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

  1. #21
    Very Active Member JPEnge's Avatar
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    Re: Are flipturns for everyone? (Oxygen!!!)

    No, Spitz definitely did flip turns.

    I do think you're being fairly defeatist... you've been working on turns for, what, a couple months now? That's not a long time for an adult to pick up a new skill that requires nee proprioception like a flip turn.

  2. #22
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    Re: Are flipturns for everyone? (Oxygen!!!)

    Ok. Thanks. It's just that....after months of exciting leaps in swimming, I suddenly feel like I have stalled, or gone backwards. This feeling of exhaustion/despair is depressing.
    Current PRs: 25m-:16.8/50m-:36.5/100m-1:21.0/200m-2:55.5/400m-6:15/800m-12:50/1600m-26:37.

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

  3. #23
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    Re: Are flipturns for everyone? (Oxygen!!!)

    Perhaps it will be a good idea to flip at the deep-end and open-turn at the shallow-end for a while?!!
    Current PRs: 25m-:16.8/50m-:36.5/100m-1:21.0/200m-2:55.5/400m-6:15/800m-12:50/1600m-26:37.

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

  4. #24
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    Re: Are flipturns for everyone? (Oxygen!!!)

    Quote Originally Posted by Skuj View Post
    Ok. Thanks. It's just that....after months of exciting leaps in swimming, I suddenly feel like I have stalled, or gone backwards. This feeling of exhaustion/despair is depressing.
    That feeling of exhaustion/depression is a serious sign of overtraining. I'm not joking.

  5. #25
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    Re: Are flipturns for everyone? (Oxygen!!!)

    Quote Originally Posted by MickYoung View Post
    That feeling of exhaustion/depression is a serious sign of overtraining. I'm not joking.
    Hey, I feel that way after my first rep of every butterly set!

  6. #26
    Very Active Member orca1946's Avatar
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    Re: Are flipturns for everyone? (Oxygen!!!)

    We have all had times where we are "stuck" in our training or in new skills. give time and changes to any skill we learn or relearn.

  7. #27
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    Re: Are flipturns for everyone? (Oxygen!!!)

    Yes, I'll stick with this. I'll manage it better. Trying flipturns every 50m (deep-end) is something that I will concentrate on today.

    I really don't think I can be accused of overtraining. I typically swim 4-5x per week, 6-8km total per week.
    Current PRs: 25m-:16.8/50m-:36.5/100m-1:21.0/200m-2:55.5/400m-6:15/800m-12:50/1600m-26:37.

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

  8. #28
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    Re: Are flipturns for everyone? (Oxygen!!!)

    Quote Originally Posted by Skuj View Post
    Yes, I'll stick with this. I'll manage it better. Trying flipturns every 50m (deep-end) is something that I will concentrate on today.

    I really don't think I can be accused of overtraining. I typically swim 4-5x per week, 6-8km total per week.
    Honestly, I have no idea if you've overtraining or not. I didn't mean to accuse.

    Your main swimming goal seems like a reasonable one to me, given your stated times but if you're 19, they aren't very aggressive and if you are 90, they are likely way too much. So "7 k a week" by itself doesn't mean much either way.

    I'm 66. If I ramped up from, say, a mile a week to 6-8 km per week over 3 months? That would be overtraining. For a 30 year old? Probably not.

    Where I'm coming from:
    In my 50's, I discovered that training days-in-a-row hindered rather than helped a ramp-up for an open water swim. I felt lazy doing 3 days a week instead of 4 or 5, but I couldn't argue with the results. The same might not be true for a 20-something.

    When I turned 60, I blew out a shoulder doing 50's as hard as possible and I'm just getting back from that overtraining injury.

    In 2015, I read a SI article on Phelps that said he agreed to come back for 2016 only if his coach let him train 50K a week instead of 80k. I became fascinated (and still am) with the idea that overtraining might be endemic in swimming. I took Phelp's 5 golds and a silver in 2016 as an affirmation for that idea.

    But I've never done serious training so this is all theoretical to me.

  9. #29
    Very Active Member JPEnge's Avatar
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    Re: Are flipturns for everyone? (Oxygen!!!)

    This is totally off-topic at this point, but here's my two cents on the overtraining thing.

    On one hand, I think old-school, tons of yardage and beatdown into shave and taper training cycles were a breeding ground for overtraining. I think good modern coaches have largely realized this and adapted - you see more and more folks that can put together good swims across the season and year and not just once a season for a big shave and taper is good evidence of this. I think the renewed focus you see from good modern coaches on dryland/power/GPP and technique work even for elite swimmers is more proof of the idea that varied stimuli (and general physical robustness) is better than just a beatdown in the pool twice a day, every day.

    On the other hand, I think the diagnosis of "overtraining" is used way too much. Most people can take a lot more work volume than they think they can, especially if they aren't already conditioned to ignore fatigue signs.

    Kind of back on subject a little, I wouldn't think that Skuj is overtrained. Just maybe a little overzealous in expectations of improvement curve. As I said, it's really hard for an adult with a fully formed, mature nervous system to pick up different physical skills with such a different proprioceptive (is that even a word?) world as swimming.
    400 IMer/200 backstroker in another life, now sprinter/breaststroker... Yeah, I don't know how that happened either!

  10. #30
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    Re: Are flipturns for everyone? (Oxygen!!!)

    I appreciate this slight diversion on overtraining - thanks MickYoung and JPEnge for your thoughts.

    For the record I am 57, and I started swimming on Feb 21st, 2019.

    Now.....here's a little story:

    I had a FANTASTIC session today. I felt WONDERFUL. Most of my flip-turns were done reasonably well. I'm thrilled. So what happened? I did flip-turns only at the deep-end, and open turns at the shallow-end.

    I cannot count how many times I have read that, once you figure out how to do a flip-turn, "DO IT ALWAYS"...ie at every wall, in every swim.

    I think that advice is wrong for some/many people. Flip-turns every 25m clearly put me over the red-line, even on a warmup swim. It makes a huge difference if I try it every 50m at this time.

    In the future I will introduce more and more swimming where I'm trying it every 25m, but for now, I'm obviously not ready for that.

    As an aside, my easy/cooldown 400m today was 7:15....which was race-pace for 400m back in March.
    Current PRs: 25m-:16.8/50m-:36.5/100m-1:21.0/200m-2:55.5/400m-6:15/800m-12:50/1600m-26:37.

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

  11. #31
    Very Active Member __steve__'s Avatar
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    Re: Are flipturns for everyone? (Oxygen!!!)

    Quote Originally Posted by Skuj View Post
    Ok. Thanks. It's just that....after months of exciting leaps in swimming, I suddenly feel like I have stalled, or gone backwards. This feeling of exhaustion/despair is depressing.
    The sudden plateau in performance just means youíre graduating to the next level of performance, as well as conditioning, and just need to figure out whatís holding ya back . It is definitely nothing to get discouraged about man. Study the basics of stroke fundamentals. Sometimes video can help, quite a lot

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

    Quote Originally Posted by __steve__ View Post
    The sudden plateau in performance just means youíre graduating to the next level of performance, as well as conditioning, and just need to figure out whatís holding ya back . It is definitely nothing to get discouraged about man. Study the basics of stroke fundamentals. Sometimes video can help, quite a lot
    Indeed, I believe that every session, even ones that go badly, is a penny into the piggie-bank. I solved some problems today. Thanks.
    Current PRs: 25m-:16.8/50m-:36.5/100m-1:21.0/200m-2:55.5/400m-6:15/800m-12:50/1600m-26:37.

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

  13. #33
    Very Active Member orca1946's Avatar
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    Re: Are flipturns for everyone? (Oxygen!!!)

    O K flip at the deep end for now.

  14. #34
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    Re: Are flipturns for everyone? (Oxygen!!!)

    So, I have been flipping only at the deep-end on warm-ups and cool-downs. I'm getting better!! But this will take a long time.

    One thing that I noticed: When I'm cooling down, after a chunk of swimming, my mid-lower back gets stiff, and flip-turns become much more difficult than they did in the warmup.

    Do any of you real swimmers experience this? Is it just a fatigue thing?
    Current PRs: 25m-:16.8/50m-:36.5/100m-1:21.0/200m-2:55.5/400m-6:15/800m-12:50/1600m-26:37.

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

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

    I have much the same issues and here are a few thoughts regarding the turns and the lower back. As you tire your breathing becomes gulps of air rather than deep breaths. The key is preparation. You can't breath deeply without getting rid of the old air first. Developing a good exhale is critical. Humming while exhaling and even giving a "tennis player grunt" underwater may help you to make this a habit. Plan your breaths going into the turn just like you plan your distance from the wall to flip. If you can develop the ability to take an extra breath on your off arm going into the wall it will help. I have had good success with this especially at slower speed in a 200 or 500 race. Once again concentrate on the exhale as much as you do on the inhale.

    The lower back issue is all from poor flip turn form as you tire and struggle to get it over with to speed up your next breath. I would guess you are coming into the wall and almost stopping than throwing your legs over your head. This can cause the pain in your lower back. Flip turns are actually a whole body thing starting with the upper body going down and than followed by the lower body. Bending your knees to a 45 degree angle in the air may also help rather than a 180 pike turn. Perhaps another forumite could give a better description than I have. But your running out of air at the turn defiantly contributes to your lower back issues. So I agree with your using an open turn to sort of reset when you get into this situation.

  16. #36
    Very Active Member __steve__'s Avatar
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    Re: Are flipturns for everyone? (Oxygen!!!)

    Excellent advices above!

    Using the flip turn (as well as being able to kick fast) will probably help you swim faster 200ís, 100ís and 50ís freestyles. The flipping O2 bottleneck during distance freestyle is very common (and seems to more so effect swimmers whoíve learned to swim as adults.) Iíve been swimming over 10 years and I still feel the punishment of flip turning while swimming over 200. But the efficiency outweighs the break in breathing rhythm.

    Keep working on flip turns, in the long run they typically are better. And too many open turns might overwork rotator cuff muscles

    When my lower back goes out I canít even execute a flip turn at first

  17. #37
    Active Member VintageDirt's Avatar
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    Re: Are flipturns for everyone? (Oxygen!!!)

    I don't do them. I used to worry about it. Even tried to force myself to do them for 1 week. It made me hate swimming so I stopped doing them and stopped worrying about it. I feel much better. In my younger days (mid 1970s) I hated them too. Swam a lot of punishment sets for doing open turns in practice. Finally even the coach gave up, since I was a breaststroker anyway, with the stipulation that I did breast stroke pullouts on all turns. As much as that sucked, still better than flipturns!

  18. #38

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

    Longtime swimmer here, pretty much most of my life... We did flip turns in the 60s, all the kids did flip turns when I started swimming competitely about 1963..so that's a long time. I have no idea when they started, but well before then. The one big change is we used to do a really shallow flat start and the blocks were on the shallow end!. I would say the backstroke turn was a little newer , we originally just did a crab style circle around staying on your back until the rules changed and you didn't have to touch with your hands, and it changed to a flip over.

    I just swim on my own now but I have cut back on my flipturns just because they make my stomach feel upset... I dont think my head can handle the quick roll now at my age I guess..I think it's something to do with balance maybe. Anyway, no one else mentioned that..I would agree you need to exhale forcibly throughout the turn..I like doing them but my stomach would rebell. Maybe if I did more I could get used to them...again..

    At our pool there is now a plethora of private competitive lessons which I had never heard of before. The teachers are quite good. I overheard one teacher tell the kids to keep a kettle bell in the bathroom and do 10 squats every time she went into the bathroom. This was to develop the push against the wall muscles..

    I was doing butterfly last year and another swimmer stopped me to ask if I had done butterfly all my life!. I answered quickly , no,of course not, just since I was 10! Then I laughed as that was 55 years ago... but I told her that I had some bad lessons in those early days they really didnt know how to teach the newer strokes back then. We had to do the whip kick exercise on the deck pushing up from kickboards. With your heels out and knees together, I used to do it easily and practice at home, haha! I dont think I can even assume the position, much less push up...

  19. #39
    Very Active Member aztimm's Avatar
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    Re: Are flipturns for everyone? (Oxygen!!!)

    I learned to swim as a kid, but didn't swim competitively or anything. I'd go to the pool and do laps when I was in the Army, but did mostly breaststroke and/or free with open turns.

    During the summer between years in college, I started swimming at a local college. I was about 22 or 23 at the time. Most of the time I was the only one in the pool, the lifeguard was bored, and she started giving me 1-1 training. I'm not saying I became a perfect swimmer from this, but I went from poor to somewhat mediocre.

    When it came time for flipturns, she had me start on an end and turn in the middle of the pool (where you don't push on anything). After doing that for a while, I finally worked up the courage to do it against a real wall. Once I became comfortable with that (we're probably talking 2-3 weeks), then her advice was to work my way up to doing all of my freestyle with flipturns.

    I'm guessing I probably swam 2000 to 2500 per swim then, with 90% as freestyle. Most of that freestyle was straight swims; I'd do something like one flip for every 4-5 turns, then one for every 3, then every 2, until I was doing it all the time. I'm guessing this took another 2-3 weeks before I felt comfortable flipping on every turn.

    I do remember that when I went back to my college and did lap swim a few people said that I looked much better.
    When I started grad school after that, there was a swimming group (kind of like masters) that I joined, and knowing flipturns helped immensely. Then of course once I was a part of a real USMS group.

    Most of my swimming now is focused on open water. There are (normally) no walls, so no flipping. But when I'm in a pool I still do flipturns without even thinking. I think that is key--just get in the habit of doing them, and they really don't become a big deal.

    And full disclosure--I do have asthma, and occasionally have breathing problems while swimming (although it is pretty rare, and has been a long time since I remember it happening). I don't think the asthma has had any impact on my ability to flip.
    Check out my blog here
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    Re: Are flipturns for everyone? (Oxygen!!!)

    Fascinating.

    Thanks for these recent posts. I enjoyed reading/learning about these experiences.

    As for me, I have given up on flip turning for now. I'll try to learn good open turning. Maybe in a year or two, when I am a stronger swimmer, it will be the right time to do flipturns.

    But right now, the oxygen debt is too much. We all learn/progress/build at different rates. I just don't see flipturns in my immediate future.
    Current PRs: 25m-:16.8/50m-:36.5/100m-1:21.0/200m-2:55.5/400m-6:15/800m-12:50/1600m-26:37.

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

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