How do I keep my swim cap on?
October 6, 2014 6:28 PM   Subscribe

I'm swimming laps, following the 0 to 1650 program, and my swim cap always starts coming off around the 400-yard mark. I end up having to stop and fix it a lot. What could I be doing wrong? I don't know what I'm doing, please help

Every time I swim laps - right now, I'm sticking strictly to a forward crawl - I wear a bathing suit, goggles, and a swim cap. I put the swim cap on before I put on my goggles. About 400 yards into my swim, the swim cap starts to come loose. Water comes in through an opening somewhere in the cap's lip, the pockets between my upper skull and the cap slowly fill up, and soon I'm fumbling to keep the cap on as I also struggle to keep my forward momentum. I usually have to stop around 550 or 600 yards to take off the cap, empty it, and put it on again. Do I have to do this? What am I, or could I, be doing wrong? Could it be as simple as a bad fit? I don't know what I don't know, so I appreciate any ideas!
posted by Rustic Etruscan to Health & Fitness (13 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Are you getting your hair wet before you put on the cap?
posted by dilaudid at 6:32 PM on October 6, 2014

Response by poster: Yes. I shower before entering the pool room itself.
posted by Rustic Etruscan at 6:37 PM on October 6, 2014

Are you putting any product on your hair beforehand? The only time this has happened was when I followed some bad advice to use conditioner first to protect my hair. (Also doing laps.)
posted by Room 641-A at 6:52 PM on October 6, 2014

If you have really long hair, I would get one of the caps designed for that (there's basically just more space at the back of the skull). Made a world of difference for me.
posted by ktkt at 6:56 PM on October 6, 2014

It's could be a bad fit. What type of cap is it? If you are newer top swimming it could also be a product of form if you're tilting your head up to where you face the wall more then the bottom of the pool.

It's still more likely your cap.
posted by bitdamaged at 6:59 PM on October 6, 2014

Sorry, really dumb question: do you have the cap on correctly? The crease should run from your forehead to your nape, not ear-to-ear.
posted by dorque at 7:09 PM on October 6, 2014

Response by poster: Not to threadsit: I don't use product beforehand, I just wash my hair with the soap in the dispensers by the showers; my hair isn't long, but it may be kind of thick, I don't really pay attention to it until my bangs are in my eyes; I try to keep my head down, but maybe it's not down enough; it's a rubber (or rubbery) cap, and no crease is visible on the outside, but I wear it with the inner crease running from forehead to nape.
posted by Rustic Etruscan at 7:16 PM on October 6, 2014

what kind of cap do you wear? I can't use the latex ones (seriously how does ANYONE use them?) they squeeze my head and inevitably slip off.) If that's what you're using, try the lycra ones.

edit - I see you use the latex ones. There's your problem. Throw away the latex ones or bury it in the dark of the moon and get a lycra one. Problem should be solved.
posted by fingersandtoes at 7:26 PM on October 6, 2014 [1 favorite]

When you push off the wall, is your face looking forward (instead of down)? Ideally, during those moments of forward thrust, the water pressure is hitting the top of your head, pushing the cap more on, rather than peeling it off. Oops, reading more closely, it sounds like you're looking down.

Something else I've run into with caps trying to come off is when an air bubble is trapped inside. You can get it out by going under the water (ideally upside down, e.g., doing a quick somersault, or just holding your head upside down a bit) and pushing on the air bubble.

I usually have to stop around 550 or 600 yards to take off the cap, empty it, and put it on again. Do I have to do this?

I don't think so. The cap filling with water isn't really a problem, in my experience. I usually try to accelerate the process via the aforementioned squeezing-out-the-air-bubble process.
posted by slidell at 7:44 PM on October 6, 2014

How far down your forehead is your cap? If I don't pretty much have my cap against the edge of my goggles (so: over my eyebrows), it's gonna start slipping back.
posted by notsnot at 8:15 PM on October 6, 2014

Definitely get a silicone cap. They are more gentle on the hair versus the latex ones. Also, different brands are shaped differently from each other so one brand may work better for your head shape than others.
posted by tipsyBumblebee at 8:24 PM on October 6, 2014 [3 favorites]

I have found Speedo brand silicone caps to be quite snug, and TYR caps to be looser. Try a few brands, if you need to. Also, keep in mind that a tighter cap may be more likely to pop off your head and a looser cap more likely to stay on.

Another thing to try is the old summer camp trick to putting your cap on: While you're in the shower, turn the cap inside out and fill it with water. Then, you just kind of want to drop it on your head. Gravity will turn the cap rightside out on your head. This process really helps get rid of any airbubbles, which may contribute to the problem you're having.
posted by hydropsyche at 4:34 AM on October 7, 2014

Response by poster: I got a new silicone swim cap, did the inside-out trick, and tried harder to keep my head down; for the past two days, the cap hasn't even come close to coming off. Thanks, guys!
posted by Rustic Etruscan at 7:32 PM on October 9, 2014 [2 favorites]

« Older How do I handle heavy-handed compliments?   |   If train B leaves the station at 3:15pm going... Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.