I’ve done it about 15-18 times in my life, and every single time, it feels great. It feels slick, clean, uninhibited…and FAST. I did it again last night….a full body shave. I read advice on a whole plethora of issues, but never shaving. Realizing that some of this is better suited for the guys, here goes:
1. Why is shaving fast? I used to think it was because of the lower resistance. Then I learned from Coach Megerle, who was one of the shaving pioneers, that it has more to do with neurological responses.
2. Don’t mask that feeling- Many have shaved, dived in a pool, and felt that incredible feeling of a slick bod. You might think it’s best to shave as late as possible or to mask the feel of a shave until right before your event. Swimmers still wear panty hoes while warming up at their championship meet. At Tufts, we shaved Wednesday, traveled Thursday, and the 3-day meet started Friday. In between, we got our bodies accustomed to the feel. And I dare say that collectively as a team, we typically had some of the best swims of the meet. In 1998, I went to the Masters Swimming Nationals in Indianapolis. (By the way, if you haven’t been to swimming’s “Mecca,” don’t pass up an opportunity. It’s incredible.) At that meet, I shaved Thursday for the meet that started the next day. I was disappointed in my Friday swims, but then got better, and without a doubt had my best times on Sunday.
3. Only shave one or two times per year. Shaving MUST be accompanied by full rest. A fatigued, shaved body won’t perform well. Realistically, you won’t go through a full taper any more than 1-2 times. There have been experiments to see if shaving for every meet would work- and it didn’t. The exception to this rule would be if you shave for your A race, then qualify for an even bigger event.
4. Use a foam cream, not a gel. I find the gel slides right off.
5. If you do a “touch-up” shave a day or two later, be very careful to go “with the grain,” especially on the quads.
6. Clip first. This will get rid of 90% of the hair, making the shave much easier.
7. Be ready for a terrible night’s sleep. Rubbing your own slick legs together just isn’t a natural feeling for some of us- on top of the fact that we’re keyed up for a big race.
8. Don’t plan on gettin’ any for a bit. Slick legs don’t just feel weird for you.