A Past with Swimming

Many people have asked more about my past with swimming so I thought I would share.  Plus swimming is a big sport at the Olympics, and I love watching!  On Tuesday, I wrote a post about why swimmers should get in the pool.  In summary, I was a swimmer long before I ran.  I didn’t start running until 2010-2011, and you can read about that here.

I swam through high school and three years of college.  As competitive as I am with running, I was more so with swimming.

Swimming was my life.  It was my social hour; it was my hobby, my fitness, and my fun.  Outside of school, it was everything.  Now for me running is something I love doing but at the end of the day, it’s a hobby.

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In fact, a long time ago this blog used to be named: LOLZthatswim!  If you can remember that, you’ve been reading this ramble for a long time.  Eventually, I began running so the blog was renamed “LOLZthatswim(andrun).  Now it’s just FueledbyLOLZ.  This blog has changed a lot since I started nearly six years ago but that is a post for another day.  So back to swimming: 

Not to say I was obsessed with swimming but I spent a lot more time swimming than I currently do running.  For the high school, college or club level, the average practice is anywhere between 1.5- 2.5 hours.  You are swimming for the majority of that time. 

Could you imagine running or doing speed work for 2 hours daily and sometimes twice a day? 

No, you would get injured.

Most people don’t realize this, but you dive in and swim for 2 hours straight. In a given swim practice, you’ll alternate different sets.  Instead, you might warmup, do 10X100s freestyle with 20 seconds rest, 4X200 IM and so on. It never gets boring, and you don’t usually swim a practice“straight”. It’s more like doing different workouts on the track for 2 hours. swimming 3

How many miles do most competitive swimmers swim at practice?

In a given practice, you could swim anywhere from 3000-4000 yards per hour. It’s hard for me to believe that a “light” college training was around 5000 yards.  I haven’t swum more than 3000 in a very long time, and I have no plans too. Keep in mind, even though I was swimming anywhere from 14-20 hours a week, I was nowhere near professional.  I swam for a respectable D3 school, but I wasn’t anywhere close to the top of Division 3. Professional swimmers or even D1 swimmers are putting 4+ hours a day.

What events did you compete in?

I was a distance freestyler.  I swam the 500-yard freestyle, 1000 and occasionally the mile.  In later college, I would sometimes swim the 200 butterfly too, but I was a distance girl at heart. My favorite distance to swim was the 1000.

Because for me swimming is always a party...
Because for me, swimming is always a party…

What are pool workouts for runners?

This deserves a post in itself.  Pool running is the best workout for “real” running.  Like anything you have to simulate effort and pool running is what you get out of it.  If you relax and don’t get your heart rate up, you aren’t going to get the benefits of working hard.  I found this article by Jason helpful if you want to get into pool running.

So thinking out loud, that is just a brief look at my relationship with swimming as well as answering a few swimming related questions.  I don’t hate it, and I’m not on bad terms with swimming but at this point I do enjoy other things more.

Questions for you:
Do you like swimming?
What is something you did growing up that you don’t as much now?