Swimming is awesome!

This is what I used to think pools were for.

This is what I used to think pools were for.

Last week I wrote a post about why swimming sucks. And it really does sometimes. But so does just about everything awesome, right? But it’s also pretty great.

The first time I went swimming (for exercise) I made it about 15 minutes and thought I was going to die. It was soooooo hard. But I made it a bit farther the next time and a bit farther and a bit farther. Which is one of the reasons I love swimming, I’m still new enough that I can see noticeable improvement with each workout so I constantly feel like I’m progressing. Sure, with running I sometimes feel like I’m getting better but I often feel like I just had a terrible run and am the worst runner in history. Then the next day I have a great run and move on.

I’m a stronger runner from swimming. Sure, everyone says cross training is important for runners but come on, it seems pretty much impossible to incorporate even more exercise into an already jam-packed marathon training schedule. Well, now that I’m funemployed, I seem to have lots of extra time for working out and have started cross training a lot and have noticed a lot of improvement in my running:

  • I recover faster after long runs or speed workouts. This seems silly, but any soreness seems to disappear after swimming and I feel more like my normal self faster.
  • My hips don’t hurt. What?! That’s possible?! I just always thought having sore hips was part of running. In the past it’s been pretty amazingly accurate that running more than 20 miles a week means my hips are sore. Not terribly sore, but sore. And now? Not at all! I think swimming has strengthened my hips and core so that I’m overall stronger and can handle more intense running.
  • It’s fun! And can be meditative after awhile. I’m not good at slowing down and relaxing, but swimming can be pretty boring after the first few laps so I really have to take each lap or set as they come and focus on that.
  • It gives you (or at least me) great arms. Seriously. That’s all about that.
A couple years ago I decided I wanted to swim from the beach by Nanie's house down to another beach. I'd never done a swim workout. My aunt went with me and Nanie was waiting at the end with coffee. That was so hard. This year, after swimming quite a bit, I swam to the other beach and back. Next year maybe I'll do that twice.

A couple years ago I decided I wanted to swim from the beach by Nanie’s house down to another beach. I’d never done a swim workout. My aunt went with me and Nanie was waiting at the end with coffee. That was so hard. This year, after swimming quite a bit, I swam to the other beach and back. Next year maybe I’ll do that twice.

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