Thursday, October 23, 2008

Flip Turns and Santa Ana Winds

I was feeling sore early on in my swim class this morning. But, I caught a little break. My coach decided to hold "Doing a Flip Turn 101." The tradeoff was losing about 1,000 meters of the main set, but I can now do the twisty thing under water. Well, some of the time.

Initially, I told my coach I wasn't interested in learning flip turns. Don't have to use 'em in triathlon, so why bother. I know in the back of my head, however, I'm "cheating" with that breath/break I get by turning around sans flip turn -- that's not something you get during a tri swim. So, I figured losing the extra laps this morning were worth learning the flip-T. Check out this example.
We learned in steps (let me know if you want details), and I quickly singled myself out as a goof. Ass popping out of the water. Water up the nose. Missing the wall. Awkward last-second breaths. I could do all the elements separately just fine... but putting it together was the interesting (read: funny) part. What a Flip-T boils down to is: Swimming to the wall, taking the last breath at the right moment, doing the somersault motion using your arm to thrust you over (while blowing out the nose), pushing off upside down them flipping over while starting to streamline; my goal: get air! Whew. I'm sure my coached laughebotch the process. Which brings me to:

Screwing Up Flip Turns -- Learn From My Top 6 Mistakes:

1. Lifting my head to take an extra, and random, breath before the flip turn = kills the momentum.
2. Starting the flip turn too far from the wall = can't push off.
3. Not thrusting myself deep or fast enough = awkwardly moving slow-mo in water, the ass ventures out of the water into the air and precious breath is lost each millisecond.
4. Pushing off with one foot = you shoot off in wrong direction (potential to run into a lane mate)!
5. Not having the stroke/breath rhythm coordinate with flip time = just plain awkward, and potential for a long time w/o breathing.
6. Not streamlining after flip-T = Got to streamline according to coach. But, I just want that breath asap!
~~~Santa Ana Winds~~~
I was also going to write about my 22-mile bike ride yesterday through the Santa Ana winds, but I've been a bottomless pit today and food is my No. 1 priority, so I'm going to stick to that. Let's just say going against the winds sucked hardcore, but coming back, I was crusin' at an average of almost 40 mph. Overall, I say: take advantage of training in the wind when possible!


  1. your blog is fantastic and beautiful! :)

    i'm totally going to read it and be inspired to exercise. Well, my version of "exercise" anyway!

  2. Although I'm far away from participating in a triathlon I've set it as a goal to achieve in my life (even though nobody really supports this idea f mine currently) - so I wanted to say that your blog really inspires me and keeps me motivated :) thanks for that! and good luck with your training :)