Running out of gas....

Good morning all, and happy swimming.

I am a 64 year old distance swimmer, and I typically use flip turns during my freestyle, but I run out of gas after about 300 yards.  At times, I literally feel I am going to pass out.  When I revert to open arm turns, I have no problem completing 500 or 1000 yards.

Wondering if anyone else has had this problem.  I want to be able to maintain a decent speed throughout my events, but I also want to survive them!  Any suggestions are welcomed and appreciated.

  • Can you post a video? It may be that breath control is an issue. Is there dizziness, in which case it could be an inner ear issue. 

  • Thanks for the response, Allen.  Glad to say I have no dizziness.  Probably breath control, like you said.  t doesn't help that I train in a 20 yard pool; seems like I am doing a flip turn before I know it.  I will get a video posted.

  • It depends what your goals are. Flip turns are not a requirement and can sometimes be slower because of the complex movement or breath control. I would keep trying them and work on your breathing in and out of the wall as as as just practicing not letting too much air our during the flip. If doing open turns remains faster and more efficient, just do those. 

  • Thanks Kyle.  Seems like I am still exhaling when i turn my head to breathe.  Thanks for the advice and yes, I may be resorting to open arm turns.

  • 3URXX,

    I experience the same thing when I "forget" to exhale as forcefully as I should.  Like you, doing open turns eliminates the issue.

    It is important to remember that the time it takes to do a flip turn is likely equivalent to 4-6 strokes without a breath.  I count the turn itself as two strokes and a nice long push-off (past the flags) as another 2.  If you are holding your breathe for 2 strokes into a turn and for 1-2 strokes after surfacing, you are going a long time without breathing.  That pushes the CO2 levels pretty high creating the awful feeling you experience.

    As Kyle mentioned and I have found at our age, open turns might not be all that slower than flip turns - especially if we can swim harder between the walls.

    good Luck!

  • Thanks Windrath.  I started doing a set of 50's, 25 free down, no breath on last two strokes, flip turning into a breaststroke pull out.  Seems to help some.  Thanks for the reply

  • Problem solved.  As a youthful swimmer, I was taught to take two strokes after each flip turn prior to breathing.  While it is hard to get used to, I now take an immediate breath after the turn (usually at the flags) and presto, gassing out reduced tremendously.