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Thread: Does cross-training with running help swimming?

  1. #141
    Very Active Member FindingMyInnerFish's Avatar
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    Re: Does cross-training with running help swimming?

    I must have a lot of endurance. I read this whole thread!

    I'm not a contender at either running or swimming, although I enjoy both and would not want to give up either one.

    My main sport is running, but I am injury-prone. If I didn't have the swimming, I'd be much more so. And when injuries keep me from running, I'm especially glad that I'm not without a means to stay fit.

    Interestingly, when I first began masters swimming, I noticed improvements in my running times--also in my swimming, but that was to be expected. When I'm just running and not swimming at all, I can to some degree improve my running--but as a recent experience showed me, I do so at some cost. While training for a marathon and increasing mileage, I developed plantar fasciitis and had to cut back drastically on running.

    So it was back to the pool for more swimming. And as a result I finally (don't laugh!) broke 2 mins. in the 100 freestyle). But I didn't do that well with an open water swim of 2 miles. (And I noticed that upper arm and shoulder muscles suffered in my training for that swim--but not to the degree that I needed to stop.)

    Since I happen to love participating in both sports, I am less concerned about whether one helps the other as about finding the right mix of both.

  2. #142
    Swimming gives me a buzz! Bobinator's Avatar
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    Re: Does cross-training with running help swimming?

    Dairy Queen is not "ice cream" it's "ice milk". T
    HTFU!

  3. #143
    Very Active Member SolarEnergy's Avatar
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    Re: Does cross-training with running help swimming?

    I got back to swimming in 2009, with a very strong cross training background. My 30-60min sustainable threshold power is very high (cycling / cross-training).

    Long story short, I continued maintaining this fitness since I feared that loosing it could have a detrimental impact on my swim performances.

    In other words, I am trying to answer this thread's question from the opposite perspective. Not sure it it's a good idea for a pure swimmer to start cross training in order to improve swim performances. But in the same time, when you already have a very strong fitness base built either in running or cycling or rowing (whatever), a strong base that needs minimal maintenance as opposed to optimal development, I think it's part of you. I feared (and continue to fear) that loosing this fitness base could have detrimental impact on swim performances (for longer events of course).

  4. #144
    Very Active Member orca1946's Avatar
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    Re: Does cross-training with running help swimming?

    Boy do I miss running !! Two right hip replacements - no more running for me . When I used to run 30 miles a week & swim , my legs never were tired in the pool . I miss it !

  5. #145
    Very Active Member rtodd's Avatar
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    Re: Does cross-training with running help swimming?

    If you run too much aerobic distance stuff, it will hurt your swimming performance becuase it will in one way or another, cut into and affect your swim training. I would stick with some interval training and plyo drills on the track. I think this would help. Maybe repeat 400's, 200's, or 100's. Maybe a hard mile a few times a week. I would stay away from plodding out 3+ mile runs.
    Triathletes are not the best they can be at any individual sport, only the three put togehter. If all you want to do is swim fast, be careful about too much cross training.

  6. #146
    sprint diva The Fortress's Avatar
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    Re: Does cross-training with running help swimming?

    As the OP, I will just note that since I have essentially given up running, I've become a better swimmer. I get more bang for my buck with core-based weights/plyos/drylands and I hammer the legs in the pool. If I attempt to add running on top of that, my legs get overtrained right away and the quality of my swimming workouts deteriorates. Plus, I am prone to ankle injuries in running, which are better avoided. Caveat: I am a sprinter. Perhaps running would be more useful for distance swimmers, though I suspect there that more swimming would be useful. I have to do some cross training though, or I would die of boredom. If I'm looking for more aerobic work, I'd probably add on cycling.

    Running, however, is the flat out best thing for weight control and hard to resist in the spring and fall.

  7. #147
    sǝssɐןb ɹǝʇʇǝq ʇǝb That Guy's Avatar
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    Re: Does cross-training with running help swimming?

    Running helps me swim faster!!! Really it does. I don't know why this is true but it is. I used to think of my meet preparation as 48 hours before the meet (run 2 days before, don't run 1 day before) but now I recognize up to one week as being significant. This is not a mini-taper since my weekly volume (other than weights) is normal. Here's the current schedule for a Saturday meet:

    Saturday prior: Last weight workout. No more weights or drylands until after the meet. Swim normal-length workout with a race-pace swim of the longest event that I'm going to do the following Saturday (e.g. the 500 free prior to the upcoming PNA Championships).
    Sunday: Bike around 10-15 miles, run 30 minutes, do yard work (yes yard work counts! As... something! Get it out of the way early!) No swimming unless I've got an early meeting on an upcoming weekday.
    Monday: Bike-commute normal miles plus a few extra to account for no biking on upcoming Saturday. Swim normal workout with race pace of second-longest event included (400 IM)
    Tuesday: Bike-commute normal miles plus a few extra to account for no biking on upcoming Saturday. Swim normal workout, including race-pace third-longest upcoming event (200 fly). Run 18 minutes.
    Wednesday: Bike-commute normal miles plus a few extra to account for no biking on upcoming Saturday. Swim normal workout, possibly including race-pace fourth-longest upcoming event (200 back).
    Thursday: Bike-commute normal miles. Swim normal workout, possibly including race-pace fifth-longest upcoming event (100 fly). Run 12 minutes, completing normal volume of 1 hour/week (yes that's quite low, since these days I'm not training for any events that actually involve running).
    Friday: Bike-commute normal miles, completing normal volume of 100 miles/week. Swim short workout (1500 yards, no main set, just some 25 fly sprints).
    Saturday: Watch out. If I've done the above correctly, some fast swims are coming. All the meet warmup/warmdown more than makes up for Friday's lack of volume. Swimming volume for the week ends up a bit above normal.

  8. #148
    Very Active Member david.margrave's Avatar
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    Re: Does cross-training with running help swimming?

    I wish I had a solid answer this question, but the periods in my life when I swam a lot and ran a lot are completely non-overlapping. The best 2 mile run I ever did was low 13 minutes at age 21 when I was not swimming at all. It would be nice to know what I could have swam a 1650 in at age 21, or what I could have swam a 1650 in at age 15 if I'd also been a runner at that age.

    Currently I'm just running 2 miles once a week - hardly even worth mentioning compared to what most joggers do, and probably not enough to have an influence on my swimming.

  9. #149
    Very Active Member aztimm's Avatar
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    Re: Does cross-training with running help swimming?

    Quote Originally Posted by That Guy View Post
    Running helps me swim faster!!! Really it does. I don't know why this is true but it is. I used to think of my meet preparation as 48 hours before the meet (run 2 days before, don't run 1 day before) but now I recognize up to one week as being significant. This is not a mini-taper since my weekly volume (other than weights) is normal. Here's the current schedule for a Saturday meet:
    Thank you for sharing this, as well as your whole routine. I know that I've gotten faster from running, but I also started and got serious with lifting around the same time. My times in practice now are faster than when I last did meets some time ago.

    I really appreciate the schedule too, as someone else who also does multiple sports it helps to know what I could/should do, if I decide to swim in another meet.

    The major problem I have with swimming and running at the same time is my feet + legs cramping up while swimming. this happened quite a bit last summer when I was running mornings and swimming evenings.

    I used to be a half decent runner when I was in the military...they gave us a great incentive. If we scored 100% on our PT test, we were exempt from regular PT. I probably did much more on my own, but it allowed me to sleep in most of the time...except for the rare battalion, brigade, or above runs. I've accepted I'll never get back to that speed, which is why I also won't run a 2 mile for time anymore
    Check out my blog here
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  10. #150
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    Re: Does cross-training with running help swimming?

    The only time I run is for my, twice a year, fit test with the usafr. Running tears up my legs because I'm not good at it.

  11. #151
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    Re: Does cross-training with running help swimming?

    Quote Originally Posted by aztimm View Post
    I've accepted I'll never get back to that speed, which is why I also won't run a 2 mile for time anymore
    I don't run fast anymore. I used to bang out 6 minute miles but the resulting wear and tear on my knees was significant. 8 minute miles work much better for me. For now at least.

  12. #152
    Very Active Member geochuck's Avatar
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    Re: Does cross-training with running help swimming?

    Swim, then swim, and then swim some more. If we were meant to run we would have been born with runnunig shoes on our feet.
    Keep it simple
    George Park

    New Bottom Line Pricing http://www.swimdownhill.com

  13. #153
    Very Active Member ViveBene's Avatar
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    Re: Does cross-training with running help swimming?

    Quote Originally Posted by geochuck View Post
    Swim, then swim, and then swim some more. If we were meant to run we would have been born with runnunig shoes on our feet.
    Like the dorsal and pectoral fins we were born with to help us maneuver through the water?

    Good to see you back posting; did you find Allen Stark's thread on the butterfrog controversy?

    We were also born with ability to run very nicely, the brain to create running shoes, the cunning to market them, and the gullibility to buy them.

    Do fish swim downhill?

  14. #154
    Very Active Member geochuck's Avatar
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    Re: Does cross-training with running help swimming?

    Good to be back in Canada. We do have dorsal muscles.

    Saw some strange stuff on our way back home from Mexico in Mazatlan. A carlot bombing using hand grenades. They shot the carlot staff with AK47s. We passed the place a couple of minutes after it happened. The police and army were running around with rifles and guns at the ready. My wife said get out of here before the gas tanks explode.
    Keep it simple
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  15. #155
    Very Active Member aztimm's Avatar
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    Re: Does cross-training with running help swimming?

    Quote Originally Posted by That Guy View Post
    I don't run fast anymore. I used to bang out 6 minute miles but the resulting wear and tear on my knees was significant. 8 minute miles work much better for me. For now at least.
    I broke 11 min for the 2 mile run several times, my fastest was 10:30. Maybe it was your great Northwest air, since I was at Ft Lewis. Now sometimes it feels like it takes that long just to run 1 mile. But I'm also happy holding close to an 8 min pace now.


    With proper conditioning, distance running doesn't have to poorly impact your swimming. I've seen little difference between doing a shorter/faster fartlek run or a longer run and swimming later in the day. You certainly don't want to just jump in and do a marathon out of the blue. I can see sprint/track running being as bad or worse.
    Check out my blog here
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  16. #156
    Active Member shane's Avatar
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    Re: Does cross-training with running help swimming?

    Quote Originally Posted by geochuck View Post
    Swim, then swim, and then swim some more. If we were meant to run we would have been born with runnunig shoes on our feet.
    could not agree more
    shane

  17. #157
    Very Active Member Lump's Avatar
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    Re: Does cross-training with running help swimming?

    Quote Originally Posted by geochuck View Post
    Swim, then swim, and then swim some more. If we were meant to run we would have been born with runnunig shoes on our feet.
    I agree for the most part, but most would run (rather swim) into burnout. Its nice to get out of the pool when the weather in nice and enjoy some other scenery. Its as good for your mental health as it is your physical!

  18. #158
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    Re: Does cross-training with running help swimming?

    In addition to targeted weights/plyo/stretching I have found running intervals/sprinting beneficial. I know my starts and turns have more power and my swimming in general feels stronger when this is part of my routine. I will say that I consider myself a sprinter so it makes sense to mirror the events I am swimming.

  19. #159
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    Re: Does cross-training with running help swimming?

    Quote Originally Posted by The Fortress View Post
    As the OP, I will just note that since I have essentially given up running, I've become a better swimmer. I get more bang for my buck with core-based weights/plyos/drylands and I hammer the legs in the pool. If I attempt to add running on top of that, my legs get overtrained right away and the quality of my swimming workouts deteriorates.
    I consider you a semi-expert on this Fort because I know you are in-tune with how you feel and you compete at a pretty high level. Well that and I agree with you. I have more or less changed sports to triathlon and I have lost significant speed in the pool even though I am over all in better shape. My legs are just too tired to swim well.

    A specific example:

    Last August I did 3 x 500's in SCM on 6:40. I averaged 6:28. I started running 18-25 miles per week in September. Last week I did the set in yards and averaged 6:04. I do not have a SCM to SCM comparison, but I am quite certain I would be in the 6:45 range now so 3-4 seconds slower per 100.

    I was typically swimming 15,000 per week last year, and now I am around 12,000 but in terms of overall conditioning I am doing MORE now (I have another kid on the way, so getting the training in now).

    Why does running shread your legs so much more than say kicking?

  20. #160
    Active Member shane's Avatar
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    Re: Does cross-training with running help swimming?

    Quote Originally Posted by Lump View Post
    I agree for the most part, but most would run (rather swim) into burnout. Its nice to get out of the pool when the weather in nice and enjoy some other scenery. Its as good for your mental health as it is your physical!

    yes but that is what bicycles are for.
    shane

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