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Old 02-06-08, 12:12 PM   #1
Plainsman
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Swimming, speed coming off the wall, etc.

I've been looking for ways to shave some seconds off of my swim times. One thing I'm experimenting with (and maybe this is the way I should have been doing it all along?) is varying the exit from my flip turn. Typically, I would flip and then immediately rotate my body to a "swimming" position. I've now started keeping my body more perpendicular to the bottom of the pool as long as possible. Seems to make a difference.

What about when you have a pool swim and have an in water start from the wall? Do you just push off from the surface and start your stroke, or do you submerge yourself and push off, simulating the flip turn launch? Just curious, I always feel so slow when I start from the wall...
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Old 02-06-08, 03:20 PM   #2
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For my flip turns, I would normaly flip, push off, and spin while I was streamlined.

For a wall start, under water without a dought. You will be way more hydrodynamic that way. Its just easier to get into a proper position.
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Old 02-06-08, 04:02 PM   #3
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I'm usually turned like 45 * as i'm pushing off the wall and than flip the rest of the way in my stream line. And i agree with BATMAN deffinatly underwater you'll get more distance on the push off.
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Old 02-06-08, 04:47 PM   #4
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You want to push off the wall, do a quick 4-6 butterfly kicks and then do your breakout stroke and begin swimming free style.
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Old 02-08-08, 12:04 AM   #5
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i don't usually do flip turns... there are no flip turn in a lake/river.. i estimate that i cut a few minutes off my actual swim time if i do flip turns in the pool...
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Old 02-08-08, 01:01 AM   #6
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i don't usually do flip turns... there are no flip turn in a lake/river.. i estimate that i cut a few minutes off my actual swim time if i do flip turns in the pool...
That's what i do.

I simply grab the ledge, turn around, and push of gently just enough that my legs clear the wall and continue on swimming. I try to keep my breathing rhythm too. If i can't do it in an event, i don't do it in training. The training should be harder so the event feels easier.
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Old 02-08-08, 04:51 AM   #7
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The training should be harder so the event feels easier.
I agree with the sentiment but disagree with the method...

Intervals either on land or in the pool are about moving at faster than race pace. An effective tumble turn and drive off the wall means that the intensity continues for the interval whether it is 50's, 100's, 200's etc. Pausing, rolling over and a light push only provides a lull within this interval and reduces its effectiveness.
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Old 02-08-08, 11:07 AM   #8
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Well, i try to turn around as fast as possible. What i'm trying to avoid is pushing hard off the wall to cover the "free" 5-10 yards where my arms should have been doing the work.
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Old 02-08-08, 03:19 PM   #9
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Good points, but some of my sprint events are pool swims, so in this case how to get the most "extra" speed off of the wall is exactly what I'm looking for. Good advice, in practice today I made it a point to start underwater, and it was quicker.
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Old 02-08-08, 03:45 PM   #10
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That's what i do.

I simply grab the ledge.....If i can't do it in an event, i don't do it in training.
there's not many ledges in open water swims, but i get your point. so long as you aren't grabbing the ledge enough to give yourself a break at the end of each length. i normally push the wall with my hand to turn myself around, then push off with my legs to get moving in the other direction.

i don't do flip turns - mainly b/c i can't - but i don't think they would hurt your open water swim. if you think about it, most people who don't do flip turns get to the end of a length, grab the wall while taking a nice big breath, and head back towards the other end. those breaths make it a lot easier. if you flip turn, you don't get that big breath, but you actually hold your breath for a few seconds while gliding underwater. i think it would better prepare for when you are in a race setting, going as hard as you can, and your lungs are burning but you still have 500m yet to go.
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Old 02-08-08, 06:30 PM   #11
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i don't do flip turns - mainly b/c i can't - but i don't think they would hurt your open water swim. if you think about it, most people who don't do flip turns get to the end of a length, grab the wall while taking a nice big breath, and head back towards the other end. those breaths make it a lot easier. if you flip turn, you don't get that big breath, but you actually hold your breath for a few seconds while gliding underwater. i think it would better prepare for when you are in a race setting, going as hard as you can, and your lungs are burning but you still have 500m yet to go.
Definitely!!! What I would give for that extra breath when I am into oxygen debt in the middle of a hard rep!

As for not being able to do flip turns. Start practicing now! Check out some videos for the technique and head down to your pool. The day I decided to give this a go, after my training session I spent time just repeatedly swimming into the end and turning. Okay many ended initially having a completely random exit direction but within that 1/2 hr they started to be slow but in the right direction.

Then persevere by tumble turning all the time and you wont look back!
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Old 02-09-08, 03:41 AM   #12
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Under water is far faster than on the surface if you have the proper stream line position, just pushing of the wall and going as far as you can doing kick in a stream line position will allow you to get a feel for it an improve your tech.
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Old 02-20-08, 08:44 PM   #13
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as far as speed goes off the flipturn, always do dolphin kick, if your not familiar with how to do that, watch some guys at your pool who do butterfly. do as many of those as you can, or as many as are helpful to speed, then, if your really looking for those extra seconds, do not breath as soon as you come up. do a normal set of strokes, get your speed, and carry on... its a preety awesome race technique, but i find that it especially helps in training...increases the lung capacity you know?
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Old 03-06-08, 10:56 AM   #14
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In terms of speed, if you're a great flip turner (collegiate swimmer or beyond) then you'll likely gain some time in the pool vs open water. But for us mortals we still lose time on the flip, even if you're a good flip turner. I think flipping makes the swimming harder - I used to do open turns and they are alot easier since you get that little break to take a good breath instead of holding it underwater.
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Old 03-06-08, 05:24 PM   #15
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This is a very timely thread for me. I'm the guy you see in the pool taking that extra breath on the turn. I can do flip turns, but don't because 50 laps means almost 100 flips, and despite my blowing air through my nose as I flip, I always end up with flooded sinus tissue over the course of the workout, which means I'm always fighting some kind of head cold later that night. Plus, when I flip I instinctively push hard off the wall, which is something I won't be able to do in an actual triathlon. So I try to turn without pushing very hard.

But in slowing down to do this, I've been cheating with that extra breath. I've found myself starting to hold myself to one breath in a turn, which is probably what you'd get in that time period during an actual event. But psychologically, it's easier to think you'll have more left for the rest of the workout if your getting that extra breath at each turn. Obviously, that's not the right approach.

Here's to hoping that what we get out of a gentle push off the wall is offset by the fact that we're losing all momentum and having to turn around.
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