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Should triathletes do flip turns while training?

 

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Gandalf

Jan 15, 08 8:29

Post #76 of 197 (7477 views)
Re: Should triathletes do flip turns while training? [kalidus] [In reply to] Quote | Reply

I'll chime in with my own reasons fo doing them. However more often than not I don't do them.

1. The reason I often don't do them is because the touch turn seems to be the easier option. Thus I am trying to do more flip turns on the basis that if I avoid the easier option it gives me a better work out. the other day I was timing myself over 1000m and at about 600m I got too tired to do the flip turns. So I guess that doing flip turns is the harder option and thus that is what I should be training at.

2. I'm lucky enough to have a 50m pool to train in, but it gets very crowded (normally about 10-12 people in the lane at any give time and often folks just handing round the shallow end which makes it imposiible to do flips turns without creaming someone. Yes this is France and the swimming lane etiquette is not known, respected nor even enforced by the lifeguards. So normally the turns are less important for me than those swimming in the short pool. However when I go to the 25m pool I tend to do the flip turns more because once I'm in the rhythm of doing them it seems to help keep me in the rhythm of swimming better.

3. I'm getting slightly faster at swimming now and the touch turns can often impact my hand/wrist a little too much if I'm swimming at a fast pace

4. Cramps. I used to get a lot of feet cramps while swimming. These would often occur from pushing off the wall with my feet which I tend to to hard on flip turns than touch turns. Thus I avoided flip turns. However now I'm swimming more and my daily water intake and diet has improved a bit the cramps hardly ever appear. However doing the flip turns would soon let me know if I'm about to get cramp problems which would warn me that I'm dehydrating

5. Goggles. I had terrrible problems leaking goggles ever since I started to swim. I've just about now got a make/model which works for me. However pushing hard off the wall from a flip turn seemed to provoke the leakage more than touch turns, hence I avoided flip turns. Now I do flip turns to expose any goggle problems so I know whether I have truly fixed the problems or not.

6. If I don't do flip turns then I can't keep up with the train at club trianing sessions. Then I ruin the run for those behind me.

7. I get the feeling that doing them makes me more comfortable in the water and more aware of my orientation and surroundings. I can always do with a little more confidence in the water.
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CTL

Jan 15, 08 8:30

Post #77 of 197 (7477 views)
Re: Should triathletes do flip turns while training? [NamssoB] [In reply to] Quote | Reply

In Reply To:
Why do you dismiss my test and provide your own which doesn't really prove a causal relationship, nor does it provide a control group? You are missing my point entirely, and your example proves that you're mixing the two claims together. I agree that 10/10 will be flip-turners. But there's no control for your test. We already know that 90% or more people who are top swimmers, do flip turns. But that doesn't mean the flip turn made them faster swimmers. Maybe the flip-turns made them better "practicers". But if all I do is sit there all day and do flip-turns over and over, my swim stroke will NEVER improve. At some point I actually have to SWIM! You're just taking anecdotal evidence to try and prove something for which there is no proof.

If they made pools the same way they make tracks, do you think anyone would be doing flip turns? I think there are many other examples. How about in the bike...a fast transition does not make you a faster biker, runner, etc. Although knowing how to do a running mount/dismount will speed up your bike split, it does not make you bike faster. How about I take the top 10 finishers in the typical bike race and see how many of them can do a running mount and dismount? I would bet 1/10, and the 1 would be lucky not to slip and fall.

Maybe I'm being way too pedantic with this, but when I read "flip-turns make you swim faster", the purist in me says no they don't!
If they made pools the way they made tracks or roads, no one would have to do flip turns. But, you really slow down and get a rest every time you do an open turn. Would you train for running by slowing down almost to a stop every 20 seconds and then speeding back up? Would you do the same thing on the bike? Why not? Because in a race you are running and biking continuously. Doing flip turns means that you are swimming more or less continuously and that is closer to swimming open water than stopping every 25 while you do an open turn.


itseazy

Jan 15, 08 8:36

Post #78 of 197 (7474 views)
Re: Should triathletes do flip turns while training? [t daddy] [In reply to] Quote | Reply

So why be satisfied with top 15% in Kona? Yeah that's good but why not do something to make you better...as has been mentioned training with faster people will make you faster. Faster people don't let guys who do open turns and barely push off the wall swim with them. Just like fast cyclists don't let guys who can't hold their line ride with them.
You're a Kona qualifier, obviously you're competitive. I don't understand why a competitive athlete would want to settle even if it's only the swim.


DavidK

Jan 15, 08 8:43

Post #79 of 197 (7459 views)
Micro Rest [In reply to] Quote | Reply

Short Course (25 Yards) to Long Course (50 Meters) to Open Water.

I am the parent of three swimmers. As compared to their peers they are better at Open Water than Long Course meters and are better at Long Course meters than Short Course yards.

Mostly, the difference is due to "micro rest" and their relative disadvantage off the walls as well as psychologically "knowing" they are better at Open Water and Long Course.

Kicking/pushing/streamlining off the walls has been discussed above.

"Micro Rest" is a concept I stumbled upon a year ago. I read an article that discussed that short course racing with very good turns allows athletes to partially rest their pulling muscles every turn which leads to a different stroke than if they were swimming continuously. The article indicated that short course training could be a detriment to long course racing at the highest level of competition.

Now, that said, I bet most of us do not swim fast enough to have any of this apply to us and we ought to flip turn if we can.

David K


Kensho

Jan 15, 08 8:52

Post #80 of 197 (7448 views)
Re: Should triathletes do flip turns while training? [NamssoB] [In reply to] Quote | Reply

Quote:
Sync - I'm a very slow swimmer, but not because I don't do flip turns, but because I just learned to swim 1-2 years ago

Exactly. You can call bullshit.. but you know jack and shit about swimming. Get back to the pool for another 5-10 years and give your opinion then.


FLA Jill

Jan 15, 08 8:55

Post #81 of 197 (7454 views)
Re: Should triathletes do flip turns while training? [Gandalf] [In reply to] Quote | Reply

If you can get the lane first, flip turns (and the odd bit of butterfly) really do encourage slower swimmers to seek other lanes before going to yours, if the pool is otherwise somewhat evenly crowded.

And once you get really good at them, and can land your feet on the wall within about four inches of where you're aiming, there's an art to flipping very close to the end of the lane hogs that will leave tham making sure to give you wall space every time they see you getting close to the end of the length.


Tri N OC

Jan 15, 08 9:11

Post #82 of 197 (7420 views)
Re: Should triathletes do flip turns while training? [jnieuwsma] [In reply to] Quote | Reply

Think about your water polo games--when you change direction all of sudden, aren't your first few strokes short and choppy as you get up to speed, and then they lengthen and smooth out?

A little bit of apples and oranges here. In water polo, you are vertical in the water when stopped. Those first couple of strokes are shorter and choppier to get you up on a plane faster (They are also useful for clearing a bit of space around you). Coming off of a wall, you are already on a plane.


cstine

Jan 15, 08 9:27

Post #83 of 197 (7393 views)
Re: Should triathletes do flip turns while training? [fitzie] [In reply to] Quote | Reply

The best ab training in the pool is to kick butterfly on your back. Try it, and within 200 yards your abs will be letting you know they need a break.


Chris G

Jan 15, 08 9:28

Post #84 of 197 (7393 views)
Re: Should triathletes do flip turns while training? [NamssoB] [In reply to] Quote | Reply

In Reply To:
I call bullshit on flip turns. Kalidis - I'm with you, no-one has ever convinced me they help do anything other than the appearance that you "fit in" with the "swimmers". I said it a year ago in another thread...the only reason anyone does flip turns is because the length/shape of our pools require it for any race longer than 25/50m. Imagine a track of only a 100m straight. Can you see the milers running 100m, hitting a wall, doing a flip, then running the other way? They don't have to because tracks are an oval or running races are on straight roads. If all swimming distances could be done on a straight course or a loop, nobody would be doing flip turns nor defending how they somehow "help you train better". Show me a distance runner doing flips on a track, and I'll start doing flip turns in a pool.
Do flip turns on every lap the next 20 times that you swim and report back. It was easy for me to convince myself that open turns were actually beneficial to my tri training when the reality was that I could not flip turn for crap. Finally decided that I no longer wanted to look like a jackass at the pool anymore and forced myself to flip on every turn. After a couple of weeks became second nature. No way I would go back. Do not think it has a negative effect on swim training. As for a translation to open water swimming it is just entirely different.


jnieuwsma

Jan 15, 08 9:28

Post #85 of 197 (7393 views)
Re: Should triathletes do flip turns while training? [Tri N OC] [In reply to] Quote | Reply

In Reply To:
Coming off of a wall, you are already on a plane.
You will be if you're doing a good flip turn, but most of the open turners that I see are not.


FLA Jill

Jan 15, 08 9:31

Post #86 of 197 (7388 views)
Re: Should triathletes do flip turns while training? [cstine] [In reply to] Quote | Reply

I still remember the summer of good abs back in high school where our coach threw away the kickboards, and had us doing 4x200 fly kick drills instead 3-4 times a week.

Yep, you definitely feel it.


kdw

Jan 15, 08 9:37

Post #87 of 197 (7377 views)
Re: Should triathletes do flip turns while training? [kalidus] [In reply to] Quote | Reply

I can do flip turns, but not when swimming hard. I am a hack at swimming and it costs me AG podium spots in just about every race I do. At some point in the near future, I will get serious about my swimming and start swimming like the fast people.

This means more yardage, better technique, and flip turns. I don't really care why all the fast people do it, as long as it is something all serious swimmers do, I'm doing it too. I'm sure I'll get a little slower at first, but whatever is keeping me from being able to flip turn at a hard effort is probably keeping me from being a faster swimmer overall.

I think triathletes tend to look for any excuse to do something the easy way.


last tri in 83

Jan 15, 08 9:40

Post #88 of 197 (7368 views)
Re: Should triathletes do flip turns while training? [kalidus] [In reply to] Quote | Reply

thanks. I love a good flip turn thread.

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squesen

Jan 15, 08 9:44

Post #89 of 197 (7363 views)
Re: Should triathletes do flip turns while training? [kdw] [In reply to] Quote | Reply

I am not an expert. I can do flip turns. I stopped doing them routinely after talking to a competitive swimmer who explained to me that the point of a flip turn was to cut a stroke our two out. Rather than swimming all the way to the wall, you stop short in order to have room to flip and push off. Since I am interested in open water swimming and need to get all the yards in I can, I touch turn and I intentionally do not push off hard from the wall. However, in a Master's class, I still flip in order to keep pace with the group. I think it is good to be able to do it both ways. Long distance solo swims, no flip. Group swim, flip.

Sarah


jaretj

Jan 15, 08 9:50

Post #90 of 197 (7357 views)
Re: Should triathletes do flip turns while training? [t daddy] [In reply to] Quote | Reply

A 1:01:15 is a top 3% IM finish?

jaretj


TomP_imc

Jan 15, 08 9:51

Post #91 of 197 (7350 views)
Re: Should triathletes do flip turns while training? [NamssoB] [In reply to] Quote | Reply

Hi,

This has been beat to death, and the point has been lost on many...........

BUT: I have raced tri's for 27 years and swam for over a competitively for over a decade before that.

I live on a lake, and have several others within 15 min drive. Experiments with altering my personal balance of Pool swimming (with the Top Senior Kids, or the fast lane in Masters) to open water (with other sub 54min fish) has shown my fastest open water racing years are the years where the pool is 90% of the time and once every week or two open water is the balance. The pool is where real swimmers get faster. The open water is where we get slower..........not just swim slower, but lose cruising AND peak sprint speed.

The other point to make is that due to a dearth of 50m facilities in my area, I like many swim in a 25m tank. Whether the pool is 25 OR 50m, I always at a minimum VIGOROUSLY underwater dolphin kick to the 10-13m breakout point...................it is not a glide, that 10-13m is the fastest and most energy (and oxygen) demanding part of every lap. At breakout there are two strokes THEN a breath, breath every 3 to 4 strokes (and yes that means I breath 4x per 25m lap at high Zone 4 to mid zone 5 level effort) until you get to the backstroke flags.......no breath to the wall, Turn and repeat......5-8 vigorous kicks and breakout...........and repeat. The swimmers in this thread understand this.......the triathletes don't.

My typical 52 min IM pace is somewhere around 1:15-ish pace per 100m (my math may suck, plz forgive) My typical pace in the pool in a 4 sets of 5X100m at a 1:30 sendoff is avg of 1:12 per.
Yes, I am faster over the distance in the short course tank, slower in the 50m long sourse tank, slowest of all open water(no wetsuit, in this example). I am SWIMMING the same pace per distance at all 3 but the triathletes have missed the fact that the turn/push-off and subsequent breakout are the fastest part of any swim save the Dive and breakout. As many of us noted at a recent championship meet, Phelps was fastest in time, but analysis showed that Park of Korea was the fastest swimmer for the time he was above water, it was just that the 16yo Park gave up a Meter to MP on every turn.

I know I sound like an ass to some, but I am merely passionate about my swimming AND my triathlon..........please do not rush to judge passion for a brash attitude.

I love swimming
I love triathlon
That is why 36 of my 44 years have been spent in these sports.

TomP


squid

Jan 15, 08 10:14

Post #92 of 197 (7309 views)
Re: Should triathletes do flip turns while training? [synchronicityII] [In reply to] Quote | Reply

Not single Kona qualifier who doesn't flip turn in the pool.

I have a friend that qualified for Kona who doesn't do flip turns.



beach

Jan 15, 08 10:26

Post #93 of 197 (7284 views)
Re: Should triathletes do flip turns while training? [kalidus] [In reply to] Quote | Reply

My experience... I went from a crappy, gasping, edge hugging, poor technique perpetuating, time wasting swimmer, doing "open" turns, to a mediocre, barely confident, capable of improvement, swimmer when taught to do flip turns.

Obviously I'm no expert but the continuity in the water seems to be the reason behind my improvement.


slammer

Jan 15, 08 10:28

Post #94 of 197 (7274 views)
Re: Should triathletes do flip turns while training? [TomP_imc] [In reply to] Quote | Reply

Tom,

You make some great points and your Tri success makes me take note to your comments

If you swam like a "triathlete" and touch turned, little kick off the wall, more active swimming time per lap do you think you would lose open water speed or because of specificity of training could you gain speed?

Having been a swim teamer as a kid and returning to the pool to do tri's I know that I am faster in the pool with flips but that doesn't translate to open water.

It seems that the main reason to do flip turns is to keep up with the faster swimmers in the pool but could more improvement be made for beginners and AGer's if more of the time in the pool was spent swimming instead of gliding/pushing/kicking?
I am curious as I am touch turning to replicate open water with little push.
Andrew
C'mon legs run faster!
Being fast on a crappy bike is cool
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baxnelly

Jan 15, 08 10:34

Post #95 of 197 (7263 views)
Re: Should triathletes do flip turns while training? [FLA Jill] [In reply to] Quote | Reply

In Reply To:
As for other turns, y'all are lucky you didn't have to learn the old school backstroke spin turns. I always felt like they were far harder than flip turns ever were.
Those turns sucked. Back when I swam in HS, I think it was my senior year (1990) when the newer flip turns for backstroke became legal. I swam IM at most meets, but I could never master the quick old school backstroke spin turns. I used to hate backstroke for that reason alone.

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rdmyers

Jan 15, 08 10:46

Post #96 of 197 (7237 views)
Re: Should triathletes do flip turns while training? [kalidus] [In reply to] Quote | Reply

Adding another concrete point to FlaJill and Flanagan (and others) list:

- build self confidence in swimming ability from mastery of this technique, don't understimate confidence in sport where athletes can sometimes have self-imposed limits

Also, in answer to anothers question: I can do flips just fine (from 30+ years of doing them), but due to recent abdominal injury have to do open turns and no dolphin kicks after push off. I have 2 negatives (in addition to loss of benefits that others have listed) from having to do open turns, once you are already an accomplished swimmer.

1) They break up the rythym of a set. I don't find the actual swimming any different, same intensity, but the intensity has breaks.

2) I feel discouraged to swim at all without the ability to do turns w/kicks. Probably related to 1) above, and having to break a 30+ yr old habit.
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Tri2HaveFun

Jan 15, 08 10:47

Post #97 of 197 (7235 views)
Re: Should triathletes do flip turns while training? [kalidus] [In reply to] Quote | Reply

The old flip turn debate! As a former long time non-flipper I could never see the point. While I was swimming with some tri friends I noticed the guy in the lane next to me was always beating me off the wall by a body length. This forced me to sprint to catch up. At the end of a set he wouldn't even be tired, while I was. I had to work much harder to maintain the same pace. After several sets I would get fatigued and form would suffer making it even more difficult. Once I learned how to do a proper flip turn I no longer got fatigued so quickly. Last year while training for a HIM, I ramped up to being able to do a straight 1.2 mile swim in a 25M pool by my second swim of the season even though I had done no swimming at all in the prior two years by utilizing flips.

There are many things we do in training that we don't use for racing to a great extent. We don't really use track intervals in a long distance race for example. We also don't do open turns off a wall and get an extra breath every 25-50 meters!

Perhaps the only way to settle this issue is to have a distance race between someone who only trains in open water and never flips, and someone who only trains in a pool and always flips.
Don

Tri-ing to have fun. Anything else is just a bonus!

(This post was edited by Tri2HaveFun on Jan 15, 08 13:11)


G-man

Jan 15, 08 10:50

Post #98 of 197 (7230 views)
Re: Should triathletes do flip turns while training? [baxnelly] [In reply to] Quote | Reply

Interesting read, this thread. From a casual observation from an old college swimmer, it looks like the newer swimmers don't think it will help them, and the good swimmers don't even understand why one would ask such a question .Sort of like a no look behind the back pass in basketball, if you got the skills you don't question the move.
Yes, I do think flip turns will help a swimmers progression into a complete swimmer. Sensual awareness, bodyposition, and overall comfort in the water increases the efficiency of a swimmer. Flip turns help develop all of the above.The whole idea of swimming fast is to move thru the water with the least amount of resistance and wasted energy. We work real hard on aerodynamics on the bike and often forget about hydrodynamics in the pool.
Then on the other side of the coin, moving from horrible swimmer to being able to swim a mile with comfort, there are probably other needs that have to be first met in the progression. But as you progress into being an excellent swimmer at some point in time a flip turn and mastery of other strokes becomes beneficial. If you don't understand the why to the last statement, you aren't there yet. Some things you have to just accept and believe later. Word.


schroeder

Jan 15, 08 10:54

Post #99 of 197 (7221 views)
Re: Should triathletes do flip turns while training? [NamssoB] [In reply to] Quote | Reply

"Why do you dismiss my test"

Because the comparison is between flip turns and open turns rather than 50m v open water. Flip turns make you faster because they are harder. Try working out for a month doing nothing but open turns and then go back to flip turns. When I got back into swimming, it took me a month before I was able to do flip turns again. Why? They are harder. The other benefit of flip turns for me is when doing repeats you just get into your groove much better.





Rockcandy

Jan 15, 08 11:11

Post #100 of 197 (7181 views)
Re: Should triathletes do flip turns while training? [NamssoB] [In reply to] Quote | Reply

[i]Maybe I'm being way too pedantic with this, but when I read "flip-turns make you swim faster", the purist in me says no they don't! [/i]

I believe that there are intangible benefits to the flip turn above and beyond streamline form and increased lung capacity (which I'm not quite sure are real advantages for me). I believe that swimming fast is about confidence in the water and the willingness to do whatever it takes to swim as fast as I can at times when it's required or asked of me. When I'm completely confident I'm not thinking about breathing or turning or hand position or kicking. I'm thinking about beating the guy in the lane next to me or swimming faster than I ever have. Challenge yourself in the water. Bilateral breathe, leave the kickboard at home, do flip turns, train using hypoxic drills and other drills that challenge your confidence.

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