View Full Version : Need advice on swimming related to fitness?

February 11th, 2007, 10:25 PM
Hi everyone, i really need some advice and this board seems to be filled with knowledgable people. First off im a 23yo, male that is currently in my 6th week of police academy here in maryland. I want to give some background before i go into the questions, im 6'4 around 265lbs, a big build too so its spread out nicely lol, and have had 3 knee surgeries.

The amount of running and defensive tactics work ive been doing over the last 5 weeks have taken there toll on my knee. The instructors have been extremely helpful and have been making sure i ride a bike when my knee is bothering me. Im getting in better shape but its coming at a cost to my knee.

Sorry for all the typing, my question or thought is that being affiliated with the police academy i get a gym membership for free. I want to start swimming after the academy every night in a way to boost my endurance and get myself in great shape for when i take my physical tests to pass the academy later in april.

Ive heard that swimming is great for getting you inshape and building up your endurance, which im hoping will help my running alot or atleast that is my goal. I have to do a circuit test which consists of all kinds of excersices plus running and i have to do a 1.5 mile run in under 12mins. Im not really worried about not being able to do it, but id like to get into shape so that i can kick its ass so to speak, being a bigger guy running is already challenging enough.

Im really rambling on im sorry, my questions are, will swimming help my running? I know being in the pool will help rest my knee and that is already a huge help. What type of swimming equipment do i need, i was going to wear board shorts and buy a pair of goggles but im not sure if thats the best thing. I would like to continue swimming long after the academy to stay in shape and make life easier on my knees, because being a cop my life may depend on how in shape i am.

Thanks for any advice, again sorry for the rambling on, i wanted to give enough background and info so that you can really give me good advice. Thanks again.

February 11th, 2007, 11:08 PM
Welcome to the board Cross 18. I think you're right about swimming helping your overall fitness as well as giving your knees a break. I also have bad knees. I remember a few years back when I was around 280 pounds and skinney bird legs, that jogging (and even walking) was just way too hard on my knees and my feet in general. So I got back into swimming instead to lose weight and bring up my fitness level....I use to swim competitevelyback in high school and college (which was about 18 years prior to this) and I had done a little masters swimming about 5 years prior....So luckily my body still remembered the basic feeling and it didn't take me long to get back into shape and lose over 80 pounds in a year. I think you should start slowly (depending on your swimming background) and over a period of 2 to 3 months you should start to notice some substantial improvements in your swimming. I realize that your fitness test is in April but I still think you can benefit from swimming between now and then. As far as equipment goes....You might want to consider a pull buoy to help keep your back end more bouyant. Also you might want to consider purchasing some videos and maybe a book or two on basic swimming technique and drills....I reccomend TI (total immersion) and/or Smooth swimming as two good sources of information about beggining swimming and developing good techniques...It would really be great if you could get a professional coach or trainer to help you as well....but I realize that that could be a little pricey. I wish you all the best on your swimmming endeavors (and keep us posted on your progress).


February 12th, 2007, 02:10 AM
If you don't want to spend the $ on an individual coach, you might find it worth checking out if the gym has adult swim classes. These are grouped by ability so you won't likely be put into a group too advanced or too basic for you. Or once you've been swimming a while, maybe look into joining a masters' group (so you can get feedback from the coach(es) and sometimes other swimmers.

As a runner, I can tell you for sure that swimming has helped my running! More endurance, faster running workouts (tho I'm still a pretty slow swimmer... oh well!).

February 12th, 2007, 06:58 AM
If they have deep water, I know injured runners who aquajog to keep in shape for running. That might be one way to use the pool.

you don't mention if you have ever had swimming lessons or know how to swim. I learned as an adult and trying to do it on my own would not have worked, so if you have never learned, you need to find lessons.