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Old 02-19-07, 02:26 PM   #1
timmyquest
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A reach of a question...swimmin for cross training

My butt is sore from riding on the trainer the other day (i think i need to switch out saddles...sadly), i'm sick of running, so last night i swam laps for 30 mins.

It's been very long since i've done this but i had an idea while i was struggling to breath. Can swimming simulate training in high altitude (low o2) atmospheres?

Once you get the heart rate up and you want to breath in and out and in and out...well, in a pool you can't do that.

Thoughts?
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Old 02-19-07, 02:33 PM   #2
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I have been swimming for xtraining and core work + arobic work. The time for swimming for me does not take away from cycling time so it Does'nt hurt.
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Old 02-19-07, 06:38 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hiromian
I have been swimming for xtraining and core work + arobic work. The time for swimming for me does not take away from cycling time so it Does'nt hurt.
I love it too, but it's a workout unlike any other because of the breathing aspect of it...i'm sure if i were a better swimmer i could breath better but uhh, yeah...most aerobic exercises don't require you to hold your breath.
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Old 02-19-07, 06:40 PM   #4
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i've been doing that recently too. It's supposed to help with "hip dysplasia" or something like that. Recently i've been having problems with my left hip. Maybe it's a remnant of an old long boarding accident maybe not.

I like swimming alright, but i'd prefer to be on the bike. It definitely helps work out your core areas though. Not too sure about building your lungs but probably.
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Old 02-19-07, 11:06 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by timmyquest
My butt is sore from riding on the trainer the other day (i think i need to switch out saddles...sadly), i'm sick of running, so last night i swam laps for 30 mins.

It's been very long since i've done this but i had an idea while i was struggling to breath. Can swimming simulate training in high altitude (low o2) atmospheres?

Once you get the heart rate up and you want to breath in and out and in and out...well, in a pool you can't do that.

Thoughts?
Swimming is one of the few sports (along with scuba diving) that can actually expand your ribcage. Not even weight lifting can do that (I read this in an old bodybuilding book). I think that the rhythmic breathing pattern that's needed can actually be helpful if you learn to carry that feel of a rhythm over to bicycling, running, etc. I think at some points most sports emphasize breathing, so swimming should actually help your awareness of that.

And, yeah, I'm biased because I swam through college.
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Old 02-20-07, 08:38 AM   #6
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I swim 40-60 lengths every couple of weeks at a relatively slow, steady pace to limber up. I think it is good aerobic training, because it's relatively easy to dial in and hold the 'zone' you want. I don't think it does much for my bike training, other than give me a break. On the other hand, I think my swimming has benefitted from my time on the bike, in terms of endurance and strength.
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Old 02-20-07, 09:27 AM   #7
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One would think any physical activity will add to your fittness and improve your main activity.
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Old 02-20-07, 09:36 AM   #8
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none of you are really touching on my question though...
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Old 02-20-07, 09:38 AM   #9
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Most people don't actually swim hard enough or fast enough to make it worth their while. They just don't take it seriously enough to do them any good.
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Old 02-20-07, 09:41 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sunday driver
Most people don't actually swim hard enough or fast enough to make it worth their while. They just don't take it seriously enough to do them any good.
I dunno, i was in the pool for 30 mins the other day, my heart rate never dipped below 140...is that hard/fast enough? Again though, this doesn't pertain to my initial question...
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Old 02-20-07, 09:46 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by sunday driver
Most people don't actually swim hard enough or fast enough to make it worth their while. They just don't take it seriously enough to do them any good.
In general that may be true....but you are talking to a forum full of athletic people. I think most cyclists would benefit from swimming. I do it. I swim a mile twice a week. I have been swimming for twenty years.


To me it provides a balance so my upper body can keep up with the lower.

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Old 02-20-07, 09:59 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sunday driver
Most people don't actually swim hard enough or fast enough to make it worth their while. They just don't take it seriously enough to do them any good.
Personally, my form is so bad, that just keeping afloat, and moving forward requires working near LTHR.
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Old 02-20-07, 10:14 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by timmyquest
It's been very long since i've done this but i had an idea while i was struggling to breath. Can swimming simulate training in high altitude (low o2) atmospheres?
FWIW: Read this.
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Old 02-20-07, 10:18 AM   #14
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^^^^
Glad to hear that. When I was swim training I hated hypoxic sets.
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Old 02-20-07, 10:43 AM   #15
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I like the aerobic benefit of swimming. Like cycling, there is a sweetspot at which one can just keep going and going. Swimming is easy on the joints, and works muscle groups that aren't used in cycling. By mixing up strokes, it's a good way to get a full-body workout.

To answer OP's question about whether swimming can simulate training at high altitude: no. Unless you're swimming in Denver. And then that wouldn't be a simulation.

Regarding getting the HR up and not being able to breathe in a pool.... If you are using good form when you swim, you can always breathe in a pool.

But I will agree that the water pressure on the torso might require a bit more effort, though subconscious, to pull in air. For instance, while treading water, one can feel the difference between drawing a deep breath while in the pool vs doing same standing beside the pool.

That being said, perhaps one could assert that swimming can improve aerobic performance since it requires a bit more effort from the diaphragm, intercostals, and accessory muscles, making them stronger for non-submersive athletic activity.

Any physiologists out there care to comment?
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Old 02-20-07, 12:01 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by KinjaBoy
FWIW: Read this.
Thanks for the link, perfect. Also glad to see that it wasn't so much of a reach...just another idea that had come along long before i thought of it
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Old 02-24-07, 03:32 AM   #17
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Have you tried aqua jogging? I haven't but heard its a good workout and easy on the joints. I know its a little off subject but a suggestion.
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Old 02-27-07, 06:15 PM   #18
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I just read an article talking about the dangers of osteoporosis in cyclists and swimmers because of the low impact thing. Also, it's a double whammy because there is a lot of calcium lost in sweat. If you're going to use swimming and cycling as main workouts, do remember to lift weights or run, even a little. This guy that the article talked about had bones that were in horrible shape, even though everything else was great and fit--because he only cycled and never did anything else. Bones are something we never think about, but neglecting it will hurt down the road. Oh, also take at least 1200 mg of calcium supplements to replenish the calcium lost. Hope this will be valuable for happy bones!
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