Tuesday, May 7, 2013

UK Norseman winner...the journey to black tshirt begins

This month, Mike Tate our UK Norseman winner started his training with blueseventy coaching partner Andy Bullock. The first session was a video swim analysis at the University of Bristol and enabled Andy to give Mike essential feedback on his technique to help him become more efficient over the 2.4mile swim. In the first of his training blogs, Mike talks us through his thoughts on winning and starting training towards that famous black tshirt.

You can read Mikes blog over on our main blueseventy site as we're in the process of closing down this blog.

Read it here...

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

New swim race suits hit the pool! And how to keep them racing faster for longer...

It’s exciting times in our world of swimming at the moment. Not only is it 80 days today until the FINA World Championships in Barcelona, but we’re getting ready to launch some cool new swimwear this summer.

neroTX is now available in FINA approved colours – pink, blue and orange! You’ll be able to order those from June 2013 but we’ve had a few swimmers wearing the first samples at the Australian Swim Trials in Adelaide this week, there are a few about to break into the water for the first time in the UK next month and some heading to the US Masters in Indianapolis.
We’ve also refitted neroXII to make it even faster. Look out for nero14 this summer.

So with a bigger range of suits now available, we’ve put together this guide to race suits – which to chose, how put it on correctly, how to care for it. These tips are designed to help keep your suit swimming faster for longer, so we hope you find them helpful! 

Which nero for which competition?

  • neroTX – lightweight, fast, ultrasonic welding, great value for money, available in black, pink, blue and orange
  • neroXII – advanced compression technology, ultrasonic welding, blueseventy’s top level suit as worn by Olympians
  • nero14 – refitted and refined neroXII, top level suit just got faster, available summer 2014

We suggest you save your best, most expensive suits for your best, most important meets. The fabrics are highly technical and chlorine, which is effectively bleach, damages them. Wearing them for long periods of time also stretches them, and is uncomfortable for you, so here’s our race day suit tips:

  • Put your suit on about half an hour before you race
  • Always have a spare suit with you, just in case! And you may need a dry suit for finals anyway!
  • Don’t wear your race suit for warm ups and swim downs – put your training suit on for these
  • If you have two races that are very close together, keep the suit on but remember this isn’t ideal, and might stretch your suit.
  • Girls, if you swim down between races wear a training suit over the top of your race suit, take the straps off your shoulders and roll the race suit down to the narrowest part of your waist. This will be more comfortable, and it will help to reduce the stress on the bonding and fabric.
  •  neroTX will dry more quickly between races as it’s a lighter weight fabric
  • neroXII and nero14 are ideal for that one off race when you need to be at your absolute best!

Getting into your nero...

If it takes you less than 5 minutes to get into your suit, you are not wearing the right size. Race suits need to be worn very tight, like a second skin. If you wear the right size, it will also be virtually impossible to get into if the suit is wet, so make sure you dry your suit thoroughly between wears, but definitely not under a hand dryer!

  • It will take you at least 5-10 minutes to get your nero on
  • If you rush, you are more likely to damage your suit
  • Take your time, work the suit up slowly from the bottom, pulling on the seams or double layered panels where possible, and don’t forget to cut your nails!
  • Girls may find it helpful to have a friend to help them get the straps onto their shoulders.

Caring for your nero...

We know at the end of a competition you are completely exhausted, and rinsing out your suit doesn’t seem like a priority... but leaving your un-rinsed nero at the bottom of your swim bag will damage it. To keep your suit faster for longer, please take the suit off after your race and rinse it in cold water before it dries.

  • Dry your nero flat, this will help keep it in shape for longer
  • The next best way to dry your nero is hung upside down from the legs – this will prevent water gathering at the crutch and damaging the bonding in this area.
  • Do not use a hand dryer to dry your suit between races, ever, please!

Suit care summary....

  • Save your neroXII (or nero14) for your most important races
  • Choose neroTX for meets where you have multiple races in a short period of time
  • Don’t wear your nero for warm up or swim down
  • Have two suits – you have a back up and a dry suit for finals
  • Your nero should take between 5-20 minutes to put on
  • Don’t rush putting on your nero - take your time, work the suit up from the bottom first and pull on the seams when possible
  • Our suits are light so that they are FAST, so don’t use unnecessary force to get into your suit because this may damage it
  • Rinse your nero in cold water after each race
  • Dry your suit flat, or suspended by the legs – never use a hand dryer

With this simple guide, blueseventy hope to keep you swimming faster for longer!

Friday, April 26, 2013

Jorgensen Makes History and Stanford's Stellar Debut

At the ITU WTS San Diego event last weekend bluseventy athlete Gwen Jorgensen won and American National Championship but even bigger than that she became the first American female triathlete to win a WTS event.  Great Britain's Non Stanford, debuting in WTS events, charged hard late in the run to grab second place by a meter over Emma Moffat - putting blueseventy athletes on the top 2 steps of the podium.  San Diego was warm but cool water made it a wetsuit swim so both ladies donned their helix wetsuits to start the race.

We caught up with Gwen after the race:
bs: Gwen, first congratulations on your historic win, how were you feeling going into WTS San Diego?  
Gwen: I was feeling good; I knew my last three months of training had gone well and I was excited for the opportunity to race on home soil. 

Gwen out on a training swim
bs: You are a massively talented runner by background- what do you do to keep your swimming sharp so you can keep yourself in the "game" in the highly competitive ITU format? 
Gwen: I am coached by Jamie Turner, who has me focusing on my swim. We have been taking my swimming back to the basics, focusing on technique and drills to help with my open water swimming. I also swim in the ocean with my Helix wetsuit at least once a week to prep for races. 

bs: What do you like most/what is most helpful about your Helix wetsuit?
Gwen: I love my Helix wetsuit. It does all of the obvious things like keep me warm, but it's comfort, durability, and ease in removal are key. I love the zipper that starts at the top (reverse zipper), it makes getting the wetsuit off faster than others. I swim in my wetsuit multiple times a week, and I love the durability. The Helix also gives me a lot of mobility in the shoulders, making it easy to swim faster with a high cadence. 

Watch for more winning results for Gwen and Non this season.  For more details on how the race played out and for pics of Gwen and Non at the finish line check out this article from Slowtwitch.com 

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Athletes in nero win 9 medals at the British International Swim Meet

Olympian Georgia Davies in training in Swansea

Last week swimmers from across the UK, Europe, the USA and UAE travelled to Leeds for the first British International Swim Meet.  The meet was highly anticipated and featured an impressive line up of athletes, including triple Olympic gold medallist Natalie Coughlin, and current Olympic champions Ruta Meilutyte of Lithuania and Ranomi Kromowidjojo of the Netherlands.

Between them blueseventy swimmers, known as ‘teamblueseventy’, reached the podium nine times winning four gold, three silver and two bronze medals. Derventio eXcel (who recently renewed a swimwear deal with blueseventy) swimmer Abbie Wood also met the qualifying criteria to compete for GB at the European Youth Olympics.

James Guy, the youngest member of teamblueseventy, had an outstanding meet, winning the 200 freestyle (1:48.28) and 800 freestyle (8:04.38). At just 18-years-old James was young enough to swim in the junior final but chose to race in the senior finals.

In the 200 freestyle he beat two-time Olympian and 2010 Commonwealth Games champion over that distance, Robbie Renwick, while in the 800 freestyle he beat  Britain’s Daniel Fogg, who finished 5th in the Open Water 10km at London 2012. But James didn’t stop there. He also won silver in the 400 freestyle only losing out narrowly to Robbie Renwick, and bronze in the 200 butterfly.

Georgia Davies, who represented Team GB at London 2012, produced some fast early season times to become double champion in the 50 backstroke (28.04) and 100 backstroke (1:00.45). It was a narrow victory for Georgia in the 100, with only 0.06 separating her and silver medallist Lauren Quigley.

2010 Commonwealth Games competitor Alys Thomas swam two lifetime best times to win a silver medal in the 100 butterfly (59.62) and a bronze in the 200 butterfly (2:11.63). She was only denied gold in the 100m by three time Olympian Jeanette Ottesen Gray from Denmark, who finished 6th in 100 butterfly at London 2012.

Adam Barrett also won silver in the 50 butterfly in a blanket finish, with just 0.13 separating second and fifth place. Barrett touched ahead of British Champion Jack Marriott, and Olympians Anthony James and Michael Rock.

Congratulations to all the athletes who were swimming fast in nero!

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

World Champion Pete Jacobs partners with blueseventy

blueseventy is delighted to announce that we’re supporting reigning Ironman World Champion, Pete Jacobs as he prepares for a tough season of racing before targeting the defense of his title in Hawaii in October. Jacobs has a signed a multi-year deal.

Jacobs is one of the most exciting triathletes today, placing second in Kona in
2011 and improving on that performance with a convincing victory last year. At just 31 he could dominate in Kona for years to come. “I'm very happy to be back in the best fitting wetsuit I've ever worn,” Jacobs commented.

Tim Moxey, blueseventy's CEO is pleased to have Jacobs back. "Pete's one of the best swimmers in the world and chose blueseventy as his first ever suit when he was coming up through the ranks in Australia. Knowing how important the fit of the suit is for him, we knew the current helix would lure him back. It's the fastest suit on the market."

blueseventy's Director of Athlete Support, Ryan Vanderloop, has setup Pete with the new suits to help get him ready to race the Escape from Alcatraz Triathlon in San Francisco this weekend. "We have some new products we're developing for Pete, and he's helping us with some tweaks to some of our suits for next year."

Participation in long distance triathlon is growing at a phenomenal rate around the world, and blueseventy is proud to be working with the two best long course athletes in the world with Jacobs and Leanda Cave, the defending Ironman and 70.3 World Champion.

In 2013, Jacobs will race the Escape from Alcatraz Triathlon, Utah 70.3, Hawaii 70.3, Cairns 70.3, Ironman Frankfurt and Philippines 70.3 with the ultimate goal of repeating his victory at the Ironman World Championships in October. We will be supporting him all the way!

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

British Athletes Medal at Aussie Youth Olympics

Marc Austin | image © 2013 ImacImages Photography

Four up and coming junior triathletes, all supported by blueseventy, made the long trip from snowy Britain to boiling hot Sydney for the Australian Youth Olympics (16-20 Jan) and came away with three bronze medals.

Young sensation Georgia Taylor Brown, the European Junior champion, and Scotland’s Marc Austin won bronze medals for Team GB on Sydney’s hottest day since 1939.

The Youth Olympics features 1700 athletes taking part in seventeen sports over five days and aims to develop Olympians of the future. For the southern hemisphere athletes the event takes place mid-summer, but for those from the north it was a tough challenge to race in the middle of winter training.

Australian triathletes claimed gold in both the men’s and women’s races through Jacob Birtwhistle and Jaz Hedgeland, but Marc, who is 18 and a Maths student at Stirling University, was delighted with his bronze medal.

“All of us Brits are at the same stage in training and none of us are race fit at the moment. So seeing that Georgia could do it in the form that she was in made me believe I could go out there and do the same,” said Marc. He exited the water in the first group of swimmers. On the bike leg a big pack formed, stopping anyone being able to make a break, and the race came down to the final transition and run. “I didn’t really know how I was going to perform with the heat and getting acclimatised, but I am really happy with my performance. This is one of the greatest experiences of my life!”

A day on from the individual success, Marc and Georgia teamed up with Sophie Coldwell and Gordon Benson to win bronze behind two strong Australian teams in the mixed relay – a fantastic and exciting event that could feature in the Rio 2016 Olympic Games if the IOC vote goes the right way in September!

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Meet Tom Sunter

British international open water swimmer Tom Sunter, 20, chats with blueseventy about his transition from the pool to the deep blue and the 2013 Open Water swim circuit.

Tell us a little bit about your background.
I’ve been a swimmer from a very young age, but I only competed in my first open water event in 2010. The last past two years have seen me gain a lot of experience in what was an ‘alien’ sport to me! I made the British team for the 2010 LEN Cup in Israel (which also doubled as the World trials), despite never having swum more than a 1500m in the pool!

So what have you been up to more recently?
I swam at the 2012 European Open Water Championships in Italy, where I was hoping for a top ten finish on the 10k. I was a bit unlucky and was out of the water for a month before. I only got back in just three weeks before the competition, so I knew it was going to be tough.
I started well and to the 7000m mark I was sitting in around eighth place. But then the lack of training and preparation caused me to slip down the pack and finish in 27th... Not what I had hoped for! 
I’d finished 5th at the Junior Europeans for the previous two years, but this was my first European Championships as a senior. But you have to look at the positives and I did take a lot of experience from that race.

What does the 2013 hold for you then?
In January I am competing in the first two legs of the World Cup Series in Brazil and Argentina and I’ll be taking my blueseventy nero legskins with me. This will be the first time I compete in a FINA World Cup event, even though I’ve competed in five legs of the European Cup over the past two years. I’m looking forward to visiting Brazil, especially with the build up to the 2016 Rio Olympic Games just beginning.

What would you like to achieve in 2013?
My main aim is to qualify for the World Championships in Barcelona in July. If I manage to secure a place on the team for that, then that is just a bonus, as I know how difficult this is going to be. 

Who are you up against this year?
My main rival for a place on the team is Daniel Fogg. Dan finished 5th in the 10km at the 2012 Olympic Games. I’ve raced him a few times over the last two years on 10km events and I know how tough he is.

Seeing as you’re from a pool background, how have you found the transition to open water?
It wasn’t as hard as I expected. My stroke is suited to racing in rough and choppy water, and I’m able to ’spot’(lift my head up forward to breathe) quite easily. The thing I wasn’t used to during my first few races was just how physical a 10km race is! So many swimmers swim in such a small area that competitors receive knocks to the face and body. Obviously there is a referee to stop physical contact, but I have been hit a few times and I know that it was done intentionally!

So apart from taking self-defence classes, what are your tips for someone looking to make the move to open water?
Making the move from pool swimming into open water swimming is very exciting, but I would advise starting on a small/local race. That way you can work on techniques and skills, and then it will be easier to build up towards the bigger races, which are undoubtedly going to have more contact and be more challenging. 
Another tip I have is to draft behind other swimmers. Drafting behind other swimmers means a decrease in effort but still being able to maintain speed. It is estimated that a swimmer who has their head on the hip of another swimmer is exerting around 13% less effort that the swimmer in front. This means you can save energy for the sprint finish at the end. I once led a race for 9400m only to be overtaken on the final sprint... Had I drafted more, the results might have been different.

What suits do you where when you race in the pool and open water?
 I’ve raced in blueseventy suits before in the pool, last season for example I wore the neroXII jammers and I was pleased with how they felt. Some suits often don’t fit as well around the knee but the Nero was great. I have also raced in the Helix wetsuit in one of the Great Swims in 2011. It was the first time I raced in a wetsuit and I found it surprisingly light and the freedom of movement I had was amazing!

Good luck to Tom in 2013 as he takes on the world; we hope he’ll be swimming faster in blueseventy too!

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Norseman Contest

There are races that push your limits...and then there's the Norseman. Without question it's the world’s most iconic and toughest long-distance triathlon as well as the most Northern, taking place at the same latitude as Anchorage in Alaska and traveling through the most beautiful parts of Norway.

The prize? Bragging rights for finishing on the plateau of mountain Gaustatoppen at 1,850 meters above sea level (that's about 6,000 ft for our American friends).

Competition for the 250 slots is, as always, fierce and all have been taken for 2013. Except for the 2 that we have in this competition. 

As the official wetsuit and swimwear support, blueseventy is offering the chance to race Norseman 2013 along with a package that includes a blueseventy wetsuit, a race kit, race support and hotel accommodation. You'll also receive a training program with one of our coaching partners, Matt Dixon of Purple Patch in the US or Andy Bullock and Simon Ward in the UK.

The winner will also be featured in the run up to the race by Triathlete Magazine or Triathlete Europe with regular training updates and a special race report. You will be walking people through your training progress and so you need to be comfortable writing updates posting up images. 

The competition is open to readers in North America and Europe - one race slot has been allocated for each region. Entries are now open and close on Sun 3 March. On Mon 4 March finalists will be posted live on our Facebook page. Votes are then open from any of our Facebook friends to vote for who they would like to see sponsored. The athletes with the most votes will be notified on Mon 18 March.

It goes without saying that this isn't a first timers race and is generally suited to mad people who like beasting themselves in ice-cold water then running up a cliff face. As a minimum you need to have completed at least a handful of iron distance race to enter the competition. 
Race date is Sat 3 Aug...good luck!

What's Norseman you say? Take a peak at the excellent video below and hurry over to our Facebook page to enter now!