Updated: May 3, 2019
Triathletes usually have limited time to train so they want to get the most out of their sessions by getting the best bang for their buck, so to speak. Unfortunately what tends to happen is that more focus is placed on running and cycling while swimming seems to be the discipline that is neglected. There are many benefits to increasing the amount of time in water. Swimming has a unique way of increasing our cardio endurance unlike any other sport. When we are exhaling into the water, it is being met with resistance, which in turn increases our lung capacity by strengthening the muscles. Although I never personally trained as a runner, because of my swimming training I was able to manage cross-country running with relative ease. The reverse however is not true. The fitness you gain from cycling and running does not translate to the water. Swimming gives you a great all body workout especially if you include all four strokes in your training regiment. It can help you with your flexibility, your core strength, toning and strengthening muscles, your cardio strength and endurance and best of all it is low impact. We have all heard of runners with knee injuries due to high repetitions of high impact on hard surfaces. Swimming has a very low risk of injury if good technique is being employed. It is kind to our joints. In my opinion it would be more beneficial to swim more and run less if there needs to be a choice between the two. The swim leg of the triathlon race is probably the most important for the following reasons. If we are strong and efficient swimmers we will also have more energy to follow up with our cycle and run legs of our race. If we are not in the lead pack of swimmers coming out of the water, then we will not be in the lead pack of cyclists and that could mean game over. So next time you think about ditching that swimming set, think again.