• About Allison

    I am a 26-year-old married Michigan gal living in Sarasota, Florida. This blog is a chronicle of my journey toward a healthier lifestyle! I started running in January 2009 and began to change my eating habits in May 2009. Now, I am dedicated to training smart and eating right. Join me as I seek to balance running and eating healthy, local foods with my crazy work life and hilarious home life.

    Contact me: allisonisactive@gmail.com

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Going Swimmingly

Although I think I did an excellent job training for my first and second half marathons, I could have done more cross training.  In fact, I did very little training outside of walking and running: I rode my bike around the neighborhood and and popped in a yoga DVD now and then, but that’s it.

I know that in order to be fit and prepared for a full marathon, I’m going to have to commit to more cross training.  I’ve read everywhere that swimming is a great form of cross training for runners because:

  • It’s an aerobic workout that gets your heart rate up
  • It doesn’t put stress on your joints like running or walking
  • It works many major muscle groups

Back in the day, I was a pretty serious swimmer.  I joined my local age group swim team when I was in 3rd grade and swam on my middle school swim team, too.  I got burned out in 8th grade after swimming on two swim teams for a few years and made the decision not to swim in high school.  However, I was a lifeguard all through high school and college and used to swim and play water polo with my friends for fun.

It’s been years since I swam for fitness, but I still know all the basics of swimming and lap pool etiquette.  I ventured to Sports Authority on Saturday and picked up a racing suit (my sister stole all mine for high school water polo), some good goggles, and a swim cap.

This morning, I Googled “beginner swim workouts” and found a website with some 400 and 800 meter workouts.  I copied them onto index cards and sealed into a Ziploc bag, an old trick from my swimming days.  :)  (Except our coaches would laminate them, which I could do later because I own a laminator.)

I was surprised by how easily I got into the groove of swimming again: everything from getting my swim cap and goggles adjusted to jumping into the workout kind of felt normal and routine, like meeting an old friend.

I left my nifty cards in the car (nice move, Allison) but tried to remember somewhat of what was on them.  Here’s my workout:

  • 2×25 warm up
  • 1×25 right arm
  • 1×25 left arm
  • 2×25 kick
  • 2×25 pull
  • Ladder: 25, 50, 50, 25
  • 1×25 kick
  • 50 sprint
  • 1×25 pull
  • 2×25 cool down

I’m going to stick with 500 meter workouts for next two weeks, and then bump up to 800 meter.  The workout took me about 20 minutes, including some stretching in the pool afterwards.  Then it was into the shower, packing my bag, and heading to Publix and the library.

I did pretty well at packing my pool bag, too, which made me happy.  The two things I wish I had remembered were deodorant and Q-tips (I get major water in my ears!)  Here are the things I had packed:

  • Lock for my locker
  • Swimsuit, towel, goggles, swim cap, and watch
  • Water bottle
  • Shampoo, conditioner, soap, and face wash in a Ziploc bag
  • Hair brush and hair tie
  • Flip flops for the shower (which I also wore home)
  • Clean underoos, shorts, and a t-shirt

I suppose if this had been a morning workout, I would have packed make up, too, for work.  In the evening, I don’t care.  :)  Also, I was planning to bike to the library afterwards, so I’d be outside sweating again anyway!

I’m off to help with dinner – Mike is on grill duty with the burgers, but I’m in charge of the broccoli.

Does anyone else swim for cross training?  Any links to good swim workouts?

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