Swim Tumble Turns

I've been swimming for about 4 years now, but haven't yet been up to tumbling. I've had a few goes, but it never amounts to anything.

I mainly race open water triathlons so don't need them for that. However, I think that if I could master them for pool training it might make me feel more of a swimmer (when you're swimming, think like a swimmer, when you're cycling, think like a cyclist type of thing...)

It also might keep the head-up, gossiping breast strokers away from me, as I've noticed that some give 'proper' swimmers a wide bearth, but if you turn without tumbling, they like to wait until you approach then start their length just in front of you and kick you as you go past. (Sorry - rant over - I think there's another thread for this kind of moan! Just don't get me started on people with really long hair who don't wear hats and then loose hair gets caught in your goggles, etc, etc!)

Any advice/opionins on tumbling?



  • For Triathlons it isn't worth learning tumble turns as I was told on here a few week ago that you are not allowed to do TTs in Tri's.

    To keep the slowpokes away I find it better to show that you are totally inept at TTs, but by thunder you are going to use them. It usually results in them fleeing to the side of the pool to get out of the way.
  • Another way to deter them is to literally go over the top of them from your push off.
  • unless is says so in the rules of the individual tri concerned i think its normally ok to tumble turn?
  • You probably are correct M, but I was lead to believe that it was the other way round. Unless individual event rules state that you CAN use tumble turns then they are outlawed.

    I think a search of BTA rules is called for, back later.
  • I would be interested in this rule
  • I have long hair but do not wear a cap (have no intention of wearing a cap, I simply tie it back and up. I assume/hope you are refering to long haired types who allow their hair to trail about?

    How could you employ TTs when swimming in tris? As previously stated I know little about the sport. Are some tris conducted using pools?
  • shorter tri's often have a pool swim. i'm doing furzefield tri (potters bar) in 2 weeks time - its got a 750m pool swim.

    i don't wear a swim cap either - have long hair thats tied back. mind you i've never ever got someone else's hair caught in my goggles!
  • Ahh, sounds like a warmer affair. I assume then that they are much smaller affairs or do you they have a 1000 people punching and kicking each other for a place in the pool? I assume they have the whole pool to swim in and that 4 lanes wont have been sectioned off for post-natal/over 50s swimercise class?

    How do they/you keep count of how far you've swum?
  • Competitors set off at intervals in lanes roped off, slower swimmers first. You have a person counting the lengths of all the swimmers in their lane, you can have upto around 6 swimmers in the lane at any given time. If you are really lucky, like I was in my first sprint event, you will only get a couple of other swimmers of similar ability so you don't get in each others way.

    Some swimmers count how many lengths they have done and look eagerly to the counter when they THINK they should be on the last one. Others will just keep going until signalled by the counter to get out.

    The counters will have a sheet with grids for each swimmer in their lane and should tick off every second length (well they can only be at one end of the pool after all), when the swimmer has completed their distance the counter will then let them know. I find chucking peanuts at them soon gets their attention. LOL
  • I thought some Tri's required you to wear a cap and that was compulsory. Is this not the case, as it seemed to me you had to wear a cap at the Stratford Tri (personally id rather not).
  • I'm sure you are allowed to TT in tris! It would seem crazy not to let you.

    And swim caps really help...(and most pool tris make you wear one cos it has your number on so that they can count your lengths.)
  • Im a fast(ish) swimmer but never use Tumbles

    If you were Verrrrrrry good at Tumbles and based on the lenght of pool based Tris (400/500m) you may hope to gain 5-10seconds on your time

    But if you are swiming at that intincity you will probably loose that much in transition as you sort your balance out to ride

  • TTs can save you 1-2 seconds per turn, I think they are worth doing (if you can do them!) - you usually get a much stronger push off the wall, and less time to "linger" than using a hand-touch turn.
  • carl - almost all tri's make you wear a cap. i meant i don't wear one when i'm training.

    i will learn to tumble. i will learn to tumble. i will learn to tumble. i will learn to tumble.
  • i agree with nic on the 1 to 2 seconds per turn, which over 400m in a 25m pool is 15 - 30 seconds, plus you don't break your rhythm. I'd practice them in training, but not implement them in a race if i were you until i was confident.
  • my coach only recond half a second per length and to tell the truth im faster without them - i must be carp at them - LOL
  • Our group learnt to do TT about 2 months ago and without doubt if done right they are far quicker than touch turning. Its hard to say by how much as from out of the 12 or so that were taught only 1 (me) has tried to keep doing them and I can only do them for about 6-8 lengths before I am so short of breathe that I cannot do them anymore. So for a 800m swim in a 25m pool (32 lengths) I might gain (say) 8 secs but at a risk of screwing one up and perhaps loosing a couple of seconds and a lot of breathe whilst I descend rapidly towards the bottom of the pool.
    In conclusion, I will persist with them mainly because I think its impressive to be able to do them - but in a vast majority of Tris the time benefits will be marginal and in most cases with multiple swimmers in a lane they will have no (or very limited) practical use.
  • I find in tri's if i swim the 500 at the speed i swim the 500 in a pure swim race that im much slower on the bike so i normally just swim at a steady pace (about 90-120ses off my 500 pace) so im not realy to fussed when your only in the water for 8 or 9 mins i dont worry
  • I think you definately need to be quite good at them to make them worthwhile. But when done to a decent level can be beneficial. As the touch and turn can be significantly longer when someone is pulling into the turn and just touching with their feet as they push off, perhaps underneath others.

    Need to get to a level where you don't even think about whether you are going to TT or not, you just do them.

    I know when I got back into swimming from a big lay-off, I started back doing one tumble for each 100m, when that felt comfortable, progressed to every 50 and so on. You could even start TT's at every 200m, cutting down every 50, till you get to 25m. Will also help with your timing of the stroke, your breathing and confidence.
  • fat buddhafat buddha ✭✭✭
    if they had allowed TT's at the Stratford tri yesterday it would have been a recipe for mayhem with swimmers going off at 15 sec intervals......quite often there were up to 6 swimmers trying to turn at the same time cos of mixed abilities with even some doing backstroke......
  • Hm, not sure I would have liked that!

    So were TTs definitely not allowed?
  • FB - there is that - when there is 4 people in the lane and you are my size - i may kill someone - LOL

    Nope - think i'll stick to touch turns and open water races - swiming is my strongest dis' so would get more out of extra bike time than pool time
  • I agree the bike and run are definately where you make up time. Each person can only use what they have got on the day.
  • fat buddhafat buddha ✭✭✭
    had to laugh at one point yesterday at the swim - halfway down one length this girl stopped, hung onto the lane marker, took a few deep breaths and then carried on.......and one guy who's technique me and petal called "total submersion".....he seemed to be drowning his way up the lengths - very weird

    rules for Stratford clearly said no TT's
  • sounds like you enjoyed yourself then FB lol, a site for sore eyes, in more ways than one lol
  • fat buddhafat buddha ✭✭✭
    and another strange thing - a lot of the better female swimmers were - how do I say this nicely? - rather larger than you would expect in a triathlete with huge bums and saddlebags. very odd.

    any idea why?

  • Cos swimmers aren't small! (although usually big up top than bum). Good swimmers are often pretty powerful looking, whereas a good runner (distance anyway) is usually slim and skinny, I guess.
  • No FB - but I have seen several excellent females with upper decks that make me look like a boy.
  • bouyancy
  • As with anything FB depends at what level people take things to!!!
Sign In or Register to comment.