I usually do a bit of swimming in summer as there is an outdoor pool accross the road from work. Today I had a go in the indoor town pool for something different.
Did some intdervals of 200m sprints with a couple of minites off and then into it again. Prior to that did some tempo work in the pool by grinding out some freestyle laps at a fairly hard pace, HR about 80% ish.
Finished of with some back stroke and kickboard both of which caned the legs a bit. Felt good afterwards and enjoyed the change of scenery/pace.
Is this anygood for cycling and ok to do occaisionally ie every week or two? My aim is to improve aerobic performance if anything and find that swimming does work the respiratory system, as you can't breathe as freely as out of water. Find I can get a lactic acid burn doing a good swim.
Swimming is great to reduce muscle strength imbalance derived from cycling. It will also help improve your aerobic cardio fitness, but as far as specifically improving your cycling: not really. It won't hurt, so keep doing it!
I was having some serious neck problems from September through to about May this year, when my neck muscls developed more strongly on the front than the rear (from riding the 'bent and ignoring my MTB). It had become a chronic condition, with the pain simply a daily constant. I jumped in the pool one week when I had taken my kids to swimming squad, and after three sessions of laps, the neck was cured. (Could have saved myself $500 in physio bills, had I only known ... )
I am thinking along the same lines. It seems to work my cardiovascular system quite well, and the variety aspect means maybe doing a workout, as opposed to missing one due to can't be bothered/bored.
You can give the legs a good workout if you try and I find my calves cramping when I push off the wall at times. Same spot they cramp on the bike funnily enough.
I'm sure cycling is a better cycling specific exercise however I am not a machine and sometimes struggle with motivation, bit of variety is good for me. Any other ideas to switch it around/make it more interesting?
The example I gave above is the most obvious (neck muscle imbalance caused by keeping your head at an angle not associated with correct posture for extended periods). Others could include holding a high proportion of your weight on your arms and supporting your weight with your lower back.
Swimming helps work the muscles which oppose those actions. For example, lifting your arms out of the water whilst doing freestyle is almost the exact opposite action of supporting your weight on the bars.
Thanks Graeme. Please don't tell Anne or she will have me in the bloody pool with her doing laps Can these muscles be strengthen at the gym for example?
Yeah, no problems about doing the same in the gym, but I personally find swimming more fun than a gym. I also think swimming is a more holistic approach than going to the gym and you have less chance of doing injury to yourself whilst swimming.
(I will tell Anne - she'll have you marching down the hill for a swim in no time! )
Yeah well it is like the debate about getting her cycling ... maybe a comprise is needed here ... damn it.
Anything that brings your shoulder blades together will do it. Seated rows, lat pull downs from in front, shoulder shrugs.
The other big imbalance is the hamstring/ quad strength. Most serious cyclists would struggle to sprint running without pinging a hammy because of the dominance of the quads for example.
Aerodynamic Facial Hair
Well Graeme I took my first step to getting into swimming today. I mentioned it to Anne and so we had to drop into the Freo pool to see what programs that they had. Seems they have stroke improvement class so will give that a go when it starts again soon and see what happens
On the opposite side, Anne is taking a look at buying a bike, so maybe a win win
On this year's Tour De France coverage on SBS there was an indicental comment about swimming. They said that the pro riders were not allowed to go swimming because it affected their muscles. I can't remember how exactly. Anyway, at my level of 'pro-riding' (I won $15 for 3rd place in a road race today) its not something that will keep me awake at night worrying. Keep swimming, its good for you.
Be interesting to hear why?.
If you ever get a chance read a book called "Tour de Force".It is about Lance's 5th tour I think,but has great insight into what all the top guys go thru leading up to the tour..you just have to forget the everyone apart from Lance has been done for drugs since.
We need an excuse to wear Speedos?
Could be that they think it changes the firing order of the muscles. You don't use your glutes much in cycling, whereas you do in swimming, and the glute flexibility is quite important in cycling.
I highly doubt it though. Had a biomechanist/ exercise phys sitting next to me when they were talking about it, and he thought it was complete bollocks.
Far more likely these european cyclists can't actually swim.
Aerodynamic Facial Hair
I think you're right. Its more superstition than fact.
In the 1910 Tour De France, French competitor Adolphe Heliere drowned while swimming on a rest day. He was stung by a jellyfish.
Sounds like the Steve Irwin of French cycling!.
I didn't expect to be caught out on this one!
Aerodynamic Facial Hair
unless your objective is to become the fastest rider in Meldura then you will reek the benefits of cross training.
If your over 35 then you should add some resistance or impact training to counteract bone density loss. Neither swimming or cycling are particularly effective for counteracting bone density loss.
Fixie riders never freewheel
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