Can lane swimming actually benefit your running?

I recently came across this article and going into the off-season thought it may be worth a re-post!

Can off-season lane swimming help your running?

That’s a really good question. I think the jury’s still out on this one, but I came across some interesting articles that lean towards swimming and running being a very complementary workout combination. The claims all made good sense to me. See what you think!

– Running mainly works your core and lower body muscles with very little work being done by the upper body muscles. Swimming develops your upper body strength creating a more balanced physique. Swimming also provides some additional aerobic exercise with all that kicking, which helps with lower body power, endurance and stride control.

– Running is a high impact activity which can really take its toll on your body with all the accumulated mileage. Swimming provides an intense cardio workout without the impact. Not only will swimming help with the wear and tear on your body minimizing injury, but this low impact activity will provide some rest making your run days more productive.

– Pace is really key in running. It helps you run longer, smoother and better. Because good swim technique forces you to breathe rhythmically, swimmers automatically learn good pacing skills. This transfers directly to greater efficiency and smoothness while running.

– A little muscle makes you a stronger runner. Not bulk and excess, but lean, flexible muscle and low body fat. Swimming provides consistent resistance, building upper body strength without incurring the stress of weights, while burning fat and reducing bulk.

– Runners need to maintain flexibility to reduce the chance of injury and to allow your body to reach its full range of motion. Swimming helps develop flexibility while kicking. This strengthens the ligaments and tendons that support your ankle movement and increases flexibility in your hip flexors.

So overall, staying active and fit with lane swimming may actually be an excellent complement to running. If nothing else, adding it to your weekly workout routine will provide balance and variety, and that can’t be bad, can it?

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