View Full Version : Balancing Running & Swimming

January 17th, 2003, 01:54 PM
I sure hate running. I've always felt that a grown man shouldn't run unless he's being chased by something frightening. But because of the weirdness of my work schedule and my inability to get into the pool every day, I've decided to incorporate running into my schedule to help reach some of my fitness goals. As I'm trying to get started, I have a question.

First, the situation: I can only swim in the morning, because at night the pool I use is just too crowded (see my signature). I usually swim four days per week, or three if I bookend that week with two four day weeks to avoid taking more than 48 hours off. Basically, I try to alternate days, depending on which days I can't swim because I have to come to work early.

I can only run in the evenings. For as long as I can remember, my flexibility in the mornings has been terrible, and I need the whole day for my legs to loosen up. If I try to run in the mornings, I get leg cramps and pains, and some old martial arts injuries to my knees give me problems.

If I swim in the mornings on an alternating schedule, my dilemma becomes determining when I should run in relation to my swim workout. I do not want to run every day, especially considering how much I despise doing it. Maybe later I'll consider more, but for now, forget it.

Therefore, would it be more productive to run on the same days I swim? Or would there be an advantage to running on the days I don't swim? If I run on the same day, I'll have ten or eleven hours of daytime activity in between. If I run on the off day, I'll still have ten or eleven hours, but it will include sleep, and my legs will be stiffer when I get to the pool (but happily, swimming seems to make them loosen up).

Does anyone have any opinion on which would be more productive? Or does it even matter?

January 18th, 2003, 11:04 AM
Hello Shaky,

As a former collegiate swimmer and triathlete, now turned back into swimmer, here's my 2 cents. Aerobic conditioning may start to dwindle if there's a bit of lag time (say 48 hours or more between workouts). I would vote for the alternating schedule of swim one day and run the next.

Being a swimmer I never did much enjoy the running. After a run I would do dryland workouts that were "sports specific", meaning that any weight training would be geared more towards concentrating on swimming muscles. For about thirty dollars you can purchase a pair of stretch cords, find the nearest door knob and 'swim' all you want. The combination of short runs (3-4 miles) on the off days, and a brief dryland workout should compliment your swimming program nicely.

P.S. Morning runs are tough in the Winter. Very hard to get going when it's dark and cold outside. Start out slow and save the stretching for later when the muscles are warm, Or try going at the end of the day when the legs are more limber.

I thought only water polo was a contact sport.

kiwi surfer
January 22nd, 2003, 10:50 PM
I avoid running at all costs. Just too tough on my body. I suggest cycling and weight training as alternatives to pounding the pavement. Just ensure you obtain professional advise on your gym programme. Good luck.

January 23rd, 2003, 12:02 PM
I started running because of a beating I took from one of my teammates in a small triathlon. As a swimmer, I hated running also. Now I run abot 15 miles a week (5 days a week) and swim 3 times a week. It has not helped or inhibited my swimming.
It seems that weightlifting dows a better job.
For the problem with pounding the pavement, I run on a treadmill and that is much better on your joints. As a matter of fact, my shin splints have been eliminated by the treadmill.