Which is better overall to swim or run

Swimming & running. The perfect duo for endurance training?

Many runners also rely on swimming to support their training and with the Swim & Run events there are now even their own events that focus on both sports. It's high time to look at the combination of running and swimming in endurance training.

Why is swimming so recommended in combination with running training?
Since the form of movement and the muscular stress on the body are completely different in a swimming unit and a running unit, no double stress can arise on the muscles.
Due to the differences, swimming is a very good compensation for running training and the two endurance sports can be optimally combined. This results from the fact that the entire musculature is trained alternately.
This versatile movement also generally reduces the risk of injury in both sports and imbalances can be compensated for. In addition, a swimming unit can be used very well as endurance training. However, it is assumed that the swimming technique is correct.
However, since both sports still put stress on the cardiovascular system, you should ensure sufficient regeneration and take breaks from training

The following seven reasons speak mainly in favor of combining the two sports swimming and running:

  • Build up your stamina
  • Building the muscles
  • Improvement of regeneration
  • Protection against injuries
  • Improve posture
  • Strengthening the immune system
  • Facilitating new challenges

Build up your stamina and improve your basic endurance
Swimming can be used very well to build up stamina. Especially people who have never had much to do with endurance sports reach their limits relatively quickly when running. These limits can be increased with swimming training, so that running training can then be started at a moderate pace.

In particular, all those who are in no physical condition will be able to feel their way around very easily with swimming training. This results from the fact that only a tenth of your body weight has to be moved in the water. Because of this, swimming training is also recommended for joint problems.

Building the muscles
Since the muscles are not yet properly developed, especially for beginners, it can lead to pain and sore muscles. Because of this, it makes sense to do some swimming units before you start running. Many muscles are stressed during swimming.
This leads to the core, arm and leg muscles being gradually built up. So it is a gentle alternative to strength training.

Improvement of regeneration
If running training is on the schedule, the body can occasionally need a longer recovery break of several days. However, this does not immediately mean that you should sit on the couch and do nothing. There are far better alternatives for this, such as swimming. However, it is essential to ensure that it is a relaxed swim training session so that there is really an active recovery and not a new, high training load.
The water can relieve the musculoskeletal system and find the right balance for running.

Protection against injuries
Swimming not only helps with regeneration, building muscles or building stamina, it also helps to protect yourself from injuries. Overloading and one-sided training very often lead to injuries.
This risk can be offset by offsetting with another sport. Another advantage is that there are hardly any injuries while swimming.

Improve posture
As already mentioned, swimming demands a wide variety of muscle groups. As a result, supporting muscles are built up and, above all, shoulders, back and stomach are trained. This should be an advantage especially for people who work while sitting, but it is also very helpful for runners. In addition, the body needs to be stretched when swimming.

Strengthening the immune system
Since there is higher pressure in water than on land, much more oxygen is transported into the muscles. This has a very positive effect on blood circulation. Furthermore, the metabolism is very demanding in the water, since the temperature difference has to be compensated. All of these aspects help to strengthen the immune system. As a result, the athletes are less susceptible to illnesses such as a cold.

Facilitating new challenges
With the variety of sports, there are many new challenges. Many runners want to compete in a triathlon one day. This dream may seem a lot further away than it actually is. If you combine a few swimming units with running training, you can face these new challenges relatively quickly and I have had good experiences as a runner with my first triathlon.

Training recording with the sports watch for swimming and running
Today most heart rate monitors and GPS watches can record various sports activities, so swimming and running are no problem either. However, there are a few special features to consider. There is no GPS data when training on the treadmill or swimming training in the swimming pool. The distance covered or the number of lanes swam is then calculated using an algorithm.
However, some fitness watches only allow swimming with a chest strap. All data is then recorded in this belt and transferred to the sports watch and the associated apps after the workout. I have good experiences with the TomTom Adventurer and am currently traveling with the Polar Vantage with the H10 chest strap.
An activity tracker such as the Fitbit Charge is definitely sufficient for beginners

Conclusion on the combined training of running and swimming
In summary, it can be concluded that a combination of swimming and running training is ideally suited for a more balanced endurance training and that many body regions can be trained in parallel. Due to the high endurance component in anaerobic training, this training combination is also ideal for losing weight and can achieve excellent results, especially in combination with intermittent fasting.