Many parallels exist between running and swimming. Not just triathletes benefit from swimming by including it in their workout; both running and swimming enhance cardio fitness, general endurance and leg strength. Combining the two sports in the exact amounts helps maximizing the performance in both areas.

Running mainly focuses on working the lower part of the body especially the legs, which means that with time, they will get sturdier. That results in a stronger kick in the pool both power wise and endurance wise, as well as a better functionality of the heart and lungs, therefore faster swimming and faster running.

A great way to cross train is to become part of aquathlons which are a two folded event consisting of swimming then running. By diversifying your daily workout, you will be able to gain the benefits of each practice and change the atmosphere of your workout. However, if you can’t run, walking could also be a great option for workout blends.

However, a vital part of daily workout is recovery. If all you do is train intensively and never rest, your anatomy wouldn’t be able to adapt the daily workouts activities and therefore wouldn’t improve your performance.

A form of active recovery is the alternation between swimming and running: both being full body workouts, each one focuses on a certain area of the body. By swimming you would rest your legs from the force of running, and by running, you would rest your arms from the pressure of repetitive laps. In this form of active recovery, you put less stress on parts of your body while still sustaining a good blood flow, allowing the muscles to heal better in order to train more intensively the next time. This method of strain and recuperation will eventually improve physical performance.

Mixing swimming and running improves your mental attitude towards both sports in a way that doesn’t keep you bored of overtraining. The variety of each sport leads to more pleasant training sessions and therefore better results. For a swimmer, it is a chance to enjoy the outdoors and breathe fresh non-chlorinated air. Whereas for runners, it is an opportunity to relax your muscles from a heavy environment.

Individual sport athletes, get going! Swimmers, hit the roads! And runners, jump in the water!

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