View Full Version : running and swimming...adversaries?

October 28th, 2002, 04:10 PM
I run and swim for fitness, competing in both sports. I'm a better swimmer than runner, so have been focussing more on running lately (especially as our small pool does not offer many masters or lengths only times). Many people have told me that running has a negative effect on swimming for various reasons:

1. running makes your ankles inflexible
2. running makes you lose muscle mass
3. running emphasizes quad muscles too much, which will throw swimming strokes off

Is there any truth to the above? Can running complement swimming?

Any thoughts or info on running and swimming would be appreciated.

October 28th, 2002, 04:46 PM

Though not a specialist in exercise physiology but I don't think running is going to hurt your swimming. I believe Janet Evans use to run about 4 miles a day in preperation for the Olympics. I use to run quite a bit during water polo season posting a 1/2 marathon time of 1hr 35 minutes and we use to do running during swim season so I don't think that complimenting your swim training with running is going to hurt you in the ways you've expressed.


October 30th, 2002, 09:29 AM
More than anything, the training mentality of running is different than swimming. At least for me. As a runner, I know with certainty that more miles and more speed work will make me faster. As a fitness swimmer who is addicted to the clock on my Ironman watch (got that from running), I can see that more laps and harder intervals does not make me faster. More fit, which is good, but I struggle for anything more than modest improvements in time. It's when I slow down, lengthen my stroke and focus on body position that I can improve a bit more in the pool.
As far as the physical stuff goes, I've come to buy into the ankle thing, because from experience I know that my kick inthe pool is worthless and weak.
Good Luck

October 31st, 2002, 07:40 PM
Met a runner who was injured.

He decided to swim to stay fit while he healed.
He was having a tough time in the pool and asked me
how to improve his kick. I suggested zoomers.
Saw him a few weeks later. He said the fins were a waste
of money. I watched him swim with the fins; his toes
were pointed directly toward the bottom of the pool!

Ankle flexibility is worth working on.:D

November 14th, 2002, 08:40 AM
I am a competitive cyclist and 2x a week runner who just got into swimming a few months ago. I swim Ok but have noticed something when we do kick...I go nowhere ( literally!), and I can swim pull just as fast as regular free...so that tells you something about running ( and cycling) and swimming! If you want to be the best swimmer you can be focus on swimming...if you don't care about that and just want higher level of fitness then keep on running.

November 14th, 2002, 06:29 PM
Whenever one is injured from running I advise get their butt in the pool. Running will assist swimming asfar as overall endurance however it does take away from the muscle mass as earlier posted.

Benifits of doing both is a heart rate lower than wale dung. I do a 1/2 mi swim across a lagoon, 6 mi run, then 1/2 mi back and my heart rate is lower than it was in HS. Am now a bonified baby boomer.

Rambling on what clothing is good to wear to swim and run in in 55 to 70 degree water. on the gulf coast it gets cold from November to April and I am stuck in the pool