Thanks for all the input on this thread, much appreciated.
I have been watching a swimmer for a couple of weeks at my local pool who has been tumbling and it looks effortless(as all good swimmers do!) and have spoken to her about it. She used to swim at a very high level and funnily enough her first triathlon last year was also the one I did! Her opinion is that tumble turns should be second nature for anyone who wants to swim freestyle, and are an integral part of the stroke.
She has offered to analyse my stroke and give me a few pointers. Turns out she works in the same office buildings as me, so could prove quite useful.( no comments please, I am a very happily married man!) But she has suggested I get in touch with my local swimming club as they have a masters group which trains 3 times a week at a leisure centre I am a member of. So all good then.
Tumble turns do make sense for pool swimming. My main focus of the year will be open water swimming, but obviously the main way to practice technique is in the pool, and I need a way of trying to maintain the effort for endurance whilst turning, easy to easy off on a regular turn. Just a shame the pool I go to mostly is 33 metres long!!! Who in god\'s name came up with that length!!!!