After spending years of my life competitive swimming, I gave swimming in 2010. Since starting my own running journey, I’ve realized there are so many reasons runners should get into the pool!
I don’t hate swimming, and I also don’t have a bitter relationship with it. The fact of the matter is, I enjoy other activities more. As a child, teenager, and college student, I spent so much time swimming competitively that I’m still burnt out. Even at the D3 Collegiate level, many swimmers spend 10-14 hours weekly at swim practices.
My relationship with swimming looks a lot different now. Instead of it being my “main fitness activity”, it’s the activity I prefer for cross-training.
So what are the reasons runners should get into the pool?
Less pressure on your joints
One of the best reasons runners should get into the pool is to work out without putting as much stress on their joints. Running is awesome, but as we know by now, it’s a high impact sport. You can still get a workout in swimming without putting stress and pressure on your joints and bones.
Less tan lines
Maybe not the most serious reasons runners should get into the pool but running outside means tan lines from compression socks, sports bras, shorts, and shoes. When you swim outside, you only have bathing suit tan lines. It’s perfect! Your workout and get to remove any unwanted tan lines. Despite not running much this summer, I’m still working on my compression sleeve tan line. PSA: Always wear sunscreen when outside.
Swimming in the Summer is Refreshing
Finishing a run can often be a hot, soggy mess. You can swim laps in an outdoor pool when it’s 100 degrees and feel great. You can also swim at any time of the day without worrying about overheating. The only thing you have to worry about swimming is the occasional thunderstorm.
One of the best reasons runners should get into the pool is strength work and resistance training. Swimming is a full-body sport. Swimming gets some (not all) of the benefits of strength work. When you are swimming back and forth using the water as resistance, you build upper body strength. I had much more upper body muscle when I collegiately swam as well.
Like anything else, swimming isn’t for everyone. You could experiment in the pool and realize you love it, or you could experiment and realize you hate it. At the end of the day, it’s about finding something you enjoy doing. There are plenty of reasons runners should get into the pool, but you also have to enjoy doing so!
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Questions for you:
Do you like to swim laps?
Do you go to the pool or beach in the summer?