Thursday, December 23, 2010

Flippin' Great

I am in the middle of a huge swim block these days.  Today I swam for the 3rd time this week with two more swims to go.  I've been working a lot on my technique, and I'm really starting to feel like a swimmer.

Except for one thing...

flip turns.

Yep, I'm pretty much terrified of flip turns.  The funny thing is what scares me is not getting water up my nose, or scraping my back on the bottom of the pool.  No, I'm scared of getting seasick!!  I get motion sickness VERY easily.  If I'm flying, I automatically take Dramamine, no matter what.  Even in the car, I have to be very careful. (Actually, just writing about it is making me feel a little off.  But that might be the wine.  Or all of the cookies I ate today.) Sometimes when I'm doing a lot of slow drills in the pool I feel that feeling coming on, so I've been very reluctant to add flip turns into my swims.

But as I have improved, I feel a little silly not doing flip turns.  I know as a triathlete it is not all that important since there are no walls in open water swim (thank God), BUT I do feel like in the pool flip turns help sustain momentum that can be lost at the wall.  My husband and I got into a fairly heated discussion about this, but I refuse to admit that I am wrong.  Please don't take sides unless you want to side with me.  Thank you very much.

Anyway, today I decided to look fear in the eye and say, "Flip you!"

The first one didn't happen.  I chickened out at the wall, and actually said "Chicken" out loud.

The second one was not pretty, that's for sure.  The flip part was fine, but somehow when I pushed off the wall I went sideways and almost ran into the side of the pool.   Fortunately, no one else was swimming in my lane.

The third one caused me an immense amount of pain because I got so much water up my nose, I'm pretty sure it came out of my eyes.  Really.

The fourth one was much water up the nose, I went straight off the wall (mostly), but was still having problems coordinating my arms.

After a few more I started to kind of get it.  That's not to say I didn't have that momentary panic every single time I knew the flip was coming.  Also, the breathing is a little tricky.  Breathe too soon and you are gasping by the first pull, breathe to late and water up the nose.

I only attempted one in the deep end.  For some reason that scares me a little bit more.  At one point today, the man swimming next to me asked me if I swam competitively in college.  After my big-eyed double take, I decided he must be trying to curry favor since he knows I am the tri coach at the Y.  Clearly, I don't have any idea what I am doing!!

I have another swim tomorrow.  Hopefully that one will be flippin' great too.


  1. I am on your side - Flip Turns rock! Keep working at it and before you know it you'll just being doing them without even thinking about it!

  2. I am thinking about making 2011 the year of the flip turn. I have not been swimming much lately, so I figure when I get back to my regular schedule it will take me some time to get my speed back so it will be a perfect time to perfect the flip. Good luck!

  3. I made flip turns a goal for this year - I committed to doing them in all workouts by the end of January. So far, it's getting there. It helps if you practice them with a pull buoy or fins so that you have more momentum coming in to the wall - you get a better idea of what it takes to do the flip without pool toys!

  4. Huray for flip turns!!!! You are doing great!!!

  5. Can't help with the flip turns, but maybe car sickness. On long trips I always wanted to be able to read,but felt nauseous. Don't know what they're called, but I tried these wrist bands and they have these balls on them that press on the inside of your wrist. This pressure point helps eliminate the nausea. It actually works! I'll keep an eye out for them for you.

  6. I am with you....there are no walls in the OW so why learn flip turns. But I also know they work on momentum and getting faster, etc.

    I am with Anne....2011 the year of the flip turn.

    Congrats on getting 'er done.

  7. that's cool that the guy thought you swam competitively!

  8. How awesome for you to keep at it! I swam backstroke in middle school because I couldn't do flip turns and didn't want to make a fool of myself at swim meets. They aren't easy.

  9. Good for you! I have never been able to do flip turns. I panic at the last second.

  10. I know exactly how you feel about flip turns! I am scared of them too. It's funny b/c when I was younger, I did flip turns all the time. Now, there's just something about them that kind of freak me out. I really want to start doing them though, and will probably makes that one of my swimming goals!
    Good luck with yours!
    I hope you have a great Christmas!

  11. Was just thinking during today's swim how nice it is not to have to worry about flip turns. I tried doing a somersault in the water once and I completely relate to the water coming out of your eyes scenario. Having read your post, though, I may give it another try, just so I can learn something new.

    Merry Christmas!

  12. I agree with your theory and I'm working on my turns as well. I like deep end turns better because I have more space... my fear is diving down. The water up the nose is like my own saline rinse.... Best to you & the flipping!


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