PDA

View Full Version : Flip turns - who needs them?



sarge
July 26th, 2007, 08:49 AM
I will never race in a pool. If I race at all, it will be in open water.

I can do flip turns, but I don't think they are very good. When I do them, my head is directly under the backstroke flags when I take my first breath. With open turns, my head is about a length beyond the flags.

When I do flip turns, I notice a lot more cardio stress. I don't really recover until about half a length.

Is there a training benefit to doing flip turns in practice that will help me in open water? Does that second or two of holding my breath help me at all in terms of conditioning?

SwimStud
July 26th, 2007, 09:02 AM
I will never race in a pool. If I race at all, it will be in open water.

I can do flip turns, but I don't think they are very good. When I do them, my head is directly under the backstroke flags when I take my first breath. With open turns, my head is about a length beyond the flags.

When I do flip turns, I notice a lot more cardio stress. I don't really recover until about half a length.

Is there a training benefit to doing flip turns in practice that will help me in open water? Does that second or two of holding my breath help me at all in terms of conditioning?

If you're not going to race in the pool, then why worry about flips? If you want to work on breath control you can still do no breath inside the flags with an open turn. If I'm in a crowded lane and don't flip I still hold my breath on the open turn.

quicksilver
July 26th, 2007, 09:17 AM
Sarge,

You are not alone in your way of thinking.
We have several triathletes who swim with the masters group...and they simply avoid flip turns altogether.

Even though you won't be flipping in open water...it will absolutely improve your cardio conditioning. That said...one guy gave in.
He started doing flips for the last three months... and he kicked butt in the Lake Placid IronMan last weekend.

Raising the bar can only help.
Maybe start with just flips on one end of the pool...until you can handle both. Adaptation takes time, but it's worth it.


I will never race in a pool. If I race at all, it will be in open water....

Is there a training benefit to doing flip turns in practice that will help me in open water? Does that second or two of holding my breath help me at all in terms of conditioning?

FindingMyInnerFish
July 26th, 2007, 09:38 AM
Sarge, I feel your pain!

I was doing flip turns for a bit. I'm very new to them and thought I'd gotten the technique until one swim when I think I was tired: I somehow messed up the flip and had a hard time resurfacing. When I did, I had a severe leg cramp that almost put an end to that night's swim. Since then, I've tried to do flip turns and tense up so I can't complete them. Of late, I've done no flip turns, just open turns--which seem to have gotten more efficient with practice, so that even though I don't flip over, I also can often do them without taking a breath.

So it's good to know that some of the breath control work can be accomplished by not taking a breath through an open turn. Once my long race is over, I wouldn't mind giving the flip turn another try, but right now, I don't need another source of stress while swimming.

Other things I do for breathing: sometimes work on breathing 3, then 5, then 7 (seven's very, very hard, still, five I can usually manage). But mostly, I focus on trying to keep a good rhythm with a breath-on-three pattern. Once I couldn't do bilateral breathing without getting water up my nose, but now it comes naturally. Maybe someday the flip turn will too.

aquageek
July 26th, 2007, 11:30 AM
Is there a training benefit to doing flip turns in practice that will help me in open water? Does that second or two of holding my breath help me at all in terms of conditioning?

Open turns are exhausting, inefficient and slow. They are also disruptive to lane mates if they are flipping and you aren't.

I tell my tri buddies that if they learn to flip their swimming will improve overall. By doing a good flip turn you can focus on putting your energy into the swimming as opposed to turning, which will help you tremendously in an OW race. Flips force you to a correct body position immediately off the wall. Plus, when you flip, you use your momentun to come in/set/push off as opposed to the dead start from every open turn. Just think, with an open turn your are coming to a dead stop and restarting every lap but with a flip you use that energy from swimming to ease the turn, thus better swimming.

If you want proof of how much better flips are for swimming, swim next to somone with equal abilities as you and see how much faster they swim the same set due to flipping.

JennyS
July 26th, 2007, 02:05 PM
As aquageek mentioned, doing flip turns will improve your swimming overall- not to mention your lung capacity. Of course I have not seen your flip turn, but maybe if you planted your feet lower on the wall so that you are streamlining deeper you would be able to go further and get that same distance you get when you do open turns. If you do continue with open turns, just keep in mind the swimmer(s) who might be behind you. It can be frustrating for them if they are about to do a flip turn and the person in front of them does an open turn. It often forces them to slow down. Just thought I'd share that, as I am often a flip turner behind an open turner, or worse yet, a walk-to-the-wall-then-turner! Good luck with your swimming!

knelson
July 26th, 2007, 02:38 PM
I would suggest that you don't like flip turns because you're not good at them. Anyone that can do a good flip turn would definitely opt to do them over open turns, regardless of whether they are training for open water or pool swimming.

scyfreestyler
July 26th, 2007, 02:42 PM
I would suggest that you don't like flip turns because you're not good at them. Anyone that can do a good flip turn would definitely opt to do them over open turns, regardless of whether they are training for open water or pool swimming.

I second that. Flip turns take some time to perfect but if you use them in practice you will get better and better all the time. Eventually it will become second nature and you won't even really think about doing them..it will just happen. I do recall making the transition to flip turns about 2.5 years ago and it really wiped me out. I could not swim as many yards continuously but slowly I adapted and it just became a part of "swimming". Good luck to you.

SwimStud
July 26th, 2007, 02:52 PM
Hmm oddly enough, I go out of my way to not use the wall as much as possible, even when flipping, when doing a LD swim for OW practice. My thoughts are it's better to get used to not having the maximum push off so that my muslces work a longer distance.

As for open turns...sometimes do them on drills, or with boards and fins etc. Then again I swim alone or with just one other...so silmutaneous arrival at the wall can force me to open rather than collide--I flip 90% of the time...

aquageek
July 26th, 2007, 03:03 PM
Hmm oddly enough, I go out of my way to not use the wall as much as possible, even when flipping, when doing a LD swim for OW practice. My thoughts are it's better to get used to not having the maximum push off so that my muslces work a longer distance.

I can't imagine there is any benefit to your OW swimming at all by doing this. All you are doing is stopping and starting every lap so you aren't doing as much continuous swimming as if you were doing flip turns, or open turns, for that matter. If you had a good flip turn you could probably increase your yardage a ton, which would benefit training for your OW events more.

SwimStud
July 26th, 2007, 03:10 PM
I can't imagine there is any benefit to your OW swimming at all by doing this. All you are doing is stopping and starting every lap so you aren't doing as much continuous swimming as if you were doing flip turns, or open turns, for that matter. If you had a good flip turn you could probably increase your yardage a ton, which would benefit training for your OW events more.

I just choose to push off easy and let my stroke take the burden. There is no wall in the Ocean every 50m/25y. It's not quite stop/start. Just not maximum velocity/distance off the wall. It certainly feels continous to me.

aquageek
July 26th, 2007, 03:30 PM
All you are doing is interrupting your swimming with speed up/slow down, guaranteed to ruin both your OW and pool swimming. I suggest you drop this silliness and do consistently paced flip turns so you keep your swimming and a constant pace, which is what you will want to do in OW swimming, unless you are planning on slowing down every 25 y/m in the lake or ocean. Even in a 25 y pool it is very easy to get into a pace.

SwimStud
July 26th, 2007, 03:32 PM
I can't imagine there is any benefit to your OW swimming at all by doing this. All you are doing is stopping and starting every lap so you aren't doing as much continuous swimming as if you were doing flip turns, or open turns, for that matter. If you had a good flip turn you could probably increase your yardage a ton, which would benefit training for your OW events more.

I just choose to push off easy and let my stroke take the burden. There is no wall in the Ocean every 50m/25y. It's not quite stop/start. Just not maximum velocity/distance off the wall. It certainly feels continous to me.

SwimStud
July 26th, 2007, 03:44 PM
All you are doing is interrupting your swimming with speed up/slow down

What are you talking about? I'm doing the same (albeit slow) LD speed the entire time. I'm just NOT accelerating off of the wall. I'm a turtle over long distances and it's about finishing for me not how long it takes. I think you're misunderstanding me.

Scottly
July 26th, 2007, 04:31 PM
I flip turn just because it's a fun challange for me to do it smoothly - it also keeps me in the zone when I'm going for distance. Most of the people who lap with me do not flip and I've yet to meet a triathelete who does.

aztimm
July 26th, 2007, 05:47 PM
I agree with Kirk on this....I learned to swim as a kid, but never learned flip turns (guess I didn't get that far in lessons). I never swam competitively in a group until a masters-type program when I was in grad school. I thought my free was fine as it was, I had no intention of ever doing a meet, etc. But we had a determined coach, and just a handful of swimmers (sometimes just 3 or 4), so she gave us plenty of attention. I started out with excuses why I didn't do flip turns, I don't flip when I'm pulling, or whatever. She had none of it, and little by little I did more and more flip turns. Within 3-6 months, I was doing flip turns without even thinking. I rarely do meets anymore, but I could not imagine swimming with the group I do and not doing flip turns. Occasionally we get a triathlete or H2O polo guy in the lane who doesn't, and it is extremely disruptive, to the point that someone will talk to the coach.

rtodd
July 26th, 2007, 09:07 PM
DO FLIP TURNS.

It took me two years to become profficient. Let's see, for me that is at least 75 turns a day, 450 turns per week, 23,400 times a year....46,800 turns to get good.

A flip turn requires very little energy and like someone said, your momentum is carrying you into the wall. Your body center of mass is still moving toward the wall when you feet touch. The immediate change in direction is much more dramatic than an open turn and you gain an easy body length advantage. Your body will get used to the hypoxia from not getting that cheater breath on the open turn.


I will never race in a pool. If I race at all, it will be in open water.


Never say never.

I got my start in triathlons and now I compete almost entirely in a pool. Joining USMS is cheap and swim meets are cheap. I was going broke on TRI fees. If you train (i.e. flip turns) and compete in a pool (i.e. go to USMS meets and swim 500's 800's 1000's etc) you will become a force in the swim portion of your tri.

I'm sure top TRI athletes DO FLIP TURNS in training.

Lastly check out this link:

http://www.transitiontimes.com/content_tv_SP1_FlipTurn.cfm