My preference would always be a good run but because of my recent off season from running, I had to switch up the routine a little. Before the last month or so, when I wanted to swim I would just swim laps at a consistent pace for 30 minutes or so and get bored and then be done.
When I realized that my running break was going to stretch for longer than my initially planned 4 weeks, I knew that I had to find some other way to keep up my cardio. This is when I figured out that I should step up my swimming game. I googled “swim workouts for runners” and found this article.
I decided to try the “Lung Builder” workout (you can see it below). After I was done 2 of the main set, I was ready to call it quits. I’d never tried to hold my breath for 7 strokes before and it was SO challenging. But I stuck it out and the entire workout was exhausting and ended up taking me just over an hour. A pretty decent run replacement!
When I had less time during the week, I would do just half the “Lung Builder” workout for what would be equivalent to a shorter run.
For some variation, I have also tried a workout that was kind of like a speed ladder. I started with 200m easy warm up. Then swam fast for 50m then 100m then 200m then 300m and then I reversed down to 200m then 100m then 50m and then a cool down. Between each set, I rested for 30-45 seconds. Another really challenging workout for someone that doesn’t usually swim.
I’ve been alternating the two workouts and swimming 2-3 times a week. Doing a pool workout instead of just swimming makes the time in the pool go by exponentially faster. I think I’m starting to be a slightly faster swimmer and I really like the challenge of it.
Swimming has been a great alternative exercise while I’ve been waiting for my injured foot to recover. While I am itching to get back to running, I am really excited to have a cardio intensive alternative to running.
Have you tried swimming as an alternative to running?
Do you have a go to pool workout? I’d love more ideas!
Lung Builder from Active.com
Warm-up: Swim 200 to 400 meters at an easy pace.
Main set: Complete 12 x 100 meters. For the first 25 meters, take a breath every three strokes. From 25 to 50 meters, take a breath every five strokes, and from 50 to 75 meters, take a breath only every seven strokes. Sprint for the last 25 meters of the set.
Cooldown: Swim 100 to 200 meters easy.