Cross-training at a lower intensity is especially helpful for runners who are recovering from injury. If you’re dealing with a physical setback, you need an exercise that will be less stressful on your body, but will keep you fit as you slowly return to running. A good option: swimming.
Doing laps in the pool can be fun and very challenging, but stepping onto the pool deck may feel awkward at first for diehard runners. “Transitioning from being a runner to a swimmer requires adjusting your comfort level. You may feel O.K. running around your neighborhood in spandex, but stripping down into a swimsuit and jumping into a pool is entirely different,” says McCrann. If you’re wary, check with the lifeguard on duty to make sure you’re following the basic pool rules and etiquette.
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Sample Swimming Workout: 1,500 yards (60 lengths or 30 laps)
Warm-up: 10 sets of 50 yards (one lap) of easy swimming, focusing on your form and comfort (total of 500 yards)
Main Set: 5 sets of 150 yards. Swim 100 yards steady and 50 yards easy. This is an endurance set, your goal is to maintain similar effort across all of the repeats. Use each of the easy 50-yard swims for recovery, and take as much time as you need on the wall to rest between efforts.
Cool Down: 5 sets of 50 yards of easy swimming, focusing on form and comfort
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