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Flip Turns

Posted Aug 24 2008 12:03am

As a triathlete, I race in open water. However, I practice at the pool once a week. I proudly wear my LA Tri Club swim cap to proclaim to my master swim group that yes I swim slowly, but I run AND bike too!

Nonetheless, I've gotten the urge to learn to do a flip turn. My grab-the-wall-and-push-off technique is pretty well streamlined, but real swimmers do flip turns.

The way the flip turn should go is, flip over, push off with feet onto back, turn onto stomach, and swim.

Mine goes something like this:

One stroke to go before hitting wall. Look up and hesitate fearfully. Take deep breath.

Flip over. Realize, I'm flipped over, don't inhale.

Panic and inhale, getting water up nose.

Search for wall with feet.

Push off. Be surprised by random direction in which I am pushing off. Sometimes launching to bottom of pool. Other times diagonally toward oncoming swimmer.

Panic again with water up nose. Eventually hit surface. Cough.

Proceed with stroke.

I need a *lot* of practice with flip turns. For now, though, the grab-the-wall-and-push technique is working well enough.

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