Swimming for Runners
Swimming is an excellent form of exercise for runners, whether it’s for cross training in your off-season, as an active recovery day workout, or to keep up your fitness when injured. It’s a non-impact form of exercise that works your entire body, something all runners can benefit from.
If you don’t already incorporate it into your plan, now’s a great time to start.
Worried about swimming? You’re not alone. Read more about what you can do to Overcome your Fear of Open Water Swimming.
During your off-season, swimming adds variety while improving your fitness. Swim workouts can be steady swims, but more often, they’re drills and intervals in the pool. The great thing about swimming is that because of it’s non-impact nature, you can recovery quicker from these workouts. Swim workouts are fun and the variety of swim workouts adds a nice change to your usual run workouts.
For your active recovery days during the season, swimming is a great way to perform non-impact exercise while speeding up recovery. The cool water of the pool and the pressure of the water on your legs aids in your recovery from harder workouts and prepares you for your upcoming run workouts.
If you happen to be injured, swimming and pool running helps keep you fit so that you’re more prepared when you get back to running.
No matter what kind of swimmer you are, having good swim mechanics is important to have.
I know what you might be thinking:
“I’m not a triathlete or swimmer, I don’t have to worry about my form and being efficient”
or maybe you’re thinking
“Well, I’m probably burning more calories with bad form, so that’s a good thing!”
Your swim form actually IS important. With a smooth efficient stroke, you’ll enjoy your swim workouts and you’ll be able to go further than you could with bad form.
Why create bad movement patterns that could lead to injury and unenjoyable thrashing around the pool? You want to enjoy your swimming and become a better runner, not injury yourself before your next big race.
So how do you work on better swim mechanics?
First, you have to know what good swimming form is. You also have to perform swimming drills as part of your workouts. Better breathing while swimming also helps.
But the best approach to better swimming is hiring a qualified coach (either local or long distance) to help you improve your swim stroke. A coach will be able to watch you swim by video and guide you in the correct actions you need to take.
Besides a pool and knowing some basic pool etiquette, there are a few things you’ll need for your swim workouts:
Some optional equipment you could use are:
For some great swim products that will help you swim more comfortably and in style, check out these companies!
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Pool running is a great alternative to dry land running if you’re injured or need to add some non-impact days to your training. You can do almost all the run workouts you do on land in the pool. And the best part is that doing your run workouts in the pool will keep your running fitness up.
Most athletes find a pool running belt helpful to keep them afloat and focused on the workout.
So, there’s your quick introduction to swimming for runners. Now that you know the benefits, what are your plans for including swimming in your training?Share the love! - - >