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Thread: Are flipturns for everyone? (Oxygen!!!)

  1. #1
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    Are flipturns for everyone? (Oxygen!!!)

    So....here's the thing:

    I'm actually getting decent at flipturns. I screw a few of them up, but I always know what I did wrong. The ratio of good flips to bad flips keeps going up. But, because there are usually some bad flips along the way, I haven't set any PRs yet when using flips. I'm at 1:25 100m with (some bad) flips, vs 1:22 with decent open-turns. My 50m is hi-39sec vice hi-38sec.

    However....

    When flipping, of course we are not breathing through the approach, turn, and pushoff. This is not a problem for me in a hard 50m/100m. But in a hard 400m, I'm dying, Man!! The accumulation of not breathing for this period every 25m has me GASPING after 200m. I crave that open-turn breath.

    Maybe I will learn to handle this, but I dunno.

    Even if you flip well, should you sometimes do open turns because of the oxygen situation?
    Last edited by Skuj; September 8th, 2019 at 03:43 PM.
    Current PRs: 25m-:17.0/50m-:37.0/100m-1:21.5/200m-2:57.0/400m-6:15/800m-12:56/1600m-26:37.

    My main swimming goal: Sub6min 400m by the end of 2019.

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    Very Active Member __steve__'s Avatar
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    Re: Are flipturns for everyone? (Oxygen!!!)

    if turns are placing too much demand on your need for air you may not be breathing deeply, often enough, or naturally. If snorkel is a lot easier, this might be the case (it is for me)

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    Moderator Rob Copeland's Avatar
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    Re: Are flipturns for everyone? (Oxygen!!!)

    Are flipturns for everyone?
    Short answer. No.
    It really depends on your goals. A good flipturn will be faster than a good open turn, but if speed isnít near the top of your goals then donít bother with flips. Go ahead and practice them to see if you get better, but donít fixate on the turns.
    From a breathing perspective a flipturn gives you 1 less breath during the 3-5 seconds you are changing directions (6-8 seconds of you have a very good breakout). Depending on you distance per stroke and breathing pattern this can make a difference of about 9% to 15% less breaths.

    Side note Ė if you are planning on doing open water swimming, I teach swimmers doing open turns to do them without taking a breath. Those who take a breath during an open turn have more problems maintaining regular breathing in open water.
    The opinions expressed in the above post are mine and not those of U.S. Masters Swimming.

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    Very Active Member orca1946's Avatar
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    Re: Are flipturns for everyone? (Oxygen!!!)

    Try this - to get a better breath, you must 1st blow out a lot of air from your lungs to allow you to inhale more in. Just holding your breath will not be enough.

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    Very Active Member pwb's Avatar
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    Re: Are flipturns for everyone? (Oxygen!!!)

    It will still be faster to do a flipturn if you breathe the last stroke into the turn and the first stroke off the wall. Also, consider breathing every two strokes while swimming; if you look at most of the elite swimmers they do that to get more oxygen. If breathing every two to the same side makes you feel unbalanced (it does for me), then try what I do for a breathing pattern in an SCY/SCM course:
    • 2 cycles breathing every two to my right
    • 1 cycle breathing every three
    • remaining cycles (3-4) breathing every two to my left (my stronger/speedier side)


    When I race the 800 & up, I will also occasionally come off the wall, breathe immediately to my left, then immediately to my right and resume the cycle above.

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    Very Active Member knelson's Avatar
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    Re: Are flipturns for everyone? (Oxygen!!!)

    Quote Originally Posted by Rob Copeland View Post
    It really depends on your goals. A good flipturn will be faster than a good open turn, but if speed isnít near the top of your goals then donít bother with flips.
    It is for him, though. You can see in his signature that his #1 goal is to break 6:00 in a 400. I think improving turns, and especially being able to do good flip turns without having them increase his fatigue level, will be key in reaching that goal.

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    Very Active Member Mark Usher's Avatar
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    Re: Are flipturns for everyone? (Oxygen!!!)

    I'm definitely faster flipping, and always do so on 50's and 100's, but on longer distances I need to throw in some open turns occasionally to get air.
    Actually, I seem to get a stronger push off and better dolphin kicks when doing open turns, something I think carries over from all the butterfly I swim. I'm working on coming off the wall better when flipping, but it's still a work in process.

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    Re: Are flipturns for everyone? (Oxygen!!!)

    I appreciate all of these responses, thanks. This is a work in process and I will have many questions/comments soon.
    Current PRs: 25m-:17.0/50m-:37.0/100m-1:21.5/200m-2:57.0/400m-6:15/800m-12:56/1600m-26:37.

    My main swimming goal: Sub6min 400m by the end of 2019.

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    Very Active Member Allen Stark's Avatar
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    Re: Are flipturns for everyone? (Oxygen!!!)

    The more you(mindfully) practice flipping the better you will get and the better you will get at dealing with the oxygen issue. I'd say, commit to flipping every turn for a month and see what happens.
    "To strive,to seek,to find,and not to yield" Tennyson
    Allen

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    Re: Are flipturns for everyone? (Oxygen!!!)

    Quote Originally Posted by Allen Stark View Post
    The more you(mindfully) practice flipping the better you will get and the better you will get at dealing with the oxygen issue. I'd say, commit to flipping every turn for a month and see what happens.
    Yes!! Thanks, I intend to do this. I've gradually improved the fips over many weeks, and I hope to gadually fix this oxygen problem also.
    Current PRs: 25m-:17.0/50m-:37.0/100m-1:21.5/200m-2:57.0/400m-6:15/800m-12:56/1600m-26:37.

    My main swimming goal: Sub6min 400m by the end of 2019.

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    Very Active Member orca1946's Avatar
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    Re: Are flipturns for everyone? (Oxygen!!!)

    Let us know how the improvements are coming along.

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    Re: Are flipturns for everyone? (Oxygen!!!)

    Quote Originally Posted by Skuj View Post
    Yes!! Thanks, I intend to do this. I've gradually improved the fips over many weeks, and I hope to gadually fix this oxygen problem also.
    In conjunction with that, I would work on adding at least one more UDK on every turn you do for the same reason. You'll adapt as you do this, and it will help both your flip turn and your underwaters.

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    Re: Are flipturns for everyone? (Oxygen!!!)

    UDK!! That's just not in my swimming yet. But I'll work on it.

    The thing is, after pushing off from a flipturn, I'm dying for that first breath.....then consequently, I'm breathing on every stroke towards the next wall.

    My open-trurn PR at 200m is 2:59. This morning I gasped my way through 7 (increasingly bad) flips for 3:13. Normal swimmers keep telling me that flips=faster!! Well, I guess I'm the opposite. Flips for me = exhaustion. But perhaps I'm doing it all wrong.
    Current PRs: 25m-:17.0/50m-:37.0/100m-1:21.5/200m-2:57.0/400m-6:15/800m-12:56/1600m-26:37.

    My main swimming goal: Sub6min 400m by the end of 2019.

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    Very Active Member JPEnge's Avatar
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    Re: Are flipturns for everyone? (Oxygen!!!)

    I would suspect that if your flip turns are genuinely slower than your open turns, you aren't "flipping" right. And given that you refer to them as "flips," I'm guessing you are focusing to much on spinning around and not enough on getting your feet on the wall and pushing off. The flip turn is a bit of a misnomer for some people - it isn't meant to be a big tuck somersault like you'd do in tumbling or something. Any chance you could video yourself?

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    Re: Are flipturns for everyone? (Oxygen!!!)

    Skuj,

    A couple of comments:

    - Forget everything you read about UDK off the walls (no offense ORCA). At your skill level, it is better to work on a good streamline push-off that takes you out to the flags without kicking or stroking) before surfacing.
    - For your races, forget everything you have read about not breathing from the flags into the turn. No one in the world (Olympians included) hold their breathe from the flags in - except on the finish - of a 400 free.
    - It sure does sound like you are not exhaling enough (right on ORCA) before taking a breath. This will get you into exhaustion very quickly. Is your chest burning like it is gonna explode? If so, sure sign of CO2 build-up which is only alleviated by exhaling hard and completely before taking your next breath.
    - As Jeff suggested, a video might be helpful. In the meantime, do open turns when necessary. In a 400, it is only 7 turns (LCM). Better to be comfortable than distressed.

    Just my 2 cents worth.

    Paul

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    Re: Are flipturns for everyone? (Oxygen!!!)

    I love you guys!! Thanks so much for the continued input.

    Yes....I do believe exhalation is one of the (many) issues here. More comments/questions in due course.
    Current PRs: 25m-:17.0/50m-:37.0/100m-1:21.5/200m-2:57.0/400m-6:15/800m-12:56/1600m-26:37.

    My main swimming goal: Sub6min 400m by the end of 2019.

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    Re: Are flipturns for everyone? (Oxygen!!!)

    I actually will have videos (from a current coached thing I am doing over 4 Wednesdays). I included a flip or two in the filming. It may be in my hands (via stick-drive) in 3 weeks....then I will try to figure out how to transfer here.

    Yes, it is obvious to me that I am doing flipturns all wrong. I have some basics down....I've come a long way in a few weeks.....but it should not be exhausting.

    I have so much to learn!!! Thank you, USMS Forumites.
    Current PRs: 25m-:17.0/50m-:37.0/100m-1:21.5/200m-2:57.0/400m-6:15/800m-12:56/1600m-26:37.

    My main swimming goal: Sub6min 400m by the end of 2019.

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    Re: Are flipturns for everyone? (Oxygen!!!)

    Quote Originally Posted by Windrath View Post
    - Forget everything you read about UDK off the walls (no offense ORCA). At your skill level, it is better to work on a good streamline push-off that takes you out to the flags without kicking or stroking) before surfacing.
    (snip)
    Better to be comfortable than distressed.
    I assume you mean me, and not ORCA, since I brought it up. To clarify, I mention it only to help the OP better train to learn to cope with the periods of oxygen deprivation during a swim. I don't mean to work on it as a skill, so to speak, but conditioning. I, too, had issues with flip turns when I started swimming a couple of years ago for the same reasons. I actually do very few of them during my warm up. But as I carried my underwaters further and further, the flip turn because less and less a source of exhaustion. Which - anecdotally - fell in line with your last point. For me, once I was comfortable not breathing for several seconds from increasing my time underwater, the flip turn came much more naturally.

    I guess I'd put it like this. Getting teh steps to a turn right are hard, and require concentration. It is hard to concentrate when you are worried about breathing the whole time. If you can take care of the mind screaming at you to breathe, then focusing on the technique becomes easier.

    Again, YMMV. I'm a solo swimmer so I've had to play with things to figure out what works best for me, so those answers may not be in line with what a coached swimmer would experience.

  19. #19
    Very Active Member orca1946's Avatar
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    Re: Are flipturns for everyone? (Oxygen!!!)

    The upcoming videos will show us what you are doing. We'll look forward to seeing them.

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    Re: Are flipturns for everyone? (Oxygen!!!)

    I found this interesting, and it perfectly describes my current flipturn/oxygen problem:

    http://www.h2oustonswims.org/article..._of_style.html

    Part of me wants to learn good open-turning. I guess that's what Spitz and co did in the good old days of having to hand-touch the wall, right? I should look at those videos!!!

    But perhaps I am being defeatist.
    Current PRs: 25m-:17.0/50m-:37.0/100m-1:21.5/200m-2:57.0/400m-6:15/800m-12:56/1600m-26:37.

    My main swimming goal: Sub6min 400m by the end of 2019.

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