As we gear up for the 2018 London Marathon, we wanted to highlight how swimming is fantastic for runners and also for recovery.
Running is a high-impact sport and places a huge amount of pressure on the joints which can sometimes lead to injury particularly if you have been training for an event and running every day. Swimming on the other hand is a zero-impact sport which is great for aerobic fitness and gives your joints the chance to recover. It also burns calories, improves strength and enhances flexibility.
Many people training for a running event or marathon use swimming as cross-training, allowing themselves to continue with the aerobic training but giving your joints the time to recover on running rest days. Likewise, if you have become injured whilst running then swimming is a great way to maintain your cardiovascular fitness without making certain injuries worse.
Swimming makes you stronger as it works different muscle groups which will be beneficial to your running. For example, with front crawl you work your glutes which is highly beneficial to runners because injuries often form from having ‘lazy’ glutes caused by a failure to use this muscle group for a long period of time. If a swimmer perfects the front crawl leg kick with almost straight legs moving from the hips then your glutes are activated and will strengthen, in turn, improving your running power and decreasing the risk of injury.
Increased flexibility is another advantage of swimming as the movement continually lengthens your muscles. Whilst you are moving in the water you also assist in the action of flushing out lactic acid from the muscles helping them to recover more quickly.
So, if you are one of the many inspiring people running the London Marathon this weekend, remember that swimming could really aid your recovery. Get to your nearest pool, enter the water and try to swim some lengths of the pool. The water pressure will help remove the waste products and extra fluid that would have built up in your legs. Or alternatively check into the nearest spa or hydro-pool and relax – you deserve it!
For more information about our swim programme visit our website.