Enter the pool.
My kids are part of a fantastic swim team, the Westside Silver Fins. It's a year-round club swim team, with kids ranging in age from about 5 and up. We have wonderful coaches and a great facility. The pool is located at our neighborhood YMCA, which is also the gym we belong. Super convenient. Kids can swim, parents can workout.
And even better, my two running buddies, Tracey and Monika, both have their kids on the team too. And since we are at the pool 3 to 4 evenings a week with our kids, we might as well make use of that time.
Well, this year Tracey started swimming in the Masters program affiliated with the swim team. And she has slowly drug me into it.
Now, I haven't taken a proper swim class since I was, oh...maybe 12? I did start swimming some laps occasionally a few years ago so I could participate in a sprint triathlon, with the goal being just 400 meters without drowning.
I've been swimming Masters for almost a month now, and you know what? I'm starting to really like it. I'm still crazy slow, (although
I've read many times how swimming is the best full-body workout that you can get. I have to agree. I'm often sore in muscles I didn't know I had. Experts say that you only have to swim 1/4 the distance you would run for an equivalent workout. For example, swimming 100 m = running 400m. I certainly believe it!
Not to mention the recovery aspect. Getting in the pool and swimming has been a great recovery exercise. It takes the pressure of your muscles and joints and works different muscle groups that can actually help with your running form and may help prevent injuries. And there have been days where my legs are sore, and getting in the pool and just kicking helps tremendously.
Swimming and running just seem to complement each other nicely. Swimming continues to be a challenge for me, but I like the changes I'm starting to see in my body, especially my upper body and core. I'm really hoping that I reap the benefits from swimming in my running.
What about you? What is your favorite cross-training activity?
As for me, I'm going to just keep swimming!