Wednesday, December 05, 2007

MWM ISO Flip Turn for a Good Time



This is the point where we return to our regularly scheduled blog and I bemoan (again) the pathetic state of my swim.

Granted, I've become less pathetic over time. When I first started, 25 meters left me winded. I improved my stroke, took some lessons, and worked until I could swim a mile.

Really slowly. Like 2:30 per 100 yds.

Then I joined a masters group and got in the slow lane. I couldn't keep up and had to drop an interval or two in the set just to be able to breathe.

Air is my friend.

Then I got faster and led the senior citizens' lane.

That's not a knock on senior citizens. My two lane buddies are actually in their 60s. One of them kind of gets lost in the complicated sets and has to be reminded what we're doing and how many are left. So, uhm . . . yeah.

Then I did my swim block this fall and got faster still. Today I was running up on the heels of my lane mates if I did not lead the set, and I was lapping them if I did.

So, I gets to thinking, (again with the thinking, will I never learn), "gee, I wonder if I'm ready to move up a lane. Does the coach do that, or do I just do it myself?"

We were swimming hundreds that got progressively harder and faster from some funky kicking, to pulling, to swimming like a house on fire. It was 2350 all told. The next to last set was 4x100 on 1:50. The last set was 2x100 as hard as possible, which I landed in 1:36. (Yay me. I'm not Michael Phelps, but he ain't 41 years old, 5'4" and working at a desk all day either.)

Then coach says, "you might be ready to move up a lane . . .

IF WE CAN WORK ON THOSE TURNS."

Ack. I cannot flip turn to save my life and my open turns aren't too spiffy either.

Has anyone out there learned to flip turn as an adult? You freakazoids who have been doing it since you were 6 don't count. I swear I've tried it a bit, and it seems a recipe for hypoxia and water in the schnoz if you ask me. How is it that waterboarding is supposed to make you faster?

I'm ready to move on up, but I gots to find me a flip turn.

25 comments:

BowserTheCat said...

Hey, I figured it out at age 50! Mind you it's taken me a year but just last weekend I did 2400M with all flip turns.

I'd never been a serious swimmer either till I started triathlon training a couple of years ago.

One of the things I found was the scuba technique of blowing bubbles out throughout the turn. Keeps the water out of the "schnoz".

LBTEPA said...

I'm one of the freakazoids but I've taught a few people to do tumbleturns (as we call them). This is how I do it (I'm not a coach though so there may be heaps of other ways).
The key is, can you do a somersault under water? Practice that, then practice doing somersaults next to a wall and just touching the wall with your feet as you turn, then practice kicking away out of the somersault.
Hope this helps. have fun!

21stCenturyMom said...

There is a great video demo somewhere that shows how to perfect the flip turn using one of those foam noodles. It's amazing! I've gone from doing this weird whirly bird thing to doing a credible turn. I'll try to find it for you.

That having been said - so what if your turns suck? If you can do a 100 in 1:36 you are so money in my book. Carry on!

21stCenturyMom said...

This isn't what I was looking for but it's very comprehensive. A little annoying but helpful. I fast forwarded to about the middle of the thing.
http://www.brightcove.tv/title.jsp?title=412470075&channel=413283966

Rainmaker said...

I'm right there with ya - my flip turns suck. Actually suck wouldn't correctly describe them. Like those doctors commericals where they say "9 times out of 10" - yup for me it's "9 times out of 10 I pile drive myself into the ground, the wall or some other object". I'm smooth.

Although those links/tips that ya'll posted in the comments look fairly useful.

Speed Racer said...

I learned how to do it as a kid, but have seen plenty of adults learn. Have you tried practicing your flips over the lane line to practice getting around all the way? This works better if you have the lines with buoys the whole length of the line (not just every 7 feet, that rope might hurt your hips). Even if it doesn't help you, it'll give your new lane mates some primo comedy as you get stuck halfway with your red speedo clad butt sticking up in the air.

Bigun said...

If the Bigun can do it, you can, my lil friend. I do a modified turn....I hate pushing off upside-down, so I flip and rotate before pushing off...I'm sure I get plenty of laughs from the real swimmers watching! I only flip every now and again....most of the time I run headlong into the wall, narrowly avoiding the breaking of my nose.

Wendy said...

Google Go Swim flip turns ... I think those may be the videos 21st Century Mom is talking about.

This year I've been coaching with the masters club I swim with (I used to coach age group swimming), and the past couple of weeks I've been in the water with beginners teaching flip turns.

As bowserthecat says, blowing a trickle of air out the nose is key! Like Lbtepa, I start people with a somersault. Once that's good, one arms' length from the wall is a good distance to start trying a real turn.

Some people find it easier to somersault and push off on their backs first, and learn the twist as the next step. (That is currently a flip turn for backstroke.) Keep blowing air out your nose as you push off the wall -- this is especially true on your back!!

Have fun!!

monica said...

i'm one of the freakazoids too, yet still my flips aren't spot on. these tips here area all great. blow out during the turn which also requires taking a breath just before the turn. somersaults. get your somersault on.....

IM Able said...

yeah...hit goswim.tv and you'll find the flip turn vid. i think it's staring spence/two thirds the venture, in fact! plus it involves a noodle. nuff said.

supalinds said...

I taught myself earlier this year. After I managed to keep my water out of my nose I decided I was good to go. Though half the time mine look like crap, and I find myself hoping and praying that I can get one more breath in before I have to turn, or I might suffocate. There are times I think I have killed brain cells trying to learn how, to long without oxygen.

But the more you do them the better you get, like most things.

They make me feel all pro and stuff :)

pinkgurugal said...

your swimming tales sound just like mine! (i was among the LAST 100 people out of the wter at im wisconsin)

and yes, i do flip turns. they are sloppy, but they work. terrified at first, but manage. but i would be a HORRIBLE teacher!

Lance Notstrong said...

I tried it once in class and got dizzy :-(

a.maria said...

i'm actually heading to the pool this evening to do some flip turns myself. i started with the noodle thing (what 21c was talking about) and it totally helped. my problem is i forget to time my breathing right, so i'm kinda struggling with consistency, but...

either way, the fact that you're no longer swimming 2:30's gives me hope.

cuz currently.. I AM!

slow = suck!

Bill said...

Open turns for me.

The water in the nose is no big deal. A gentle blow solves that. For me, it's the incredible vertigo that occurs only when I flip in water that makes them a no-no for me.

Good luck working on them. I've been thinking about giving them a try again this winter.

Iron Pol said...

Well, if it's for the master's class, that's one thing...

I'll learn flip turns as soon as they put walls in the swim of my triathlons.

SWTrigal said...

I am one of the 6 year old flippers but the secret is to blow out through your nose the whole flip..It is really hard to learn and I agree with the above. Why learn flips for open water swims? great that you had a PR on your 100. That is a good time!

T-Guy J said...

They don't show the 20 times you hit your head on the wall and the stitches in your forehead!!!

Maybe that is why I have never tried to learn...

And, it does nothing for training for a triathlon.

T-Guy J

the Dread Pirate Rackham said...

some day I'll be where you are now. I can't flip at all either. So I'll be archiving the tips people are giving you...heh.

(I swim in the guppy lane)

Allez said...

Doing flips makes me ridiculously dizzy and I don't see the point in trying anymore.

Lisa said...

I'll just point out that you hardly ever do a flip turn in a triathlon, so I haven't even tried to tackle yet. Of course my coach has me working on other things right now. His point to me was that a bad flip turn can destroy other efficiencies in your swimming, so keep an eye on your stroke count, etc. that it doesn't subsequently go up as you try to recover the air you loose on your turn, etc.

TJ said...

i've almost tried flip turns a few times...but i'm always afraid i'll smack my head into the side of the pool......

jeanne said...

ha ha what iron pol said!! i haven't looked at the videos yet, but that diagram?? looks like they left out what happens between step one and step two! or is that just done by MAGIC???!
:)

Captain Cactus said...

Just like "there's no crying in baseball", I'm saying there's no flip turns in triathlon. I'm all for open turns and, as soon as the lake thaws here in the great white north, open water! Thank God for wetsuits!

rude_j said...

I think the most important part of not taking on water during the flip turn is first, as someone said, breathing out while doing it. The other three things are 1. keeping your momentum toward the wall until you are flipped (2. this will make your turn faster too). Notice between the first and second pictures in the diagram the swimmer gets closer to the wall. She forces her hands down to flip herself over, not forward to slow herself down too much and draw water in the shnoz. 3. is turning over quickly after you push off the wall. Mr. Obvious I know but that one is the key to staying "dry." Anyone flip turning doing backstroke will tell you that push is treacherous.