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View Full Version : Flip or open turns in distance races?



Namor
January 22nd, 2011, 02:50 PM
In the Olympics everyone does flip turns in the 1500m but I was wondering whether many ordinary mortals resort to open turn for longer distances in the pool? I think I am quicker flipping in a short distance race
but it feels as though as I am going slightly into oxygen debt, so I'm not sure they're beneficial over long distances. (I am experimenting but I don't do enough long distance races to have much data.)

orca1946
January 22nd, 2011, 02:53 PM
Flips use the motion that you have to help in the turn, whereas open turns stop it. Take a deeper breath going into the flip.

ourswimmer
January 22nd, 2011, 04:00 PM
I watched a lot of short course 1500s last weekend and even among the slower heats the vast majority of swimmers did flip turns on every turn. In a race with 59 turns, even a small increase in speed per turn adds up to a big decrease in overall race time.

smontanaro
January 22nd, 2011, 04:47 PM
I'm not an elite swimmer. That said, I opt for flip turns if at all possible. When I first tried postal swims I needed to do open turns after awhile, but once I got my wind back, switched back to flip turns. I suspect it depends mostly on your aerobic conditioning and the efficiency of your flip turns.

S

Speedo
January 22nd, 2011, 04:52 PM
If you feel like you are going into oxygen debt on the turn, an open turn may be better for you. I recently did a best time (almost a lifetime best) in a 200 backstroke just streamlining off of the wall and popping up with no kicking in an effort to conserve oxygen. Oxygen is underrated.

thewookiee
January 22nd, 2011, 05:14 PM
If you feel like you are going into oxygen debt on the turn, an open turn may be better for you. I recently did a best time (almost a lifetime best) in a 200 backstroke just streamlining off of the wall and popping up with no kicking in an effort to conserve oxygen. Oxygen is underrated.

What was your time?

Speedo
January 22nd, 2011, 05:47 PM
What was your time?I went 5sec faster than last year in SCM- 2:17. It was the first time I tried the walls that way, and I feel like it helped me.

Karl_S
January 22nd, 2011, 06:08 PM
I went 5sec faster than last year in SCM- 2:17. It was the first time I tried the walls that way, and I feel like it helped me.
That's a nice time! Good swimming!
I agree that in the 200 back, O2 management is important.

ande
January 22nd, 2011, 06:49 PM
for most people flip turns are way faster than open turns so
if you care about your time
always FLIP your turns
also push off hard, streamline skinny, and glide far and fast

If your flip turns suck
do open turns

if you're not sure

have someone time you
in and out of the flags at your distance pace
first with a flip turn
next with an open turn
find out what your difference is then multiply it by the number of turns in your race

see which way is faster, mass moves much quicker through air than it does through water

also there's many slow ways to do open turns and a few fast
if you must do open turns, learn to turn faster so you waste less time

JimRude
January 22nd, 2011, 07:06 PM
I think it relates to aerobic capacity.

At USMS Nationals in Clovis in 2009, I lap-counted for Dave Radcliff (http://www.usms.org/comp/meets/indresults.php?SwimmerID=025V8&Sex=&StrokeID=0&Distance=&CourseID=0&lowage=&highage=) in the 500 free. About half way, he started doing open turns. I was a bit worried (to say the least) that something was wrong, so I asked his wife. She said, "no, he just finds he needs and gets more air that way in the longer races". He went 6:05, BTW, which I believe was a national record for his age group.:bow:

Namor
January 22nd, 2011, 09:12 PM
David Radcliff is scarily fast for someone his age! I guess I should follow Ande's suggestion and try get someone to time my turns.

EJB190
January 22nd, 2011, 09:27 PM
I actually witnessed a high school level swimmer do a 100 free with open turns in under 58 seconds...

Speedo
January 23rd, 2011, 08:32 AM
That's a nice time! Good swimming!
I agree that in the 200 back, O2 management is important.Thanks. The OP hit on a topic that I feel like I've had a breakthrough on, so I thought it was a good example of doing something that's eschewed at the elite level, but may help us down here at the mere mortal level.

jaadams1
January 23rd, 2011, 09:47 AM
I think today in a few hours I'm going to choose to do OPEN TURNS for my 500. Why? Of course because it's tough to do flip turns when you're swimming butterfly! I can't guarantee 2 hand touches on every wall though. :)

thewookiee
January 23rd, 2011, 10:43 AM
Thanks. The OP hit on a topic that I feel like I've had a breakthrough on, so I thought it was a good example of doing something that's eschewed at the elite level, but may help us down here at the mere mortal level.

Congrats on the swim!! That is an impressive time. I am going to experiment with that for a bit in my 200 back. The last 3 turns are always my worst.

I have worked very hard on improving my underwater dolphin kick but it still falls apart in the 200.

Do you feel that you were able to push off the all with more "umph" on each turn since you weren't staying underwater to kick? How were your splits in this previous race compared to the one before? I would guess they were close together on each 50.

I will keep on improving the underwater kick for the 50 and 100 but may start learning toward this for the 200.

Speedo
January 23rd, 2011, 11:03 AM
Congrats on the swim!! That is an impressive time. I am going to experiment with that for a bit in my 200 back. The last 3 turns are always my worst.

I have worked very hard on improving my underwater dolphin kick but it still falls apart in the 200.

Do you feel that you were able to push off the all with more "umph" on each turn since you weren't staying underwater to kick? How were your splits in this previous race compared to the one before? I would guess they were close together on each 50.

I will keep on improving the underwater kick for the 50 and 100 but may start learning toward this for the 200.Thanks wookie. Yeah, my dolphin kicks are lame so it was easy to chuck them, and I'm not sure why I didn't think of it sooner for the 200. Yes, since I didn't have to worry about when to start dolphin kicking it allowed me to concentrate on the pushoff a bit more I think.

Comparing the two races, it's tough to glean any info because I paced them very differently. Last year I took it out too slow and had a bunch of energy at the end, while this year I went out fast and tried to survive:
2009 (w/2 poor dolphin kicks off of walls):
34.40; 36.82 (1:11.22); 37.11 (1:48.33); 34.29 (2:22.62)
2010 (w/no dolphin kicks, streamline):
32.27; 34.27 (1:06.54); 35.44 (1:41.98); 35.69 (2:17.67)

Had I tried to stay under and kick the same way this year, I wouldn't have been able to hold the pace on the last 50- I was dying something fierce.

jaadams brings up a good point and made me think about something. If I were doing a 500 fly, I would HATE to have to do flip turns- I think this would make it infinitely harder than doing open turns. So referring back to the OP, I still think open turns are the way to go at this point.

thewookiee
January 23rd, 2011, 11:09 AM
Thanks wookie. Yeah, my dolphin kicks are lame so it was easy to chuck them, and I'm not sure why I didn't think of it sooner for the 200. Yes, since I didn't have to worry about when to start dolphin kicking it allowed me to concentrate on the pushoff a bit more I think.

Comparing the two races, it's tough to glean any info because I paced them very differently. Last year I took it out too slow and had a bunch of energy at the end, while this year I went out fast and tried to survive:
2009 (w/2 poor dolphin kicks off of walls):
34.40; 36.82 (1:11.22); 37.11 (1:48.33); 34.29 (2:22.62)
2010 (w/no dolphin kicks, streamline):
32.27; 34.27 (1:06.54); 35.44 (1:41.98); 35.69 (2:17.67)

Had I tried to stay under and kick the same way this year, I wouldn't have been able to hold the pace on the last 50- I was dying something fierce.

jaadams brings up a good point and made me think about something. If I were doing a 500 fly, I would HATE to have to do flip turns- I think this would make it infinitely harder than doing open turns. So referring back to the OP, I still think open turns are the way to go at this point.


In a 500 fly that is done during a "freestyle" event, I am not sure I would worry about flipturns or a lot of dolphin kicks off the walls. That would really make the last 400 hurt

jaadams1
January 23rd, 2011, 08:42 PM
In a 500 fly that is done during a "freestyle" event, I am not sure I would worry about flipturns or a lot of dolphin kicks off the walls. That would really make the last 400 hurt

Well...after my fly day, the 500 being the last event, I'm definitely exhausted, but did very well, and had fun! <--definitely the most important part. I did my open turns with one hand so I could double breathe on the walls, pushed off with a good streamline glide, and came up with 1 dolphin kick as I began to stroke. Worked out quite well really. Just settled into a groove and went with it. 6:11 overall time, 2:20 at the 200 point. I had many comments afterward about how smooth it looked. And I also had comments about how stupid of me it was to do that swim! I had a big F U to those people (I only thought this, not verbal), mainly because they either can't do it, or don't know the satisfaction you get from accomplishing a hard task, etc. One of them is the 50-some year old hot shot breaskstroker in our LMSC that I'm going to beat in his events at the LMSC Champs...just to rub it in a little more... :banana:

That Guy
January 24th, 2011, 12:36 AM
Well...after my fly day, the 500 being the last event, I'm definitely exhausted, but did very well, and had fun! <--definitely the most important part. I did my open turns with one hand so I could double breathe on the walls, pushed off with a good streamline glide, and came up with 1 dolphin kick as I began to stroke. Worked out quite well really. Just settled into a groove and went with it. 6:11 overall time, 2:20 at the 200 point. I had many comments afterward about how smooth it looked. And I also had comments about how stupid of me it was to do that swim! I had a big F U to those people (I only thought this, not verbal), mainly because they either can't do it, or don't know the satisfaction you get from accomplishing a hard task, etc. One of them is the 50-some year old hot shot breaskstroker in our LMSC that I'm going to beat in his events at the LMSC Champs...just to rub it in a little more... :banana:

Great job on your 500 fly, definitely not cool that people said it was stupid. 500 reverse IM, ok that would be stupid. (making a mental note to do one someday) After you beat that breaststroker, I recommend having a nice ham sandwich. :cheerleader: