Swim like a fish. Run like a gazelle.
I wish I had been a swimmer back in high school or college. I have taken on swimming as a new sport since I began training for my first triathlon. I was always a fish when I was little and could spend hours in the water but I never had any official coaching. Now that I am back in the water I am truly loving being in the pool for workouts and love the awesome benefits that swimming is having on my running! Last year after the Boston Marathon my body began to feel more beaten up after training runs and I dealt with nagging injuries through the summer and fall. Prior to the 2013 Boston Marathon my training consisted solely of running. I hit the roads and the trails hard and my body was definitely beginning to show the wear. Also, as I am getting older I find that my body does not recover quite as fast.
Deciding to train for a triathlon is one of the best things that I have ever done for my running. Swimming has many important benefits for runners which I had overlooked for a long time (Perhaps I am getting smarter with age?). I am so happy that I finally decided to dive back into the pool and here is why:
How does swimming making you a better runner?
- Swimming is low impact which means you can get an awesome workout without putting a heavy load on your muscles and joints. Say goodbye to overuse injuries and hello to faster recovery!
- Swimming is a great way to build your anaerobic threshold by completing shorter sprint workouts.
- Go for a swim for great active recovery after a tough race or hard training run for low impact recovery.
- Swimming is awesome for building core strength because you engage your core as you take free-style strokes.
- Your cardiovascular conditioning will improve.
- You will experience increased flexibility.
- Taking a break from going running and hopping in the poll to swim laps will give you a great mental break from the challenges of running.
- Swimming also helps with body and breathing awareness which is helpful during long runs where your body becomes tired.
- Your body will stay in balance because swimming will give your upper body the strength that running doesn’t. Increased upper body strength can be used as your body becomes fatigued to during longer runs and races.
So what are you waiting for? Now is the time to hop in the pool, lake or river and to go for a swim. How has swimming improved your running?
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