A question for the half blind

Hi all,

If anyone else wears glasses and does tri, could you share any hints and tips - particularly for Ironman?

Swim - as a crap swimmer I'm banking on just following those in front, and hoping that any bouys are large enough for me to see. Back up will be positioning myself according to the position of the sun, but it can move a long way in 2 1/2 hours!! (and I will need to adjust at the turns, assuming that I know that I am there!!). I know I can get prescription goggles, but the finances have run out so that is a no-no. IMUK apparently will have a table where I can pick up my glasses, so if I get that far without getting lost I will be OK.

Bike - as an even crappier cyclist, I tend to start streaming sweat at an early stage. Any tips for keeping the glasses on and not slipping down my nose? I end up paranoid that they will fall off! Also what do you do when it is raining? I end up being able to see nothing, and taking them off sometimes - not a good idea when racing as I can see in colours and broad shapes only! Again finaces do not allow for prescription cycling shades.....

Run - rain is OK as I wear a baseball cap with the peak pulled down, which keeps most of the rain off the glasses. Slight trouble with the galsses slipping down my nose, but pushing them back up isn't really a problem whilst running.

What is anyone's experience of contacts? I've been told not to wear them swimming, although I know that some of you do from earlier discussions. I've got two reservations about this:
1. I'm not going to want to be pi$$ing about in T1 trying to get contacts in
2. If I lose a lens (whether swimming or not) I'm screwed unless I am carrying spares and have a steady hand (some hope in an IM!!)

Any feedback appreciated, and although I hope it won't rain when I'm on the bike, I would like a contingency plan that involves being able to see!!


  • One of my bestest tri buds wears contacts with no problems, Griz (and he's good!). He wore them throughout Tough Guy, too, which included total immersion in elephant's pee, with no recourse to goggles.
  • Elephant's pee eh? Well that has to equate to a couple of thousand Ironmen pi$$ing in their wetties in front of me.

    So amonia is OK - but is chlorine OK as well? (I do all my training in the pool, and the golden rule is don't try anything new on the day.......)

    Thanks Jj!!
  • grizz
    I come in the half blind catagory!
    I wear prescription goggles for the swim, and they only cost £25 and my prescription is a bit of a strange one.
    for the bike I invested in addidas sunglasses with prescription insert, they have a nice strap so no worries about them falling off and dont slip but a bit pricey £160
    then I just run with my normal specs
    hope that helps a bit
  • JB - have you got any more info / website for the prescription goggles? SpecSavers were decidedly unhelpful when asked! they basically said "go buy some bike glasses and we will see if we can put some lenses in them, but no promises", and no go on goggles (I started to explain about tri and the need to have a solution for all three disciplines and they looked at me as if I was mad.................

  • I wear contacts in a chlorinated pool (with goggles when training, without when just chilling out after the hot tub!) No problems with them. I wear face-mask type goggles and a lens has never fallen out.

    Lowest risk/price option is probably the daily wear type lenses. Once you've had a check-up and contact lens prescription, you can buy these by the box (usually 30 = 15 pairs in a box). And if by some bad-luck you lose one in the water it's not a financial disaster!

    By the way, the law has just changed. Your optician has to give you your contact lens prescription after a check-up which means you can now buy lenses anywhere you like
    (before, this law applied only to spectacle prescription)
  • I wear contacts for nearly all sport (except sometimes don't bother for running). MOnthly disposables. I've been told not to wear them for swimming but always do, in pools and OW and no problems really. Wore them all through my channel swim so probabaly had them in for about 20 hours in total and I don't remember a problem.

    Some people with monthly disposably lenses keep a pair for only wearing swimming, separate from the others which they change every month (if that makes sense), but I never seem to be that organised.

    Maybe get daily throwaway ones?
  • dan dandan dan ✭✭✭
    Grizzly, vision express do a good presecription goggle.Just pop into a branch with your prescription and pick them up more or less straight away for 30 quid.

    Pretty comfortable, I wore mine for several hours during a long distance swim, no leaks or problems.

  • don't know about goggles cos I've only swum in pools, but I've also got Adidas sunglasses (Gazelles)for bike and run. Not the cheapest but also not the most expensive ones you can buy - and I've found them so comfortable I often forget I'm wearing them. They come with two sets of lenses, one bright light and one low light - the lenses just clip in and out individually - and the prescription bit just clips onto the nose bridge. The nose bit is adjustable, too, and is cut out - so you don't get the sweat'n'slip problem.

    You can also buy extra lenses for them if you want different tints for different conditions/activities.
  • to keep your glasses on, invest in a strap that clips onto the side pieces and fits round your head, don't have a clue what they are called but they are very cheap and work great. any good tri or bike racer shop should be able to help.
  • I wear contacts (monthly disposable)and don't have any problems swimming, biking or running.

    For the IM I am planning to leave my glasses in T2 so that if my contacts are annoying me, occasionally do if they have been in a long time and I am tired, I can take the contacts out and throw them away and put on my glasses.

    But I can see well enough to run and swim without them anyway.
  • Cheers for the input guys - Mrs G is now on a mission for disposable contacts and some prescription goggles. Sounds like everyone ignores the advice not to wear contacts swimming then!

    [the pirates rebel......]
  • If you have decent goggles I can't see why contacts and swimming could be an issue.

  • NessieNessie ✭✭✭
    I wear contact lenses and have never had any problems swimming, although I wear goggles. I've also never lost one (been wearing them for 15 years) apart from once when I rubbed my eye forgetting I had them in.

    I wear daily disposables, but wear them for 2 days (hope my optician's not reading this), unless I've been swimming, when I ditch them after one day. I buy them online, and it works out at about £10 a month.
  • This is where I drop in to tell you all how fabulous my implanted contact lenses are. No more faffing around with lenses and cleaning solutions. No more wondering around the side of swimming pools trying to work out which of the blurred blobs are your friends. No more grabbing for the glasses when an attractive lady walks by on the beach.........

    Yes, they were a bit pricey but worth every penny.
  • NessieNessie ✭✭✭
    Is that similar to a cataract op, MrW? Do they remove your "own" lenses, or do they put "normal" contacts in the eye?

    [starts to get squeamish thinking about it]
  • They insert a lens between your cornea (the clear layer at the fron of the eye) and the iris. It is attached to the iris so it doesn't move around. It's like having a contact lens under the cornea, so you don't have to clean it or worry about it falling out.
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