Thursday, November 6, 2014

Swimming: A Wintertime Sport!

Over the last month or two, I've noticed a considerable drop off in the number of people swimming at the YMCA in the morning.  The older gentleman that likes to swim in lane 1 with the stairs is still coming, and so are 2 of my friends that have been going there for years to get some exercise in before work....but the triathletes are almost all gone!  It seems that from March through August, triathletes take over the Y, which is actually kind of a pain because you rarely get a lane to yourself and sometimes have to swim 3 to a lane.  But while part of me wants a lane all to myself, I'd rather have the company of some fellow triathletes!


Through my recent injury, I've come to really appreciate swimming.  When I couldn't run for almost 2 months, and couldn't really bike for a few weeks, swimming was the only way to keep my cardio...and my sanity.  And now with the offseason upon us, I will once again rely on swimming to stay in shape.  After a long season of racing, the triathlete's body needs a break, especially the legs.  I wasn't always a believer in the necessity of taking time off to recover in the offseason, but after not really doing that the last couple of years, I think it's catching up to me.  So I fully intend to take it easy on the biking and running for a little while...and at least go through some semblance of an offseason.  But I don't intend to taking it easy on the swimming! 

Before the swim at IMTX...check out that random guy's back hair!

It seems to me that a lot of triathletes (including me at one time) look at swimming as the least important of the 3 disciplines in triathlon because you typically spend the least amount of time doing it in a race.  As an engineer, I can appreciate this reasoning...after all, if 10% of a triathlon is spent swimming, 55% is spent biking, and 35% is spent running, then to get the most bang for your buck in training, you should do considerably more biking and running than swimming, right??  At first glance this sounds like good logic, I don't think it holds up.   While running can be considered "high-impact" and cycling "low-impact", swimming truly is a "no-impact" workout.  And the legs that have been so abused throughout the tri season don't have to be really used at all.  But you can still get a great cardio workout in, that's also a very good core workout!  In fact, I truly think that I get some of my best VO2 max training done in the pool.  And I've noticed that when I'm swimming well, it carries over nicely to both my biking and running.

Swimming at Lakeside Swim Team's awesome converted quarry!

So that's my 2 cents on swimming.  I hope everyone is having a good fall.  Good luck to those doing a half or full marathon (or any sort of race) this fall/winter!

Isaiah 43:1-2 (NIV)

43 But now, this is what the Lord says—
    he who created you, Jacob,
    he who formed you, Israel:
“Do not fear, for I have redeemed you;
    I have summoned you by name; you are mine.
When you pass through the waters,
    I will be with you;
and when you pass through the rivers,
    they will not sweep over you.
When you walk through the fire,
    you will not be burned;
    the flames will not set you ablaze.

No comments:

Post a Comment