The races vary - it might be an aquathon (swim/run) or an aquathlon (run/swim/run), but either way a race is a race. The variety could be a refreshing change from the "single sport" events. Even if there are not events in your area, training as if you are doing a swim - run event can benefit your:
- Leg strength
- General endurance
- Recovery from training
- Frame of mind
Exercise Physiologists indicate that both running and swimming will improve your cardiovascular fitness. Mixing the two in the right amounts could maximize the benefits of both, resulting in improved overall endurance for each sport. The right amount of each will vary from person to person, but a good plan will always include some time off your feet for a runner, and some time out of the water for a swimmer. Find the right combination, and your heart and lungs will work better longer. The results? Faster swimming and running!
Recovering from exercise is a key to improvement. If all you do is train, train, train, and never rest, your body cannot make the adaptations to allow improved performance. That's where recovery comes in to play. Running (or walking) on some days and swimming on others can be a form of active recovery. An example would be swimming rests your legs from the impact or running, and running rests your shoulder from the repetitive stress of lap after lap. You put less strain - much less - on some portion of your anatomy but still use it, maintaining good blood flow through that area, promoting a level of mobility in that area, aimed at enhancing adaptation and recovery.
The muscles will heal better, allowing them to train at a higher level the next time. This process of stress and recover will lead to improved physical performance. The results? You guessed it - faster swimming and running!
Combing swimming and running can help your psychological outlook on both, helping to head off staleness and overtraining. Ever get a little bored with not being able to breath whenever you want to, or with tying your running shoes for the umpteenth day in a row? Mixing your training between swimming and running will get you out of that rut of doing the same thing day after day. For a swimmer, the chance to see and breath, enjoying the scenery and (depending on your route) breathing that fresh, non-chlorinated air can have an amazing change on your pool sessions. Runners can look forward to a weightless environment, out from under the unpredictable control of the elements. The improved mental take on training from the variety of each discipline can enhance both, leading to better and more enjoyable training sessions. And once again, the results - faster swimming and running.
Get out there - if you are a single sport athlete, mix it up. Swimmers - hit the roads and trails. And you runners - get on your swimsuit and jump in - the water's great.