Train with Com­fort and Con­ve­nience in Open Wa­ter

Triathlon Magazine Canada - - Warm Up What’s New / What’s Hot -


A new prod­uct de­signed by a Cana­dian Olympian Sharon Don­nelly, is in­tended to make your open-wa­ter swims safer and eas­ier.

“The pop­u­lar­ity of Iron- dis­tance triathlons means more peo­ple want to en­joy open-wa­ter swim­ming,” ex­plains Don­nelly, “but safety has to be para­mount.”

Don­nelly, triathlon gold medal­list in the 1999 Pan Amer­i­can Games and one of the top swim­mers when she com­peted on the itu cir­cuit, has worked with sev­eral part­ners, in­clud­ing an en­gi­neer, to de­velop a bright yel­low swim aid called ifloat. The water­proof bag makes swim­mers more vis­i­ble, al­lows them to swim with their cy­cling and run­ning gear and is eas­ily car­ried on the bike or run.

ifloat works empty or full. If you are do­ing a bike-to-swim work­out, once you’ve packed the bag with your gear – your bike hel­met, bike shoes, clothes and wal­let, for ex­am­ple – it takes less than a minute to seal up, inf late and se­cure around your waist. The ad­justable length of strap be­tween the bag and the waist strap leaves the bag f loat­ing near the back of the knees so it doesn’t make contact with your hands or feet while swim­ming.

Don­nelly, who has coached na­tional teams on both sides of the bor­der, says there are many dry bags on the mar­ket but they’re not inf lat­able or stream­lined for swim­ming. She tested a num­ber of pro­to­types be­fore set­tling on the cur­rent de­sign, and says the ifloat is a sturdy, high- qual­ity, all-in- one prod­uct that en­hances train­ing and gives her peace of mind as a swim­mer and a coach. “Even if I have a life­guard on duty, I never feel com­fort­able coach­ing a big group. At an open-wa­ter prac­tice, triath­letes of­ten fall into smaller train­ing groups based on abil­ity, so I now get one or two swim­mers in each group to wear an ifloat.”

“We use it at Meech Lake in Gatineau Park, Que. a lot. You start at one beach, swim a few kilo­me­tres on a straight course, get out of the wa­ter at an­other beach, and run back to where you started.”– TW

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