You have most likely read and seen here before that I love to cross train with swim workouts. What makes swim workouts so great for runners you ask? Most importantly, they keep me cool in the summer heat. Whether you are recovering from an injury or just looking for another exercise to supplement your running routine, swimming is a great choice. Hitting the water is a fabulous way to up your cardio fitness in a low impact way and an opportunity to work other muscles not used in running. Hello upper body! The pool is also a great place to stretch those tired runner muscles after a long, hot run.
I’ve been taking a weekly master swim class for about 2 years now and have learned a few great workout drills that I would love to share with you. Swimming, like running, is one of those sports that is welcoming to all levels and paces. You don’t have to be fast or have a lot of stamina to get started but you sure might be surprised at how fast you progress without even trying too much. ( I am not a swim coach or your swim coach, so please make sure these are appropriate workouts for you)
Swim Workouts For Runners
New to swimming and not sure where to start? “Just Keep Swimming” Workout
Just jump in and start swimming. You will quickly see which stroke feels most comfortable to you. Start off with a 20 minute swim and don’t worry about how many laps you do “just keep swimming”. Add a few minutes onto your workout each week and once you are swimming consistently for 30 minutes or so try one of the other drills below.
Post Run/Recovery Swim
Throw in a swim on a recovery day or after a long run. Using a pull buoy between your legs allows you to rest your legs and work on your upper body and stroke. Warm up for 5 minutes with an easy swim then add a pull buoy. The buoy between your thighs helps to elevate your hips higher in the water and you use your arms to “pull” you through the water. Great for working on arm strength.
Note: Based on 25 m pool where up and back is one lap= 50m
Warm up for 5 min (200 m)
5 laps of 50M with your pull buoy
(no buoy) 50m at medium effort 10 s rest
50m fast effort 10s rest
200 cool down with or without buoy
This one is a little longer (1600 m= 1 mile) and more intense but you can adapt to your level by shortening.
Warm up with 200 m any stroke and/or combo of pull buoy
3 x 100 m with a 15 sec rest building speed with each 100 m
3 x 100m with 10 sec rest building speed w each 100 m
repeat main set
Do A DU
You don’t have to be training for a tri or duathlon to workout like you are. This is one of my new favorites especially in the summer heat.
30 min swim
30 min run
30 min swim
These are a few of my favorite swim drills. You might just be surprised by how much you enjoy them. Many local gyms and YMCA’s have master swim classes. Check here for one by you.
Basic gear you need:
Do you mix in swimming with your running plan?
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