The World According to Nick
My take on Software, Technology, Politics, and anything else I feel like talking about.
Tuesday, July 05, 2005

My Suggestion... 

Work on your swimming form, not your shaving form. This question comes up every now and then among male triathletes. Should I shave my legs? I wrote a while ago that I would never do this... and I hold firm to that original proclamation. However, the forums are again abuzz with talk about shaving. So what are the reasons men choose to shave their legs?

It Makes You Swim Faster: First of all, a large number of triathletes (including yours truly) wear wet suits... so shaved legs don't do jack here since they're covered up. But if you're one of the ones who don't wear a wetsuit, might I suggest that you take the time you would spend shaving your legs, and use it to work on your form instead. The 1/4 second you would save due to less resistance from hair (if such a savings exists at all) would be greatly trumped by the 30 seconds (or minutes) shaved off your time (pun intended) by improving your form to produce a more efficient stroke. Read this article for more information.

Road Rash Heals Faster: Having never had a high speed crash on my bike, I can't really attest to this. One of the things that I like best about triathlons is that the bike race is not in a pack (like the Tour de France). Pack racing has a much higher incidence of crashes compared to time-trial racing. But if you do crash more than I do... this might be your only practical reason for shaving.

Your Legs Look Sexier: Shaved legs show off your triathlete muscles better than hairy legs. Well... that's debatable now isn't it? They also make you look like a girl! Aren't there any women out there who like hairy guys any more? Has the metrosexual cliche become that entrenched in our society that I need to pick up a Ladies Schick just to get a date?

You'll Fit In: Shaving your legs is like a secret triathlete hand shake. Everyone else is doing it, so just suck it up and clean them off. Seeing as how I've never been one to do something just because everyone else did it... this doesn't hold much water with me. If you're not convinced that I'm a triathlete when I tell you because I have hairy legs... then I'll just show you my USAT Membership Card. Honestly... the mere fact that you're in the transition area on race day will do more for camaraderie then standing in a drug store aisle trying to figure out which razor will get those hard to reach spots around your ankles.

So that's my take on it. There might be one practical reason to do it... the rest are purely about taste and style. So if you don't think shaving is for you... then don't let everyone bully you into it and convince you that you'll be a better athlete because of it. You'll be a better athlete by concentrating on your sport.


guys with smooth legs are pretty damn sexy and if they are shaving their legs they probably are shaving other parts of their bodies so the sleek nature of their body will be real sexy. I know guys that are shaving their chests, arms and arm pits too! also i hear its easy to take off your wet suit easier

  Posted at February 28, 2006 10:01 PM by Anonymous Anonymous  
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Name: Nick
Home: Wauwatosa, WI, United States

I'm a Software Consultant in the Milwaukee area. Among various geeky pursuits, I'm also an amateur triathlete, and enjoy rock climbing. I also like to think I'm a political pundit.

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