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View Full Version : swimming for fat and injured runners (lots of questions)



milesoftrials
June 16th, 2008, 02:23 PM
Hey!


To keep a long story short, I started running a few years ago, ran a few marathons, and now am horribly injured in the foot (Plantar Fasciitis). I've had it for about a year and a half, tried EVERYTHING, and have gained a more than significant amount of weight since I got it. I believe the excess weight is preventing me from making a comeback.

Anyway I have been unable to stick to a structured diet and training regimen without a sport to train for, and I have been unable to run with any consistency. This has created somewhat of a disaster.

I have decided to look for alternate sports, at the very least until I am at a competitive weight for running, or if I like it enough, possibly permanently.

Swimming appeals to me because of the fact that it isn't very gear dependant (cycling is OUT), and because of the low chance of injury.

I also really like doing sub-threshold and vo2max workouts and would absolutely love to do them everyday.

The thing is, I have never swam other than recreationally in my life. I don't know the strokes or techniques at all.

Does this sound like swimming would be a good candidate sport for me?


Can I swim 6-7 days per week (after acclimatizing myself to it)? Can I do hard work every day? Is it like running/cycling where you have to do lots of base miles first?

What kind of supplementary exercises make a good swimmer? I've never set foot in a gym in my life, and like a true runner, I have pitiful upper body strength. Can I get all of that from swimming, or do I need to start weights too?

I am used to training with a Heart Rate Monitor, can they be used for swimming, or is there a better way to train?

I am 6'5" with a HUGE frame. This is somewhat of a disadvantage running, how will it effect my swimming?

Any good books on the subject for beginners?

Can I just show up to a masters class in jammers and goggles, or do I need to do anything to prepare beforehand?

There are several short course pools which have masters classes in my area, I can't seem to find a long course pool though. Will a SC one be OK? I am by no means interested in becoming a sprinter.


Thanks, and sorry to bombard with questions, I may have a few more later on. I wish I could contribute something in return.

ALM
June 16th, 2008, 03:44 PM
To keep a long story short, I started running a few years ago, ran a few marathons, and now am horribly injured in the foot (Plantar Fasciitis). I've had it for about a year and a half, tried EVERYTHING....

My brother-in-law had plantar fasciitis for a long time. He finally underwent surgery a couple of months ago to have a sinus tarsi implant put into his foot. Here is some information about it:

http://www.hyprocure.com/what.htm

http://www.hyprocure.com/hyprocure.htm

http://www.hyprocure.com/beforeafter.htm

http://www.hyprocure.com/info.htm

milesoftrials
June 16th, 2008, 04:21 PM
Thanks, that's definitely something that I will look into.


Right now I am sick of paying thousands of dollars for treatments that don't work (not saying that one won't, that's just been my experience), and just want to stop running until I lose weight and hope that the PF goes away with the excess pounds. If not, then I'll look into that.

ALM
June 16th, 2008, 04:34 PM
It's not a cure for all plantar fasciitis. It's only for those who have that particular structural defect. You'd want to find someone who has experience with those implants. My brother-in-law tried all sorts of things, too (the boot, the cortisone injections, etc.), and went to several different doctors before someone finally noticed the structural defect.

matysekj
June 16th, 2008, 04:45 PM
IMy brother-in-law tried all sorts of things, too (the boot, ...

Yeah, but he was too much of a wimp to stick with the boot :p. I had plantar fasciitis for 1+ year and finally kicked it by really pushing wearing the boot for most of the night time. It took a number of nights of very little sleep to finally be able to go most of the night with it on, but once I could do that it really worked for me. YMMV - I'm not a runner by any stretch of the imagination, so I didn't have that added foot torture to overcome to beat this scourge.

milesoftrials
June 16th, 2008, 04:57 PM
Been wearing the boot for upwards of a year guys...don't mean to come off sounding harsh but I really just looking for info on swimming because I've tried everything and just want to forget about running for a few months.

geochuck
June 16th, 2008, 05:43 PM
Not everyone knows what you are talking about so I thought this may inform them. http://www.plantar-fasciitis.org/

Cookie778
June 16th, 2008, 06:34 PM
Hi,

I am a swimmer, and I also have Plantar Fasciitis in my right foot, and it got to the point, where I was crawling around the house since the pain was so bad.

Since I have experienced Plantar Fasciitis, I would first recommend a visit to your favourite podiatrist to get some custom orthortics for your running shoes. They will probably do a gait analysis of you walking, to see how you walk.

I would also look into doing Pilates, which I found to be a godsend, as it helped strengthened the core muscles (which you use in running as well as swimming) as well as helped stretch the muscles in my legs and abs and feet. Since I have started doing Pilates, I haven't had any issues regarding the Plantar Fasciitis in my feet.

I hope this helps!

ALM
June 16th, 2008, 06:52 PM
I also really like doing sub-threshold and vo2max workouts and would absolutely love to do them everyday. The thing is, I have never swam other than recreationally in my life. I don't know the strokes or techniques at all. Does this sound like swimming would be a good candidate sport for me?

Anyone is a good candidate for swimming! Where do you live? You will do much, much better if you can find a Masters group to train with, or at least someone to give you some stroke instruction.



Can I swim 6-7 days per week (after acclimatizing myself to it)? Can I do hard work every day? Is it like running/cycling where you have to do lots of base miles first?


Once you're in shape I suppose you could swim every day. To avoid repetitive-use injuries, many swimmers swim every other day, and do alternative activities on their "off" days.



What kind of supplementary exercises make a good swimmer? I've never set foot in a gym in my life, and like a true runner, I have pitiful upper body strength. Can I get all of that from swimming, or do I need to start weights too?


You will build upper body strength from swimming, but many swimmers lift weights, too.



I am used to training with a Heart Rate Monitor, can they be used for swimming, or is there a better way to train?


Yes, you can use your HR monitor. I sometimes swim with mine. A lot of men have problems keeping them on, though, because they want to slide down when you push off the wall. Women can wear them underneath their swimsuits and it doesn't seem to be as much of a problem.



I am 6'5" with a HUGE frame. This is somewhat of a disadvantage running, how will it effect my swimming?


Not that much. There is a guy on my team right now who is about 6'4" and weighs 320 pounds. It doesn't seem to bother him too much. (It bothers me, though, if I'm in a lane next to him because of the waves he creates! I'm 5'1" and 107 pounds.)



Any good books on the subject for beginners?


I've heard that Emmett Hines' book is pretty good. I can't remember the title.



Can I just show up to a masters class in jammers and goggles, or do I need to do anything to prepare beforehand?


I usually tell new swimmers that they won't get much out of a Masters workout unless they are already able to swim 500 yards or so (even with poor technique). In my opinion you need at least that much endurance to be able to receive any sort of stroke instruction.



There are several short course pools which have masters classes in my area, I can't seem to find a long course pool though. Will a SC one be OK? I am by no means interested in becoming a sprinter.


Yes, a SC pool would be better for a beginner, anyway. More walls to hang onto.

geochuck
June 16th, 2008, 07:14 PM
You really like doing sub-threshold and vo2max workouts and would absolutely love to do them everyday.

I would suggest that you only do Vo2 Max only once or twice a week.

rtodd
June 16th, 2008, 10:57 PM
I know a fellow sprinter that was able to rehab his plantar fascitis. For him it took upwards of a year. It is a significant investment. I would not give up on it.

I came from a running background and messed around in the pool rehabbing achilies tendonitis. I was also looking to take the stress off my back so I started swimming. Don't think swimming is an injury free sport, especially when you start learning strokes. As a new swimmer you will likely go through shoulder issues as I did. It took me several years to build up to 5-6 times a week. You will likely need to ease into it and gradually build up to every day once you build a good foundation. If you don't have good upper body strength, there will need to be significant development in that department.

Swimming FAST is waaaaay more challenging than running. I say give it a try.

Rebecca
June 16th, 2008, 11:43 PM
I totally sympathize with you. I also had plantar fasciitis (in one foot) that lasted about 18 months and tried lots of different things, including PT, taping, custom orthotics, night splint, etc. What finally worked for me (almost miraculously) was to wear a Bledsoe boot during the day. (The orthopedist finally tried it when I broke down crying in his office--he really wanted to get rid of me!) It's like a removable aluminum cast that velcroes on, and immobilizes your foot (they use it for fractures), and you can walk with it on without crutches. I wore it for about 6 weeks, and finally the pain went away. That was 7+ years ago. Maybe this is something you've already done, but I hadn't heard of anyone else wearing it full time (not just at night), and was amazed that the pain actually went away completely. Finally after the pain resolved, I lost 50 pounds, and I still do my little stretching routine before I get out of bed in the morning.

For swimming -- it's a great sport. I re-started as an adult, and love it. Get a few lessons if you can, even if you think you already know how, it really helps. I taught Red Cross swimming in high school, but have learned a lot from my own teacher/coach over the last few years. You may even end up like me, up on a starting block at age 50+!

tulclark
June 17th, 2008, 07:03 AM
Just a word of caution about Plantar Fasciitis. I was a runner for many years and was sidelined with foot pain diagnosed as PF. I tried everything for about 3 years and finally gave up running. I then started cycling, but after a year or so started having pain in by calf muscles after long rides. I spent another couple years trying to determine the cause of my calf pain. Finally, a doctor ask me if I had ever had my lower back evaluated. Long story short, the cause of my foot pain and calf pain was from my lower back. I have a nerve that was getting irratated when I exercised.
As for swimming, its a great sport and one you can probably do every day. Shoulders seem to be the main over use area for swimmers. Good luck. :wave:

Donna
June 17th, 2008, 10:22 AM
I would recommend you start swimming 3-4 days per week. Depending on the amount of instruction you need you might start by taking some lessons or find a Masters team with a good coach.

It will take time to gain your aqua lungs so give yourself time to learn and develope some endurance. A supplemental weight training program will also help from a strength serspecitve and will also help with the weight loss as well.