All about the fitness and health lifestyle
All about the fitness and health lifestyle

How Runners can Benefit from Biking and Swimming

Last Updated:
January 23, 2024

How Runners can Benefit from Biking and Swimming

For some running is a fun form of exercise, which can be difficult for others to understand. Furthermore, it is a competitive sport, even for those who don’t race, as beating your own time is a thrill. However, running every day can cause stress injuries, which is why having other exercises in rotation is key. Below we look at how runners can benefit from adding biking and swimming to their training regime.

Benefits of Swimming

Swimming is one of the best exercises runners can do without experiencing the impact of cross-training. By incorporating swimming into your routine, you work on unique muscle groups that other exercises do not. Your hips, core, shoulders, glutes, and arms are sure to get a great workout anytime you jump in the pool. Furthermore, different strokes will change the intensity for different muscle groups. For example, butterfly works the triceps and shoulders, whereas breaststroke works the core and glutes more.

Swimming also allows for a higher blood return and maximal oxygen consumption, which can improve your stamina. This is due to your heart having to work slightly harder to keep blood cycling due to the buoyancy of the water. Finally, swimming is the ideal workout for runners with an injury, as it is a no-impact workout.

Benefits of Biking

Biking is a low to no-impact workout for runners looking to cross-train. Adding biking to your training routine helps you to build strength, increase your heart rate, and improve your endurance. Better yet, biking is completely customizable to keep in line with your running goals. Riding uphill can help improve strength, whereas long rides are ideal for building endurance. Biking primarily helps to strengthen your leg muscles including your quads, glutes, hamstrings, and calves, however, it will not make these muscles bulky. This is due to the low-impact movement of biking.

How to Incorporate Swimming into Your Routine

Adding swimming to your training just requires a large body of water. This could be a lake, the ocean, or a swimming pool. Swimming at least once a week can help improve your endurance and can help injuries heal without losing momentum. Try one of these swimming workouts to get started:

  • Aqua-jogging - these classes are like running in water
  • Stroke drills - a great way to practice different techniques
  • Laps for 30-40 minutes - great for endurance
  • Interval training - perfect for working on your heart rate
  • Challenge yourself with distance, starting with 100m - another endurance option

How to Incorporate Biking into Your Routine

Adding biking to your training routine is simple, and there are many options available. Consider biking one a day a week, or more if you are experiencing knee pain from running. Then try one of these biking activities:

  • Spin class - high intensity and endurance
  • Road biking around your neighborhood - great for a low impact, slower training day
  • Hill climbs - perfect for building stamina
  • Exercycle at the gym - perfect for a range of workouts
  • Out-of-saddle sprints - these get the heart rate going
  • Long-distance day rides - great for boosting endurance

There you have it, the various ways runners can benefit from biking, and swimming as part of their training. Additionally, by adding swimming and biking to your repertoire you could start to consider entering triathlons. This can help you to find a whole community of like-minded fitness enthusiasts. Furthermore, by switching up your running training to incorporate swimming and biking, you can ensure you never get bored during a workout. Each day is now going to be completely different!

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