Check and Refresh Your Swim Gear


Posted by Coach Patty Collins

As the season is upon us and we are getting ready for our first race or have just finished a couple early season races, it’s a good time to check out our gear. Is it serviceable and safe? Is it clean and in good repair? Here are some focus points to check your swim equipment and have it safe and ready for the season:  


Swimsuit: Are you suits so worn they are sheerer on the backside than you’d prefer?  Hopefully, you have some very kind lane mates that can give you a gentle reminder.  If you’ve missed last year’s end of season sale and are not ready to plunk down $$$ for a new suit, take a lesson from lots of swim team kids.  Double up two worn suits.  You will cure your “peep show” and create a little extra drag in your workouts.  It’s a WIN-WIN and it’s F-R-E-E.



Wetsuit: Does it have a few little marks from sharp fingernails or being stored in a box with something sharp?  You can pick up a tube of neoprene glue at a local hardware store for less than $10.00 and carefully repair it.  It won’t look terrific and must dry for 24 hours, but it works like a charm and you won’t have to buy a new wetsuit.


Goggle Straps: Are they getting old and dry?  I learned a trick a few years ago (again from those school-age swimming kids) to use a small stretchy cord as a goggle strap.  They are virtually indestructible and you certainly won’t break anything trying to adjust your goggles. 


Foggy Goggles:  Anti-fog coating worn off? There are lots of options here:  saliva, baby shampoo (rinse well after applying), and a special anti-fog lubricant.  They all work well, it’s just a matter of what your budget allows.


Pool Toys: Are they a little dirty or mildewed?  Come on, admit it, some of us have neglected our bag of pool toys, (paddled, buoys, fins, snorkel).  Maybe we left them in the garage on a shelf,  perhaps they a little damp when we threw them up there last fall, and maybe there was an old towel in the bag as well! Fear not!  Fill your kitchen sink with water and add a bit of household bleach, white vinegar and maybe some lemon juice and get busy! Using a sponge or old toothbrush, work on those ugly black spots and scrub them away. After they are clean, use lots of water to rinse away any residual bleach. 


Sunscreen: This is the time replace old stock. Stash it everywhere so you will be more likely to use it.


So there you have it, a few short and sweet tips to have you tip-top at the pool! 


Coach Patty Collins is a USAT Level 1 Coach, USAC Level III, and USMS Level II Coach. She is a Veteran having served 24 years in the Army with deployments to the Balkans, Iraq, and Afghanistan, retiring in 2015.  She joined Team MPI in Jan of 2017 shortly after competing in the Paralympics in RIO as a triathlete. A lifelong athlete, Patty began as a high school runner and switched to Triathlon in college and has dabbled in bike racing and kayaking. Patty's drawn to coaching because of its inherent reliance on developing relationships with athletes and establishing and sharing goals. She enjoys the process immensely and believes it's one of trust, confidence, life balance, goal setting, and joy along the way. Patty has one (adorable) son. She can be reached at

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