A blog by runners. For runners.

5 pool workouts all athletes should try

5 pool workouts for runnersWhen the temperatures plummet and you’re absolutely forced indoors by rain, snow, or ice, forgo the treadmill and opt instead for the pool. Here are five intense pool workouts that will get your heart rate up and improve your endurance.

  1. The Quickie: Don’t have a lot of time? You can burn around the same number of calories as your body weight (so 135lbs person can burn 135 calories) by swimming for just 15 minutes. This beginner workout alternates between freestyle and backstroke – aim for 2:00 minutes per 100 yards for speed. And heres an idea: add a quickie pool workout after a short treadmill run to extend your indoor workout session.
  2. HIIT: This high intensity interval workout takes advantage of that underwater resistance, which is 12 times greater than air. To complete this workout, warm up on land (perhaps running 1 mile), then freestyle alternating at low, medium, and high intensities. You could also use this concept for a session of aqua jogging.
  3. Intermediate: The Intermediate level swim is one of my favorite workouts. Most pools have a small stock of kickboards for use, so you’ll need one of those. Otherwise, it’s 800 meters (half a mile) broken up into freestyle at different speeds and then some of that kickboard action.
  4. Mix-Up: Speaking of aqua jogging, a great way to mix up your workout is to swim for 15-30 minutes and follow with a 15-30 minute session of aqua jogging. This way you get all of your body’s muscle groups involved in different ways – all without impact.
  5. The Distance: This is the workout I do most frequently. Swim with whatever stroke or strokes feel most comfortable for a full mile. It takes a while to work up to this distance, so start with a quarter mile one week, a half mile for a couple weeks, and then a full mile (or more) after that. A couple years ago I was swimming one mile three times each week, and even with less running, I was PRing at my spring races.

Written by Ashley Marcin / Swimming icon The Noun Project