CROSS-TRAINING: WHY MIX SWIMMING AND RUNNING?

Let's be honest, you may not be thrilled by the idea of diving into an extremely cold pool, wearing a tight swim cap and having to bear the marks left by swimming goggles for 3 hours after swimming. All the more so given that many runners only go swimming when they have no other choice, due to an injury or recovery period. Yet, swimming will help you run better and is a fiendishly effective complement to running training. Let's find out more.

WHY MIX SWIMMING AND RUNNING?

1. Swimming for an active recovery

As you are aware, swimming is a floating sport that is gentle on your joints. It can't be said enough, but this is one of the best solutions for recovering after a major effort or keeping in shape when you are forced to take a break from running. Swimming relaxes the muscles and gently exercises them, even if you are feeling stiff. What's more, you have probably already felt the sensation of muscle relaxation, which is specific to this sport, after a session in the pool.

The pull buoy can help you to relax the muscles of your legs.

 

2. Swimming in order to breathe better

Swimming changes your breathing habits by training you to exert yourself in hypoxia (a drop in the level of oxygen sent to the organs). What for? To improve your endurance in the open air and reduce any breathlessness when running.

 

3. Swimming to improve your running performance

Overall, swimming is extremely effective for increasing your muscle power using the resistance of the water, even if the way the muscles are exercised bears no resemblance to running exercises. It is also a cardiovascular sport that strengthens the heart, increases your capabilities and is very useful for running!

 

4. Swimming to effectively improving your core strength

Swimming has the benefit of strengthening the entire body, not just the muscles of the lower body, as is the case with running. A good way of restoring the balance of your figure with muscles that are in proportion to the rest of the body.

More important still, swimming has a significant effect in toning the abs and strengthening the back muscles. As we know, these muscles are used significantly when running and if they are not strong enough, it can damage your posture and weaken the back, which is why many people suffer from back pain in this sport.

The crawl or back stroke are particularly effective for strengthening the abs because the deep muscles are constantly working to keep the hips in the right position and swim in a straight line.

 

5. Swimming to break the monotony of running.

Last but not least in the list of benefits: breaking the monotony of training! Swimming changes the surroundings of your training with a wide range of exercises (four swimming strokes/training equipment) that you can use to exercise the areas that are more specifically used by runners. You can also reproduce the same type of sessions as you would when running with a well-organised training plan, interval training, fundamental workout, etc. – As much variety as running!

 

In addition to all its physical advantages, swimming gives you – as a runner – the opportunity to set yourself new objectives. And what if you gave Swimrun a go to combine both sports?

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