Swimming question (Read 1172 times)

under a rock

    So, I'm playing with the idea of swimming for my cross training. I'm finding that spin class is starting to make me more aware of my IT band. I injured it on my left leg 7 years ago and am so paranoid of the injury coming back. So I was thinking of doing some swimming since I have access to a pool at the YMCA. I took a few swim lessons as a kid but other than that I know nothing about swimming.


    What I'm wondering is if I should find some adult swim lessons or just go with what little I know? Does anybody have any tips for someone just starting swimming for cross training?

      Hi Ashley


      If the Y offers adult swim lessons take them. They will be well worth the investment at any price and your swimming will become a very positive experience quickly.


      Swimming, in my opinion is a excellent choice for cross training.


      If swimming lessons are not available look into getting the "Total Immersion" Book and video.


      Best of luck and Happy swiming !



        I am training for my first triathlon, and took a month worth of swimming lessons at my local YMCA in May. It was dirt cheap ($25) for 8 classes, most of which I did a noon, and the majority of which were incidentally private lessons. I couldn't really do any semblance of breathing and stroking, and my coach built it from nothing, and I managed to ACTUALLY swim 25m in something resembling a freestyle crawl by the end of the first lesson.


        It was definitely worth the time - I am slowly working up distance, but it's a totally different workout from running - and rather refreshing, considering.


        Do it!


          I think swimming lessons are a great idea. Also, if you want a basic training program, check out this site:


          Zero to 1 mile Swim

          PRs: 27:26 5k/ 49:52 5mi/ 58:17 10k/ 2:09:24 half/ 5:13:17 Full


          2016 Goals 
          1,000 miles/ 100 Day Streak/ 25mpw base/ Race a half marathon/ Try for a sub-6 hour marathon
          Run, consistently, without fail




            I signed up for a Masters Swim Group in my area and stuck with it for almost 2 years - The combination of a new job with an earlier start time has kept me out of the pool since this past winter (the -30 degree mornings were a little rough too).   There were some awesome swimmers in our Masters group, but the coach made the folks in the "rookie lanes" feel really welcome and always tailored the workouts for our ability.  The Masters group in our area even let's newbies come and try a couple of sessions before making a commitment.


            This spring I  trained for my 1st marathon and I wish I had kept up with my swimming at the same time.  I started to develop some IT Band issues.  It may have occurred due to the added milage even if I had kept up with my swimming, but I think the extra/different leg workouts in the pool might have prevented it.   


            I may have just talked myself back to the pool!  Smile


            Good luck and have fun!

            under a rock

              Thanks for the advice! I'm going to look into some adult swimming lessons.

                I think swimming lessons are a great idea. Also, if you want a basic training program, check out this site:


                Zero to 1 mile Swim


                +1, I've used and liked this program.  It does assume a basic level of swimming, so if you really feel like you will sink before you get to the other side you probably don't want to start with this, but I'm by no means a great swimmer and I liked it.  Then again, my gym only offers Masters swimming for adults at $235 a session (6 months)....ouch.

                2009 Goals:
                PR 5K (Ha, current 43:10)
                Run a 10K
                Meet Seasonal Weight Loss Challenges
                Complete my first Sprint Tri

                Beware, batbear...

                  I'm a former lifeguard and recently got back into swimming.  I never really did laps or anything in a pool - we had a small community pool that I learned to swim in, so it was really kind of daunting to get in the water with other swimmers who are busting out immaculate strokes complete with super-fast flip turns, etc.  However, kind of like anything, once I struck up a few conversations with these folks, they were quick to give me hints about my own swimming.  They're just people (who happen to be extremely fast in the water).  My point is, don't be afraid to jump in!

                  We also have a forum dedicated just to swimmming.  You can check it out for workouts and ideas.

                  Hope this helps!

                  2014 Goal -- Run 5X per week, pain-free (relatively) by end of summer.

                  shonan marathon, girl

                    take adult swim lessons by all means.  it makes a big difference!  i am no great swimmer, but getting in the pool or ocean or any body of water does something magical and makes me feel good.  its summer so swim!


                    i think more runners should swim.  this gives a good balanced workout for your entire body.  plus you have an alternative cross training sport for your days off from running or when you have to stop running to nurse an injury. 


                    i was afraid of deep water and the ocean my entire life.  it wasnt until i hit 41 that i started to learn how to swim.  it is the best thing i ever did.  i cant imagine my life without swimming.  i dont think i will be able to run forever, but with swimming i am sure that this will be the one sport that i will do until the end.


                    next race SHONAN MARATHON nov 3rd, 2012, OSAKA MARATHON nov 25th, i am aiming for nyc!


                      I am just finishing up my second week of swimming lessons.  It has been so hot down here in Fl that I have wimped out and joined the gym to run on the treadmill and taken up swimming as well.  The lessons I am taking are offered through the city and they are not great but they have had some useful instructions.  I already knew how to swim sort of,just not technically well.  I have found that just practicing, like anything I guess, is helping the most.  The biggest difficulty I am having is actually on the freestyle. I do the breaststroke and backstroke much better.  I am having difficulty with the breathing part of it more than anything.  While running, my breathing is much more rapid and shallow and I am not used to having to take those deep lung filling breaths that are necessary while swimming.  Today, I used the floaty board thing and just worked arms, then worked legs, and that gave a good workout.  Anyway, I am enjoying it and it so nice to feel like you are exercising and you are not sweating buckets!  I checked with the Y here and they had adult lessons, so I'm sure yours does too.

                      under a rock

                        I checked and one of the local Y's I go to has adult swim lessons. I'm going to look into it this morning when I go for yoga.

                        under a rock

                          I had my first swim lesson today. I think it went well. I have plenty to work on. Today we worked on the Freestyle and Thursday we'll do the breast stroke. After the lesson I did just a few laps on my own and was tired. I have a sore hip from a long run the other day and it felt great after my swim. I'm looking forward to my lesson Thursday!



                            About 6 months ago I had the same idea. My kids were in the pool for thier swimming lessons and there were free lanes, so I figured I would test it out. I too could swim, but was not very skilled.


                            You mentioned that you worked on the freestyle and were going to work on breast stroke next week. I would recommend continuing that path and adding backstroke as well. Here is why:


                            I found that I could control my breathing very easily while swimming the breast stroke. It was very similar to a long slow run. I could get about 500 yards in before taking a break and 1500-2000 yards total. After about 2 months of only breast stroke, my IT band started to flare up a bit. Since then I have made a consious effort to incorporate the freestyle and backstroke as at least 50% of the workout. My IT band pain has been very minimal.


                            The freestyle was very difficult to learn the breathing, so I just mix the strokes up each lap: 50 freestyle, 50 breast and 50 backstroke, repeat.


                            It is a great cross training exercise and it will get easier. Build it up the same way you built up your running...slow and steady and don't expect to make the Olympics in the first week :-)


                            Every day we can get out and get some exercise is a blessing. Best of luck to you.



                            under a rock

                              Thank you for the tips. I have paid for 7 lessons so I'm hoping we can work on many different strokes. I'll ask if we can work on the backstroke next week.
                                ...and there is nothing that feels better than swimming some laps later in the day after your long run.

                                its polite to shower first! Smile