Swim-based Endurance for All Athletes: How Long Should You Train?
There are many athletes who want to increase their swimming performance but they don’t have enough time or money to train regularly. There are others who feel that it’s not worth the effort because they already achieve great results with other training methods. And there are still some who think that it would be too much work to spend a few hours per week doing something else.
In any case, most of us will probably never reach the level where we could compete at world class levels.
So why bother spending our precious time and money on training when we can get similar results without all the extra effort?
The answer is simple: because it works! If you’re reading this article, then chances are that you’ve heard about swimming endurance before. Maybe you even read a book or two about it.
But what do you really know about it? What does it actually mean to be “swimming-capable”?
You might think that being able to hold your breath underwater for longer than three minutes is pretty impressive, but how many of us can say that we can run a mile in under four minutes? Or go from standing start to finish while carrying a 20 pound weight for 10 seconds?
These are the types of physical feats that we’re more familiar with.
But nowadays, you don’t need to be a track star just to survive in the world. Being able to swim, on the other hand, might just save your life one day, and that’s why most of us learn it when we’re young. Water safety is not about getting a gold medal; it’s about staying alive.
But what if you never learned how to swim properly?
Or maybe you learned how to swim, but never got any better at it. Maybe you struggled with learning the basic skills required to stay afloat for more than a few minutes. Or maybe you were one of the lucky few who didn’t have any problems with learning how to swim, but just never practiced it enough to maintain your skills.
Well, it’s never too late to learn something new, and that’s why this particular approach to swimming endurance is called “swim-based” rather than “swimming.” You’ll be surprised to find out just how much difference there really is between them.
The important thing to remember about swimming endurance is that it’s just another type of exercise, and like all other types of exercises, you should warmup and cool down before and after doing it. So if you’re going to do a swim-based training routine, then it would be a good idea to start off by jogging for five minutes.
This might not seem all that important, but if you jump right into the pool before getting your blood flowing, there’s a chance that you could pull a muscle since your body isn’t prepared. Plus, warm muscles are less likely to get cold in the water, which reduces the risk of getting cramps later on.
But what if you don’t have time for a full warmup?
Then at least do a quick stretching routine to get your muscles ready. Most of the common muscle groups are those that involuntarily react when you’re in distress under water (e.g. flail your arms and legs, hyperventilate, choke, and so on). A good routine to get you started would be the Sun Salutation stretch.
Sources & references used in this article:
Implications of an Ultra-Endurance Swim on Heart Rate, Blood Lactate Response, and Hydration: A Case Report. by KA STAUFFER, SE KITTS – Biology of Exercise, 2019 – search.ebscohost.com
Dietary intake and energy expenditure of female collegiate swimmers during decreased training prior to competition by L Ousley-Pahnke, DR Black… – Journal of the Academy …, 2001 – search.proquest.com
System and method for producing customized training plans for multi-discipline endurance athletic competitions by J Booher – US Patent App. 13/475,850, 2013 – Google Patents
Risk factors for shoulder pain and injury in swimmers: A critical systematic review by L Hill, M Collins, M Posthumus – The Physician and sportsmedicine, 2015 – Taylor & Francis
Underwater near-infrared spectroscopy measurements of muscle oxygenation: laboratory validation and preliminary observations in swimmers and triathletes by B Jones, M Dat, CE Cooper – Journal of biomedical optics, 2014 – spiedigitallibrary.org
How cold is too cold? Establishing the minimum water temperature limits for marathon swim racing by J Saycell, M Lomax, H Massey… – British journal of sports …, 2019 – bjsm.bmj.com
Anthropometric and physiological characteristics of elite female water polo players by K Marrin, TM Bampouras – Kinanthropometry X, 2007 – books.google.com
Enhancing performance in professional water polo players: Dryland training, in-water training, and combined training by ES de Villarreal, L Suarez-Arrones… – The Journal of …, 2015 – journals.lww.com
All posts by SSD by F Plans, L Enforcement, MTI Why, J Training – mtntactical.com