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This Swimming Review’s All Wet: Swim Speed Strokes and AquaLight

swim reviewChilly weather might not make you immediately think of swimming as a perfect winter workout, but we’d have to disagree. If you’ve got an indoor pool available (or even a heated outdoor one in milder climates), it can be an awesome addition to your regular winter activities, and today’s swim-centric reviews feature a couple of products you might want to look into for just that reason!

Swim Speed Strokes for Swimmers and Triathletes Book Review

This is the third Swim Speed book by Sheila Taormina, who, aside from her success as an author, is a serious badass on her own. She competed in her first Olympics at the age of 27, and from there competed in four consecutive Olympic Games in three totally different sports (swimming, triathlon and pentathlon). So, the woman pretty much oozes FBG cred right there.

Swim Speed Strokes breaks down all four swimming strokes (freestyle, butterfly, backstroke and breaststroke) to showcase the similarities and differences in each before moving on to detail proper technique for pretty much every element of every stroke, using data and — most importantly — beautifully clear, crisp underwater photos of the world’s most elite swimmers to provide examples.

So, the good: There is so, so, so much information in here. I mean, if you have a question about swimming, it’s answered somewhere on these 200 pages. And I know I already mentioned the photos, but that’s really what I found to be most beneficial — you rarely have a chance to see these specific movements, and pretty much never with such clarity. The images are a huge help in understanding the mechanics. Also, I love her emphasis on learning more than one stroke — while you might only use freestyle in triathlon, for example, learning the others will actually help you improve your form and strength. (Plus, it’s fun to mix things up!)

The not-so-good: While some parts of the book are clear and easy to read, many other parts get a bit more scientific than I was expecting. All that data and information I mentioned is great … if you’re comfortable reading and using it. If you’re not, I’d imagine it could become a bit overwhelming. Don’t give this to your water-loving 8-year-old and expect them to use it to become the next Michael Phelps, is what I’m saying.

It’s not a long book, but you’ll probably want to study it section by section to get the most out of it. If you’re looking for some expert advice and pro tips (backed by science!) to take your strokes to the next level, this is a great book to have on your shelf.

AquaSphere AquaLight Review

I’m no stranger to AquaSphere — their goggles remain my current faves — so when they announced their new line of AquaLight swimwear, I was all ears. AquaLight fabric is designed to dry six times faster than traditional swimwear fabric, which is particularly helpful during the colder months when you really, really don’t want the water from your suit to soak through your sweats as you’re driving home.

I checked out the Tiki. Fit and feel-wise, it was very similar to the other AquaSphere suit I’ve been wearing, which was great. However, I can’t say I noticed much (if any) difference in the quickness of drying — my pants (and the seat of my car) were no less drenched than normal with this suit. Still, at $59.95, the price is in line with other suits by the brand, and in general, that’s a good price for a quality suit regardless of quick-dry capabilities. Plus, who knows? Your results may vary from what I uncovered in my not-even-slightly scientific wet-butt study.

Do either of these products have you reaching for your cap and goggles? I keep a swim go-bag packed and ready at basically all times. True story. Swim happens!Kristen

FTC disclosure: We often receive products from companies to review. All thoughts and opinions are always entirely our own. Unless otherwise stated, we have received no compensation for our review and the content is purely editorial. Affiliate links may be included. If you purchase something through one of those links we may receive a small commission. Thanks for your support!