After years of careful development, the female founded company Swijin have just released a new raft of game-changing product which offers both extreme comfort and style in the same breath. Swimrun.com interviewed founder, Claudia Glass on this exciting new brand. For Claudia, the flood of endorphins when crossing the finish line WITH your partner is what makes swimrun a wonderful experience. After years of running alone, Claudia deeply appreciated the strength gained from having a partner. You take turns helping each other, both physically and mentally which is the best feeling in the world.
What does ‘Swijin’ actually mean?
Our name is inspired by the Japanese Shinto Goddess of clean water, Suijin. We actually contacted a Shinto priest for permission and he invited us to Kyoto to pray at her temple. I can’t wait to do this. We switched the u in Suijin with the w for Swimrun, Sweden, and Switzerland.
How much do you think Swijin will improve the female experience of swimrun?
The single most rewarding part of building Swijin is alleviating pain points and seeing them swimrun without distractions. It’s so nice for beginners as well, who might just want to go on a leisurely swimrun without the wetsuit – our biker shorts are made without that horrible seam running between your legs, so you can wear them comfortably without underwear. We want to provide comfort, flexibility and beauty.
Is there anything like this on the market? Or is this a completely new innovation?
Although swimrun bras already exist, we realised from our own experience that they don’t address the number one pain point – chafing. Our Hybrid Swimrun Bra and Brief are made with flat, bonded seams and soft, technical textiles that dry in a flash and are built to wear under the wetsuit. But we also offer a matching biker short for warm summer runs, when wetsuits aren’t necessary. We integrated a pocket for gel packs and first aid kits as well.
We worked with swimrunners and scientists at the Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Science and Technology for two years and made prototype after prototype until we achieved success. Premium textile manufacturers, physiologists, textile engineers and designers were hard at work in the process.
Finally, sports bras – especially swimrun bras – are quite utilitarian. Our Milanese designer worked both in lingerie and with luxury brands. As one of our swimrunners said, “This is a techy, sexy, comfortable miracle suit. You guys nailed it!” We wanted to create something beautiful, too. So women can walk right into a grocery store after working out and feel elegant.
How quickly does it actually dry?
Laboratory test results reveal that ours dries at an 80% faster rate than competitors. If you run through the shade of the woods on a warm summer day, you are dry in 15 minutes and can sit back down at your desk and keep working without changing clothes.
Let’s talk about chafing! Will athletes still need to apply lubrication in friction areas?
No. We eliminated the friction points because we know women wear tight-fitting wetsuits over their bras. When your skin is wet, the cells swell and the membrane becomes thin and easily ruptures. This is precisely why we are fusing seams through ultrasonic welding, creating a seamless touch. A fine, mono adhesive stretch band is bonded to the edges. This makes the bra comfortable to wear to the gym as well. It’s like butter but with the support of a strong compression bra.
Any comments you can share with us for those who have used Swijin?
A world champion who I am not allowed to name said, “I don’t know what to say because I didn’t feel it,” and then she begged me to keep the prototype. Another said, “I have never worn anything like this before. It feels like I am not wearing anything at all, yet I have all of the support I need.” One swimrunner showed me her scars and chafing injuries every meeting we had. She said, “I ran and ran and ran and look! No chafing!” That’s when you know you are onto something.
Any advice for first-time swimrunners?
I recently attended a training camp with Wild Swimrun in Mallorca. You get a great overview of the equipment that works best for you while enjoying the shared passion for exercise in nature. Competing in an experience race is a great way to dip your toes in the water. But the first step is to find a beginner partner who wants to explore the sport with you – they hold you to training schedules but also explore the sport with you, so you are never alone.
What does the future hold?
Our fashion designer and textile engineer have managed to create the world’s most beautiful t-shirt of the lightest fabric imaginable. This will be the next step in building a brand for and by swimrunners.
Learn more at: www.swijin.com
Made in Italy (product, textile and finishings). Your SwimRunner arrives in Swiss Cradle to Cradle Gold Standard packaging.