenses.  This one never worked for me either and gross – I don’t want spit in my eye!!   I love my Foggle wipes for both cleaning a lenses and keeping the fog out.  Clean the inside and out of your goggles with the wipe, let it dry and you are good to go.  I am on 3 weeks now from my last cleaning and no fogging yet.




One response

6 03 2014

Its like you read my mind! You appear to know so much about this, like you wrote the book
in it or something. I think that you can do with some pics to drive the message home a bit, but other than that, this is fantastic blog.
A fantastic read. I’ll definitely be back.

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