Four Reasons Runners Should Get into the Pool

Four Reasons Runners Should Get into the Pool

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!

Four 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.

Strength Work

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!

Looking for more swimming news? I’ve also wrote How Swimming Can Make You a Better Runner as well as What’s in My Lap Swimming Bag

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Questions for you:

Do you like to swim laps?

Do you go to the pool or beach in the summer?



  1. That’s cool that you have a neighborhood swim club. I wonder if there is something around my area. Would be nice to swim with someone. I have been loving swimming at least once a week especially since it is warm outside, though I use an indoor pool for lap swimming.

  2. You should totally get into tri’s. I agree with your observations and, although I don’t love to swim, I started doing it semi-regularly to get ready for my first triathlon a couple years ago. Although it is a little boring, it provides a great compliment to running without the stress.

  3. I started swimming earlier this year, and while I enjoy being in water and the pool I’m awful at lap swimming! It’s kind of frustrating to be so bad at it, but it’s just like anything else where if you put in the time you’ll see results. I just need to put in the time!

  4. I can’t remember the last time I was in the pool but there are a lot of benefits to it that running just doesn’t have. Like you, I don’t hate swimming, but I’m burnt out and I don’t know when I’ll have the desire to get back in again.

  5. I danced for almost 15 years (ballet, jazz, hip hop) and stopped completely when I starting running in high school. I was so burned out on dancing that I literally dreaded going to each class…which were A LOT of classes. In college, I took a jazz class and had the best time! It was fun rediscovering it and also not having it be my main sport. I wish I could swim, I’m one of the worst swimmers of all time. It’s not even a fitness thing, it’s like I can’t coordinate my breathing and moving my arms and kicking all at once. Maybe someday I’ll just get it, swimming does have so many benefits, plus I’ve always wanted to do a tri!
    Hope your foot is feeling better!

  6. I agree with you that it is sooo refreshing to swim in the summer. I don’t have easy access to an outdoor pool, unfortunately, but I do love swimming.

  7. I join the free pools in NYC each summer to do lap swim! I love swimming and don’t do it enough because pool access here can be pricey.

    1. I cannot imagine how much your pool is Gianna. Ours are pricy down here in NJ and I know NYC and North Jersey are just as much, if not more.

  8. One of my swimmer-turned-triathlete friends compared doing the butterfly in the pool to doing hill repeats on the run–building strength and using different muscles. I love that analogy!

  9. Totally agree and really need to make an effort to swim again once in a while. I’m a terrible swimmer so tend to shy away from it but the cross-training benefits for running are great.

  10. I like to float more than swim laps haha. But when my kids aren’t in the pool, I have to wash my hair anyway, and it’s hot outside. I don’t mind doing some laps for a little extra cardio. As a teenager, I’d go on a run in the summer and at the end of my run jump in the pool to cool off, clothes on and all. My dad didn’t appreciate that very much haha.

  11. I would like to love swimming but I just like going to the pool to hang out. Although I do like to kick board from time to time… and I would love for my feet to match the color of my legs

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