Each triathlon is made of three parts – swimming, running, and cycling. Athletes competing in triathlons have to make quick transitions from one discipline to the other so that other competitors would not be able to catch up to them. However, this is easier said than done, especially for people who have to switch between glasses.
So, Should you wear glasses or contacts when competing in a triathlon? Generally triathletes with weak eyesight prefer the use of prescription goggles in the swim leg, and changing to prescription sports glasses in the transition. It is true that contact lenses eliminate the need to chanage eyewear during the transition, which could be significantly advantageous in short-distance races, however, they are not designed to be used in water as may cause irritation, discomfort, and might fall off.
Also, check out our post on “How Much Does Prescription Swimming Goggle Cost? Types and How To Pick One“
- Why You Should Race Triathlons With Glasses?
- How Do You Keep Your Glasses on Your Face While Cycling or Running?
- Can You Wear Glasses While Swimming?
- Can You Swim Underwater With Contact Lenses? Can You Open Your Eyes Underwater With Contacts?
- Will Your Contacts Fall Out If You Open Your Eyes Underwater?
Why You Should Race Triathlons With Glasses?
For each discipline in a triathlon, one can choose if they want to go with glasses or contacts. It is recommended that people use protective glasses anyways while running or cycling, so triathletes with weak eyesight will have to figure out what to do with the swim part of the race.
Glasses are the easiest to use in general. Even if your lenses get blurred or dirty, it will take a few seconds for you to wipe them clean. Then, you can throw them back on and continue with your race. The entire process will be less time-consuming and way more convenient.
Unlike glasses, contacts require more careful handling and maintenance. If your hands are not clean, you cannot take or put in the contacts. You will have to think about washing or disinfecting your hands before you deal with the contacts, but that will put you at a disadvantage timewise.
Whether a person chooses to compete in a triathlon with glasses or contact will be up to them. It is still a matter of preference – some people might feel more comfortable using contacts, while others might choose to use glasses. When training for the triathlon, try to incorporate both glasses and contacts to see which option feels better to you. Then, you can continue training and eventually compete with your preferred option.
How Do You Keep Your Glasses on Your Face While Cycling or Running?
When you are cycling or running, no matter if you are doing it as part of a triathlon or not, you can use your regular glasses. However, an even better option would be to go with special cycling or running glasses. They come with many advantages over regular glasses. (Source)
The biggest advantage is the build. When you look at cycling glasses, you are bound to notice that they extend around the entire face, not only the eyes, making them more stable and less likely to fall. This helps protect your eyes as the actual glasses will act as a barrier to dust and bugs.
While there are regular non-medical cycling glasses that people without eyesight problems use, there are also some great options for people with eyesight problems. If you do have a problem with your vision, you can ask your doctor to prescribe suitable lenses for the cycling glasses. You can even get glasses with UV protection as well as proper seeing lenses.
The only problem with these glasses is the fact that they can sometimes be a bit expensive. However, with many options to choose from, we do not doubt that you will find a pair that will fit your budget. Once you do, take them right to your Optometrists (eye doctor) to get them the proper lenses.
Can You Wear Glasses While Swimming?
Swimming is undoubtedly the most problematic part for people who wear glasses in triathlons. This is because they have to decide between glasses or contact for the swimming part as well as practice with them.
As easy as the decision might seem, it is not as there are a ton of things to think about. People can wear glasses when swimming, however, the best option would be swimming goggles that are fitted with proper vision-correcting lenses (Referred To As Prescription Goggles).
Using such goggles, you can see better underwater while also protecting your eyes from infections. So, remember to get the goggles before you start swimming practices.
Can You Swim Underwater With Contact Lenses? Can You Open Your Eyes Underwater With Contacts?
Instead of wearing glasses or swimming goggles while swimming, you can always go for contact lenses. Even though they are not as easy to use as glasses, they come with a few advantages over glasses. So, you can consider them as an option when competing in a triathlon or swimming for fun.
The first thing you should know before swimming with contact lenses is that you need daily disposable lenses. These lenses are not that expensive, you can get a bunch of them, use them during your swim meets, and then throw them away. Soft lenses are not recommended when swimming because of how prone they are to bacterial infections.
Whether you swim in a pool or open water, you have to consider that there might be bacteria in the water. If that bacteria makes its way to your lenses, it will surely come in contact with your eyes. Then, it can lead to a nasty infection that will have you in and out of the doctor’s office for months. (Source)
No one wants to deal with such things, so we recommend getting lenses that you can throw away after each swim. Even then, it is not recommended that you open your eyes underwater to try and look around. If you want to do such things, it would be smart to wear swimming goggles in addition to the contact lenses or get prescription Swimming goggles.
Using goggles, lenses, or a combination of the two can be a bit too much for some people, but it is better than dealing with infections. So, if you are not sure which option you want to go with, have a chat with your doctor and see what they would recommend.
Will Your Contacts Fall Out If You Open Your Eyes Underwater?
If you decide to swim with contact lenses, you have to be mindful to avoid opening your eyes. The contacts can easily fall out when they come in contact with the water.
That is why we recommended using swim goggles and contacts together. In addition to the extra protection, this will allow you to open your eyes underwater and see around. T