PDA

View Full Version : flip turn and oxygen debt



lehe
August 13th, 2009, 03:29 PM
Hi,
I feel having more and more oxygen debt as doing more and more flip turn when swimming continuously. There must be something wrong with my technique, like badly timing the last breath before turn and staying too deep and long off the wall. How can you cope with this lack of air problem?
Thanks and regards!

Alexander Hughes
August 13th, 2009, 03:58 PM
I have a similar problem, I find that there are two causes usually:
1. Taking a breath too long before starting the flip
2. I get water in my nose during flips, so I blow air out of my nose to keep the water from getting in. Unfortunately I tend to blow my air doing this instead of using a small stream.

My highschool coach always told me not to take a breath until I'd completed at least 2 strokes after the turn. I have a really hard time with that, and I believe it's because of the reasons above.

I think hypoxic breathing drills would be useful to help out on that issue, teaches you to live with the amount of air in your lungs for longer periods of time without taking a breath.

smontanaro
August 13th, 2009, 04:00 PM
Read through Ande's Swimming Tips. There are a lot of gems in there. As you get tired it becomes more difficult to hold your form together. Things get ragged, you waste more energy off the wall and need to take a breath sooner. Maybe practicing your break out when you're tired will help. Concentrate on your streamline, set a goal distance off the wall before you take your first breath, etc. Also, if you get used to doing a couple streamline dolphin kicks you can maybe sacrifice them as you get tired yet still hold a good streamline off the wall.

S

DPC
August 13th, 2009, 04:24 PM
I run into this a lot of times. Try to relax as much as you can, concentrate on doing a quality flip turn and then on the breakout - you can slowly add things like the SDK, and the finer points as you get more comfortable. Lately at the end of a practice I will do a short set of 20 flip turn/breakouts. Starting about mid-pool I will sprint to the wall, turn, try 4 SDK off the wall and not breath until I have completed at least one stroke and stop - wash, rinse , repeat. I'll start slow and increase my speed for the last 5. If you read Ande's tips - he says a lot about creating habits and how eventually you automatically do something. It's all about creating good habits . It seems to work well. However, like Alexander said, the timing of the breath before the turn can make or break it.

funkyfish
August 13th, 2009, 04:32 PM
I used to have a horrible time with flip turns, when I was younger I only did them in races and hardly ever in practice. 3 years ago as I began to swim again, I made it a point to do more flip turns. Each practice I'd do a few more than the last, and after about 4 months or so, it became habit and now I do them continuously without thinking about it. It was a bit tough at first and I was always feeling out of breath, but gradually over time my endurance got better.
:D

Herb
August 13th, 2009, 11:43 PM
I have been suffering from the same problem.

I have personally found that the oxygen deprivation is just not worth it at the cost of hitting the wall during a workout. I breath every other stroke and into and out of every turn, including sneaking in a breath into the turn if my stroke is not timed right. As I started doing distance sets this summer I had to shamefully resort to open turns after a couple thousand yards. But I found it liberating to admit that I just couldn't handle the turns as I was able to complete grueling sets without losing speed. After a while it has become less and less of an issue.

I don't know that any coach would agree with this strategy. I used to force myself to swim 500+ yards warmup breathing every 3rd stroke but I don't feel like it ever got me anywhere besides miserable.

I'm hoping that the distance swimming will help me explode into and out of the turns when I go back to sprinting this fall - but I'm not holding my breath.

Lui
August 14th, 2009, 07:20 AM
I just got back into swimming a few months ago after an almost 2 year break. I started swimming around 1993.
I still have to get back to my old shape and realized a lot of my usual workouts I have stored on my computer are still a bit too tough so the flip turns get exhausting after I'm halfway through my workout. I tend to do a flip turn in one side and a normal turn to catch that extra breath on the other side when I start getting tired. Over time the body will get more used to it.
I also do an occasional 25 yard under water swim to improve my lung capcity.

djacks
August 14th, 2009, 08:45 AM
Last fall I watched Michael Klueh of Texas go 15:15 for a 1650 (:55.45 pace). He was just playing around, but he was breathing every stroke the whole way as well as taking a breath into, and out of, every turn (except the last 50 where he dolphin kicked to the 15m line).

This breathing pattern is something I've observed in most elite distance swimmers. That being said, at the elite level they all have great turns with excellent streamlines off the wall. Also, I'm sure in practice they do plenty of hypoxic breathing patterns and dolphin kicking off the walls.

Oxygen is good.

srcoyote
August 14th, 2009, 10:25 AM
I always breathe in and out of every turn. As I've lengthened my swims to doing 4K and 5K non-stop swims routinely, that doesn't change. I have, however, gotten much better at lengthening the streamline off the wall which turns out to be a huge energy saver in the longer swims.

nkfrench
August 14th, 2009, 11:31 AM
I do a lot better when I breathe every stroke and take a quick breath going into the turn. Then I am in better shape to hold a decent streamline and get out of the turbulence before I start breathing again. My turnover rate is pretty slow so breathing every other stroke I just get too air-hungry.

We do some breath-control sets at practice and I can usually handle them but only if I completely sacrifice speed and swim very relaxed (pace slower than warmdown pace).

Muppet
August 14th, 2009, 11:37 AM
Take a step back to 5-year-old lessons and revisit blowing bubbles. I have found that most folks with this problem just don't know or remember how to breathe and exhale properly. If you're holding your breath and exhaling while turning your head to the side to breathe, you're limiting the time you have to bring in fresh air. Blow those out slowly while you're swimming, so that when you turn to breathe, you're spending all/most of that time taking in fresh air.

As for turns, you're probably blowing out way too hard and fast to prevent water going up your nose. To correct, try this... it will be uncomfortable, but go through a few turns without exhaling at all. The point is to figure out exactly where during the tumble the water starts going the wrong way. Figure that point out, and then do a few turns slowly exhaling through your nose starting at that point. You should have plenty of air leftover for a good, long, perfect streamline and breakout.

lehe
August 14th, 2009, 11:52 AM
Thanks!

Fortunately I don't exhale during my turns or it is not that I am aware of, but there is a little bit messy in my pattern of controling my breathing out to be slow before rotating my head to catch air.

Yes, I agree with some of you that breathing every 3 strokes especially adds more difficulty. Ever since I switched to this 4 years ago, I have struggled to fight for oxygen and the progress has been slow though I feel OK now when swiming forward but the problem remains for my turns.

Coming into the wall, is your last breath happening before the last stroke or two?

Before pushing off the wall, I think I should position my upper body closer to the surface for breaking earlier to catch my first breath?

orca1946
August 14th, 2009, 12:43 PM
In order to get a good breath before the flip, try to EXHALE strongly in order to get a better air intake before the turn.

srcoyote
August 14th, 2009, 02:22 PM
My breathing into the turn is during the recovery before my last pull with that arm.

I don't know that I would try to push off nearer the surface. There is energy savings to be had by streamlining under the turbulence you just created swimming into the wall. During the streamline I work on relaxing muscles not needed in the streamline (i.e., neck, chest, facial muscles, etc.) That seems to not make the oxygen need so urgent.

For proof of this, try and swim the entire length of the pool underwater using breast stroke underwater work. The second time, completely relax your mind and your face and your neck and see how much easier it is or how much further you get.

SolarEnergy
August 15th, 2009, 03:11 AM
Yes, I agree with some of you that breathing every 3 strokes especially adds more difficulty. Ever since I switched to this 4 years ago, I have struggled to fight for oxygen and the progress has been slow though I feel OK now when swiming forward but the problem remains for my turns. This may be the key here. Like you say, adaptation to this strict o2 diet (breathing every 3) took some time. It's the choice you made back then and although you adapted to it, now you're adding another significant challenge on top of it. Coming out of the wall, you're in need of more o2 but switching back to breathing every 3 doesn't satisfy this need (short term).

You may continue to wait until adaptation kicks in. In the mean time, pushing off the wall, you may breathe every 2-3-2-3 (which is very close to pure "every 3") for a while. Or even 2-2-3- 2-2-3 still has this bilateral flavor while increasing the o2 intake significantly.


Coming into the wall, is your last breath happening before the last stroke or two? before last, all the time, except in training where sometime it happens after last before flip. But off the wall always after 2nd.


Before pushing off the wall, I think I should position my upper body closer to the surface for breaking earlier to catch my first breath? Not sure here (although that depends on how deep your upper body currently is). There should still be a glide after the push off and you should control the deep and the surfacing then, not before before pushing off.

Tendency would be even to stay deeper nowadays, and kick butterfly, can you imagine? Nowadays, folks extend this hypoxic phase to favor underwater propulsion. Most breathe every two though. I am not questioning your breathing strategy since I do not know you well enough. But I might just remind you that breathing every 3 satisfies a technical need, but in the same time does have an impact on physiological demand. If you want best of both world, this 2-2-3 or 2-3-2-3 patter might be good compromise.

As for the flips, the difference between times SCM and LCM lies in the quality of their execution. So clearly that's o2 deficit well spent.

lehe
August 15th, 2009, 11:10 AM
Thanks! I like these technique discussions and will practice what you said. =)

Switching to breathing every 3 strokes was merely intended to develop and balance my stroke technique. When it comes to some level, I agree varying breathing pattern is one way to go, although in practice this hybrid method sometimes mess up my rhythm.

Some elite swimmers, like Phelps, tend to dig deeper when pushing off the wall, which I heard is to avoid the turbulence near the surface. That requires quite a capability to tolerate hypoxic, and at least to me at this moment it is not always comfortable. Off the wall, I can do 3~5 or sometimes even more dolphin kicks if I am not concerned about oxygen, but limit to slight 1~2 if I hope to swim longer distance and feel more easy.

By "positioning my upper body closer to the surface", I actually meant tumbling a little more angle before planting my feet on the wall, but not "before pushing off the wall" as what I said. I have the impression that if I don't keep this in mind, more often than not, my head is pointing slightly to the bottom of the pool and I will go off a little deep underwater and delay my breaking out.

SolarEnergy
August 15th, 2009, 11:31 AM
I have the impression that if I don't keep this in mind, more often than not, my head is pointing slightly to the bottom of the pool and I will go off a little deep underwater and delay my breaking out. I understand now.

On the topic of bilateral breathing pros/cons, I like Ernest Maglischo's take on this. Here are few extracts of his most recent book:

Alternate breathing has been used by many world-class swimmers, *particulary females*. Its use is controversial, however, having both strong proponents and opponents among elite coaches and swimmers....
... The most compelling argument against alternate breathing is that oxygen supply will be reduced. This may cause swimmers to fatigue earlier in races. This is obviously a very serious disadvantage that, potentially, could outweigh all of the advantages listed earlier, and for this reason I do not recommend that swimmers use alternate breathing in races.

His position is reallly driven by priorities. Stroke mechanics is very important, but not as much as making sure we get sufficient supply of fuel (o2).

Again, I do not want to try to convince you to change your breathing patterns. I just wanted you to know that this is a controversial topic. Logically the very first place where you will experiment unbearable o2 deficits is after each turn. If breathing strategy is inadequate, then this is where this strategy will hurt the most (after each turn).

djacks
August 15th, 2009, 02:50 PM
I finally committed to learning to breathe bilaterally. It's been difficult... old dog, new tricks. I only intend to do this in practice and have been doing a lot of breathing every three strokes and some every five. Almost all my pull sets are done this way. I've definitely noticed an improvement in my stroke mechanics and balance. I've also learned to be a little more comfortable with the lack of oxygen. When I switch back to breathing every two strokes, such as on a harder interval or when racing, the additional oxygen is really appreciated.

My advice: In practice breathe every three; when racing breathe every two.

isobel
August 15th, 2009, 07:53 PM
I've seen some really fast distance swimmers (last heat at New England Masters championship meets) do open turns the whole 1000. Didn't seem to slow them down.

I also have read somewhere that there is new thinking about breathing as you go into the wall for a turn, that it is OK to take a breath along with your last pull as you flip over. I'm with that approach.

I agree with what I want to say Coyote says but I don't think that's his name: especially for long distances, say, a hypothetical 10K, just streamlining off the wall, no kicking whatsoever, for me, saved me a lot of energy. It was my rest period.

But I'm not setting any records.

SolarEnergy
August 16th, 2009, 09:19 AM
Almost all my pull sets are done this way. Nice approach. O2 requirements are much lower while swimming with a Pull.


I've seen some really fast distance swimmers (last heat at New England Masters championship meets) do open turns the whole 1000. Didn't seem to slow them down. It's the push off that makes the biggest difference I think, not the flip. I'm not surprised to hear that some have success with open turn.



I agree with what I want to say Coyote says but I don't think that's his name: especially for long distances, say, a hypothetical 10K, just streamlining off the wall, no kicking whatsoever, for me, saved me a lot of energy. It was my rest period. I don't kick neither off the wall, just streamline. To me, the key is to wait to breathe only after 2nd pull.