Under strict instructions from my sports massage therapist, I have taken up swimming. I do it with the attitude of a sullen thirteen year-old, but I do it nonetheless. Given that I am a newbie to ‘proper’ swimming, it’s been a steep learning curve, and I thought I’d share my findings with you.
General Facts I’ve Learnt
1. You sweat when you swim. For many years no-one was quite sure about this, but now we know. This means you need to hydrate properly, as you would before/during/after a run. (Side note- it kind of grosses me out to think you’re swimming in other people’s sweat!)
- (e.g. Warm up: 100m easy; followed by 100m fast, 50m easy; repeat, and then cool down; 100m easy.)
- Comparable to a track session; great for speed and cardiovascular training.
- (e.g. 20×25 at a medium effort, followed by 2 min rest. Repeat!)
- Good for building endurance, much like a Long Slow Distance run.
- You only need to swim a quarter of the distance you would cover on the road to get an equivalent workout.
- Pretty much what it sounds like. Running, but in water.
- Make this equivalent to your runs by matching time, not distance. For instance if a 6 mile run would take you an hour, run for an hour in the pool.
- You need an Aqua Jogger belt for this, to allow you to float in the deep end. Whilst you can practice deep water running in the shallow end, this still has some impact on your legs and therefore isn’t as beneficial.
I may post more about swimming in the future as I continue my foray into the sport. Although I bitch and moan my way through most of my swim workouts, I’m starting to appreciate that swimming, along with other activities such as yoga and cycling, is making me a more well-rounded athlete, and I can only be grateful for that.