Swimming Can Kick Your Butt

By Laura Moncur @ 5:00 am — Filed under:

I hear a lot of negative press about swimming. Bob Greene, Oprah’s Trainer, believes that swimming isn’t as good as running or even riding a stationary bicycle. Abi decided to diversify her training and her experience was the opposite.

The last time I tried to swim laps, we were staying at the Luxor Hotel. I didn’t want to pay the high fee to use the hotel gym, so I decided to do laps in the pool. I had been running 2-3 miles a day, so I thought swimming laps would be a relaxing “easy” day. I went out there early and found myself gasping for breath. None of the strokes were relaxing or easy, not even the breast stroke, which had been the stroke that I always used when I was just floating along. I haven’t tried since.

My gym has a pool. Maybe I’ll add one day of swimming laps into my routine and mix my workout a little bit.


54 Responses to “Swimming Can Kick Your Butt”

  1. Kery Says:

    I don’t know if swimming isn’t as good or running and the rest, but my own philosophy is: any kind of exercise is better than no exercise at all. If swimming is the only solution to get some exercise done, then swimming it’ll be. It can’t be worse than plopping down in the couch!

  2. Mark Says:

    I’m a swimming guy. Swimming laps by yourself is only going to get your heartbeat up so far for most people, unless they’re disciplined enough to keep the speed up. Swimming in a Masters swimming group is better, because you’ll do intervals at speed, motivated by the fact that there is someone right on your tail. Then there’re open water events, which are a good workout just because they are so long.

    There’s nothing mysterious about swimming vs. running as far as calories burned go. Calories are calories. If you eat after doing it, though, the results are as might be expected.

    I ran track and cross country in high school. But I wouldn’t run now. I know too many 50-year-olds and up who have messed-up knees from running. Bad knees are an inconvenience when you’re 50, but when you’re 70 the lack of mobility contributes to a sudden downward spiral in health and mental sharpness, as well as being a major inconvenience to those around you. Walk, but don’t run, is my advice, especially if your BMI is more than 22 or so.

  3. jlf278 Says:

    Swimming laps is going to work different muscles, so of course being used to running 2 1/2 miles will only help so much. As far as benefit, swimming laps vigorously burns about the same calorie rate as running a 9 minute mile. The main advantages of swimming are reduced stress on joints and bones and a more complete body workout. The main advantage of running is that you will build more muscle and bone strength in your legs as a result of the impact resistance.

  4. embracelife Says:

    this is crap!!!! swimming is WAY harder then any run anyone has ever been on thats y ppl dont swim…theyre just 2 fat so they run!!!!!

  5. Kathleen Says:

    Swimming works many muscles in your body, and is overall a great work out. It helps expand your lungs. Competetive swimming, in my opinion, is one of the hardest sports out there. Swimming does not come naturally to humans, so it is tough, sense water is 800 times denser then air. Swimming IS a great way to burn calories and stay in shape

  6. jon Says:

    i always thought that swimming would be more intensive because more muscles need to move to move. running is good but muscles become energy efficient if they are used repetitively so swimming would probably keep thing fresh and increase overall fitness. i generally throw in swimming once a week to get different intensity levels in.

  7. GoddessofJava Says:

    I’m a very enthusiastic swimmer, and have lost 30 lbs in the past year swimming 5 days a week and weight training 4 days a week.

    You will wear yourself out at first before you stroke technique improves. Then you have to push yourself to get your heart rate up. It’s slightly easier to slack swimming than running unless you’re going to do intervals or something like that. I do, as it’s a good way to stay interested and challenge yourself.

    As far as swimming v. running? While I hate, detest and dispise running, I feel the arguement is so much horse elbows. The BEST exercise is the one you’ll DO!

  8. Catie Says:

    I’m 21 and have run 3 marathons. As a result I began to have intense pains in my knees as well as throughout my legs. I gave up running and have since taken up swimming. For me personally, swimming is much harder than running. I would rather do a 10 mile run than swim for an hour any day, but I want to be healthy when I am older, hence I swim instead. Swimming laps for 10 minutes is the equivalent calorie burn of running 1 mile. Therefore, swim laps at a moderate pace for an hour and you just burned the equivalent of a 6 mile run.

  9. LaTrisha Says:

    I swim on the local swim team and it is a lot more intense than running. Many ppl on the school track team can’t swim as long as the swimmers and they run at least 5 miles with out stopping everyday. So, Swimming (if your swimming the strokes right) is way harder than running a few miles.

  10. Rachel Says:

    I started as a runner, ran a marathon, then kept getting sidelined by injuries. So frustrating!!!! So I have picked up cycling and swimming. Swimming is an awesome workout. Of course I was gasping for air when I first started, now it gives me the high that i can get from running. You can train yourself like as if you were running with speed workouts, tempo swims, or long and slow. It’s great because of the low impact and works the entire body, and its a great counter balance to running as swimming will help to stretch you out, while running compacts you. As far as caloires go, you can burn just as much from swimming compared to running. Swimming 1 mile burns 300 calories(about 30-40mins) equivalent to a 3 mile run. If you are a runner, cross training with cycling and swimming will only make you a better rounded athlete and will dramatically reduce your chance for injury and will in fact make you a better and faster runner as well. And if you can’t run, swimming is a great way to stay in shape. I highly reccomeend it!!!

  11. Anna Says:

    swimming is probly the best exercise out there because it works, so many muscles! And if your talking running vs. swimming, that should definatly count towards swimming.

  12. Jon Ask: Says:

    When people talk on swimming in intervals to get the heart rate up, what exactly does that mean?

  13. Laura Moncur Says:


    That means swimming really fast for a lap or two and then swimming slowly to recover.

    You can do the same thing walking, running or riding a bike.


  14. emmie Says:

    Hello, At 201 lbs on the 4 of June I decided enough was enough. To date I’ve lost about 26 lbs by dieting,walking, and jogging. However I’m still categorized as obese at 174lbs (42yr,5’4″ female). I have a 40ft lap pool in my back yard. So to continue my progress towards a healthy weight i want to integrate swimming on the days I don’t run. I run 2 miles on my treadmill M,W,F (4.7 to 5 mph) and then usually cool down another .5 mile just walking @ 2.8 to 3 mph. I already have one reconstructed knee due to softball injury, and arthritis starting in the other.

    Any recommendations?

  15. Laurie Says:

    i swim on my high school team, and i love it. I love running just for exersize, but i get really bad shin splints when i run, but i continue running anyway. I have found that running helps my swimming, and swimming helps my running. Swimming is very therapudic, and helps my shin splints so that i am able to run again. Swimming will build up the muscles in the front of your shin. (weak muscles in the front of the shin is what can sometimes cause shin splints.) Swimming also helps my lactic acid build up. The build up of lactic acid is what causes you to throw up after a hard run. You can help your lactic acid build up by sprinting then stopping, then sprinting, then stopping and so forth. If you do intense swim work outs- this is what you will do. Running helps my endurance and my lung capacity feels greater when i am running durring swim season. So, basically, i feel amazing when i am running and swimming. My body feels like it is at my peak because I have so many different muscle groups in such great shape!

  16. Sarah Says:

    On the topic of swimming vs. running-I think that it all depends on how fast you are running and how fast you are swimming. I went to state for cross country and track and field when I was in high school. The workouts were grueling. Now, I swim an hour to an hour and a half every day and have noticed that I am leaner now than when I would run in high school. Swimming is the best workout for me because I have run thousands of miles over the years and not nearly seen the results as I have with swimming. Swimming uses your arms as well as your legs.

  17. Sweet swimmer Says:

    All of you are right! Swimming is way harder! I don;t notice how hard it is anymore because I have been swimming for five years on a swim team. But i recently moved up to the highest level and I was soooo tires after word! I hadnt rembered how hard it was to swim at a higher speed than what your used to. My mother lovws to run and expecs me to run at the same speed as her! But I would like to see her swim the same speed as me!

  18. Ty Says:

    I run about 8 miles a day for my team. It’s a lot of hard work. Now, I have done swimming before. And swimming is very hard, and can be strenuous. But that sheer exhaustion I get from running far supercedes that of swimming. I am healthier than most people, I keep a constant heartrate of about 40-45 bpm. My blood pressure is very low. I never get sick, if I do, it is very mild. Running has done all that for me, I started out as an overweight guy wanting a change, and now I have a solid six pack, and rock hard quads. And as far as results, those who think running does not get results are very wrong. Every person on my team is in the best condition of their lives. There is not a single person on the team afraid to take their shirt off when we hit the beach, because we all feel good and we know it. Now, because I run more than the average person, it’s probably fair to say that running has had a huge impact on me. It hurts sometimes, but for those not willing to cope with bodily pains, I have no sympathies. Swimming is entirely different. There is less strain on the actual muscles, as for the lungs and heart it is just as good as running. As for body carving, it is excellent. People who do it are also less prone to injury. But after trying swimming, I can’t say it feels as challenging as running. Running exhausts me in all areas, the legs, the chest, the arms, and most of all the mind. I am not a casual runner, but I am not a pro either. And I doubt most people who do either have ever raced in a competition for swimming or running. Plain and simple, those who do it casually will never understand the full power of running or swimming. That’s just my take, keep your own as you wish.

  19. Charles Says:

    As a former division 1 NCAA distance swimmer, I think swimming is a great way to work hard and stay in shape. While swimming laps alone, it is more challenging to stay focused than when swimming with a team. I now swim with a master’s team, and it’s an excellent workout. I started running this past summer 3-5 miles twice a week. It got me back into shape, but it puts a lot of stress on joints that I’ll be happy to have still functioning later in life. Running was great for me, but I don’t like sweating on myself, so I think I’ll stick to swimming. This is my biased opinion, and nothing more.

  20. Jeremy Says:

    I swam on the high school swim team for 4 years and went to the regional swim meet 3 of those years. Swimming competetively (in other words fast, I am a lifeguard and see a lot of people who swim laps and THINK they are fast, but I’m talking about real fast with few stops at the walls) is much harder than running and it is better for your knees and bones. My brother is 3 years younger and is still in high school and runs cross country and track. He agrees with the general rule that swimming 1 mile is equal to running 3 miles as far as calories burned. It doesn’t matter how long you swim laps, its the distance you go that makes the difference.

  21. H. K. Cutlip Says:

    Swimming is like anything else that one does, the more effort that one puts into it the harder it is to do. So what’s the Problem? Why is it harder to get as much out of swimming as one can out of running. First and Foremost when one is swimming they are laying down so to speak, but the biggest reason for the difference is the size and support of the muscles being use while swimming. When swimming one is more or less turning their body as if they were constantly swinging a golf club, back and forth. When running one is not laying down and they are supporting their total body weight on one leg at a time, and on top of that they can move their legs much faster in air than in water. Swimming is a tough sport, but 60 minutes of hard swimming will never add up to 60 minutes of hard running due to the size of the muscles being use. Regards. HK

  22. Tyler Says:

    i swim and i want all of you to run 100 yards as fast as you can and then swim 100 yards as fast as you can and tell me which was harder

  23. Vincent Says:

    I agree with Tyler. Swimming is much more difficult than running. I used to run 60 miles a week and have run several marathons. I didn’t take much training to accomplish 60 miles per week (approximately 6-8 months). I had to give up running because of bad knees and a bad back from all those years of running. My body shape when I was a runner was very lean on top, thin arms and thin torso with very muscular legs. I now swim 30 + laps in a 50 meter pool 3 to 4 times a week. It has taken me more than 14 months to achieve this level. My body shape has changed drastically, very broad shoulders, very defined and muscular arms, thin waist and muscular legs. My resting heart rate is approx 42 beats per minute now as opposed to 48 beat per minute when I was a runner. The bottom line is that I am approx 30 pounds heavier as a swimmer than I was as a runner and I my cardiovascular is in better shape now and my bodyรขโ‚ฌหœs muscles are more proportionate. In my opinion swimming is much better for your physiology and more difficult not only to master, but more strenuous to do. Cheers

  24. Aaron Says:

    When I was in high school, I played 6 sports a year. 3 were contact and 3 were not. I was disciplined and trained hard. I had run cross-country for 2 years prior to high school and used that experience as part of my workout everyday to include a long hard run. It wasn’t until the summer before my senior year that I understood what my workout was missing, a POOL. We had a pool installed at our home that spring. It changed everything for me. I almost entirely substituted swimming for running. I still included sprints, aerobic exercises, and squats/lunges for leg strength(much less impact than running). By replacing the running with swimming I was able to become even leaner, more toned, and my knees/ankles stopped giving me so many issues during the sports season. Anyone I talk to about workouts, I tell them to substitute the long run with a good swim. The rest of the workout should be based on your body image goals. Simple facts, by swimming: I burned the same amount of calories, reduced body stress, worked a far greater range of muscles in my body(many not targeted by typical workout exercises), and gained flexibility. I believe that it comes down to the amount of discipline you have in your workout. If you want to listen to your ipod and run on a treadmill then that’s what your going to do. If you want to workout and are comfortable in your own head keeping the pace and pushing the pace, then swimming is definitely the way to go. It is more difficult to get into swimming because most people are not used to the motion and have never really put those muscle groups to work before the day they try to train in the water. Work on technique and then work on the workout.

  25. Vincent Says:

    Coudn’t agree more Aaron. People that use ipods while running aren’t really serious about running, they are what I call “casual runners”. The comment about swimming and flexiblity is spot on as well. Good stuff. Cheers

  26. tony del Says:

    Swimming Kicks ASSSSSSSSSS!!!!!!!!!!

  27. Kelly Says:

    Totally agree with you tony del! I have been swimming from high school and on. Couldn’t train any other way and expect the results that I get from a good session in the pool. Could never give it up!!

  28. Jess Says:

    I completely disagree with the ipod running comment. I’ve run 2 marathons and when I can, I run with my ipod. Ipods aren’t allowed in most marathons and most of the runners get upset about it because they usually listen to their ipods while running. Listening, or not listening, to an ipod has nothing to do with how hard you run or how serious you are about it.

  29. travers Says:

    I was a competitive swimmer when I was younger, and swam up to 40km a week. I also was a lifesaver and had to do alot of beach spirts. So I have a good comparative knowledge of the 2. I think the argument is can “swimming kick your butt?”. Although I did loads of swimming, I still find it a mental challenge to jump in a pool and swim laps. After running, my shins ache and neck hurts. Swimming on the other hand always leaves feeling invigorated afterwards even after the most intense sessions. This alone means I can sustain more regular exercise as a swimmer and thus am more capable of losing weight and staying toned.

  30. Kevin Smith Says:

    Want a workout that will KICK YOUR BUTT…when I was a lifeguard I used to jump in the pool, swim 80 laps, get out, put my shoes on and run 8 miles on the beach. Swimming, if done by runners, ACTUALLY HELPS them. Swimming teaches your body to utilize oxygen more efficiently.

    I have been out of shape for about 10 years now…so whatever you do KEEP AT IT…now I am faced with building myself back up to where I used to be.

  31. Alison Says:

    I have just started swimming again and was a competitive swimmer when I was a kid – went to Junior Olympics 5 years in a row etc. I didn’t have an ounce of fat on me and swam somewhere between 4 and 6 miles a day 4 days a week.

    Now I am 34 and am back in the pool. I only swim a mile a day now, but love the high that you get after a work out. It’s blissful… I also noticed that i’ve started losing roughly a pound a workout. it takes me about 40 minutes to swim a mile.

  32. monica Says:

    dudes, just get a heart rate monitor and check out just how much faster your heart rate goes up when swimming. That is if you’re into actual swimming, you know, with technique and the strokes properly done. (don’t forget to substract 17 beats from the reading though)

    Now go running, with your heart rate monitor obviously, and try to compare the intensities of both in the same amount of time. Running is, my friends, a walk in the park compared to serious swimming.

  33. Kaite Says:

    This is an interesting discussion. I have done competitive swimming for 9 years and am still going. before that I had done regular swimming from the age of 2 months. I also did Surf Life saving. AT school I liek to get involved as much as I can and have also run cross country, 100m, 200m, 400m, 800m and 1200m runs as well. At swimming I generally race 200m and hold the majority of my records in those races. I believe I found swimming a lot harder than running and i had been doing it for a very long time. I;m not sure if switching form Surf to Pool had something to do with it. But anyone can get up on their own legs and run or jog a running race without training(I never trianed in running at all and I still got rep) Yet in swimming I help coach and there are kids who cant even float in water but everyone can balanace on 2 feet. I personally believe siwmming is much harder as it requires a greta deal more co-ordination. But thats just my oppinion. ๐Ÿ™‚

  34. Jessica Says:

    I am interested in this too… I have started swimming in the last few weeks. I am a 5’4, 230 lbs woman, but I am glad that I am not embarrassed to be in a swim suit! I have been swimming 45 minutes 4x a week, and doing deep water aerobics 3x a week. I LOVE it. I love being in the water.

    I could never run, as being obese my knees and feet probably couldn’t take the pressure. I want to improve my strokes, be able to hold my breath longer, etc. Right now I swim one lap w/ breast stroke and one with back stroke alternating each lap. This is only because my lung capacity isn’t great yet. I am curious about how to train to lose weight, increase speed, build muscle and so forth. I am excited about this journey.

    I have done gym workouts in the past and nothing has felt as good to me as swimming.

  35. mike doyon Says:

    I firmly believe after having done both for a number of years that swimming is harder. Taken into consideration that swimming uses all major muscles and running primarily the legs. Any sport that you use more larger (major) muscles provided at a similar pace will be harder and better for overall conditioning. Hence why I think swiming is better. Also the high you get from exerting yourself after a pool workout (intense) I feel in my opinion is greater then running as you feel more physically drained because more muscles worked!!

  36. Eic Says:

    Comparing swimming and running is saying one is like comparing apples and oranges and saying one tastes better. If you run hard and get your heart rate to 90% of your calculated maximum and keep it there for 30 minutes, you will find you have had a hard workout. If you swim and get your heart rate to 90% of your calculated maximum and keep it there for 30 minutes, you will find you have had a hard workout.

    The above two statements look the same but realistically, there are some differences. The pounding of running is physically more damaging that swimming. In particular, if someone is obese and hasn’t trained their soft tissue (ligaments, tendons, cartilage) to support the abuse, then their chance of getting injured is increased.

    Additionally, there are psychological differences with each sport (and I include any sport) as each person will find a personal satisfaction from what they do. Some people really enjoy the quiet and solitude offered by swimming as when my head is in the water, there are no phones, no radios, and no interruptions. My thoughts are my own.

    Many enjoy the freedom of movement associated with running; the changing scenery, the wind in your face, differences in temperature experienced; the rhythm of your feet striking the ground is much like that of a percussion instrument. Similarly, when cycling, I enjoy the singing music of the wheels.

    Bottom line is, you will get out of an exercise what you put in. And most importantly is to do something that brings you pleasure and that you’ll keep doing.

  37. Kristen Says:

    i used to run obsessively (as many runners do) until I was diagnosed with a tumor in my hip ๐Ÿ™ the Dr. said my running days were over. that news was almost as hard to accept as the tumor itself. I was instructed to swim in order to build the muscle around the tumor to keep it from getting aggravated and causing pain. I need music and I am happy to say that I have the DOLPHIN – its an MP3 player for swimmers. I suggest that you all check it out bc its changed my swimming life and its an amazing experience to swim with an MP3 player. Such a new experience bc this was never available to swimmers until this recent gadget hit the market. It’s $83 and i cant say enough about it. Get one if the lack of music keeps you from swimming. My body is changing from a runner to a swimmer – and its a little strange to go thru the transition but I feel taller and not so bulky in the leg and arse area from the muscles that running builds. I could go on and on about my two favorite sports…. i just wanted all of you to know that you can swim with music now! YAY! ๐Ÿ™‚

  38. Karla Says:

    Swimming is by far the best exercise you can give to your body. It’s also the safest as far as your joints and muscles are concerned. In swimming, you utilize every muscle in your entire body without the heavy impact on the joints that running causes. There are people out there who can run marathons or ice climb or bike a hundred miles that can’t even swim 400 yards without stopping. And please understand that I am not saying this an any way to put any of those people down (its all amazing stuff), I am just stating the fact that swimming is something that does not come easy to everyone. It takes extreme endurance, rhythm, balance, breathing technique, etc. I think the hardest thing for people is finding the right rhythm in swimming. Its almost meditative once you really find it. I’ve found that you’ve got to be able to really move and groove to be a great swimmer… lots of hip action! Anyways, there’s my opinion. It truly is the best exercise out there… I just love it so much.

  39. Reily Catto Says:

    First off, I am 16 years old and just recently (last October) ran the Portland Marathon. My primary sport is swimming, in which I hold several school records and compete at state each year. I am among the few truely elite swimmers. When I first started training for running I was already in excellent condition. By the 2nd week a friend of mine (also an excellent swimmer) and I were doing 15 mile runs with large climbs. This took us in the area of 2 1/4 to 2 1/2 hours. This should answer your question about which one is a better workout. However, I do enjoy running far more that counting tile in the swimming pool. No doubt they both have excellent benefits though.

  40. Silvia Says:

    Like most of you I did a variety of sports as a child, including little Athletics and squad. Now I am 24 and I started back into swimming training a couple of years ago. I have to say I find running much more difficult than swimming. I am surprised that you mostly disagree. Perhaps it is a psychological dislike of running that makes it seem harder and a deep love of the rhythm of swimming that makes it seem easier. Running seems easier to being (because I dont have to get wet?) but once I’m started I find swimming much easier to continue than running. Odd.

  41. mspraktes Says:

    just was wanting to know how fast I should be swimming a mile? I speed or time in the pool more important.

  42. Lauren McDowell Says:

    I have been swimming all my life, and I love it as an excercise. I competed from 6-17, and it became second nature for me. So for me, in general, running is alot more difficult than swimming. Nevertheless, doing 8 laps of butterfly will still kick my ass, no matter how hard I have been training. It is pointless to say that one type of excercise is better than the other, because you get out of it what you put into it, the end.

  43. Mark Perry Says:

    I swim 2.5 hours a day. 2.0 hours of scissor or dolphin kicks on the board and 30 min of breaststroke. I have lost 75 lbs. over 6-months of this exercise routine. The only additional activity to this is a 1.5 mile walk each way to the gym. My diet is 3800 calories a day. Math dictates that:

    1600 calories a day over normal daily caloric allowance. 12.5 lbs a month lost/ 4 lbs a week

    My only diet changes were as follows: No Pop No Fast Food Burgers or Hot Dogs No French Fries Lower Sodium intake to under 1000mg per day.

    Calories are calories are calories

    The total calories expended on a swim is directly related to your weight. If you say..300 calories for an hour..you are

    1. Misleading people.
    2. Not much idea on calorie burn for swimming.

    ANY exercise for the first hour is not attributed to weight loss..PERIOD. The glycogen in blood powers the body and the moment you stop and eat all your hard work is for naught. Once the body reaches the 55-65 minute mark the body no longer can supply energy from glycogen available in the blood. At this point Anerobic resperation breaks down fats in the body to get immediate glycogen to power the body (it is a lot more detailed than this). While your first hour is “initial deposit” every minute afterward is “interest”.

    The RATE of swimming and heart rate has next to ZERO to do with fat burn. It has everything to do with making the initial 60 minutes and then pushing your body beyond. A person that swims laps at super speeds and then stops for 30-second rests burns less calories than the swimmer that keeps going without rest..hands down..no matter the rate of their motion.

    Again, TIME of exercise not RATE of exercise for weight loss.

    If you swim for only 30-minutes and think you will lose weight….be prepared for failure.

  44. amrx4 Says:

    I entered a swimming competition at my local health club at the beginning of June. The goal was to be the first person to swim 37 hours. I’ve swam appox. 45 hours and have over 50 miles clocked. I’ve been swimming 2-4 miles each day with an average speed of 30 seconds per 75 yards. I really thought I would have lost some weight with all the swimming, but I’ve not. However I know I have gained tremendous muscle tone in my arms and abs and have lost several inches to my waist. I used to run and have to say that I agree with the argument that swimming is harder than running, although preferable to dripping sweat. I disagree with the comment abuot the ipod and have an ipod that I listen to when I swim laps and it helps me keep my speed up. I highly recommend it not only for keeping the speed up but also for breaking the monotony of counting laps.

  45. Warren Says:

    Mark I understand what you are saying but I think most do not really care if they are burning fat specifically while they swim as long as they are creating an overall calorie deficit in their day.

    The reality is that if you are just sustaining at any weight with your current caloric intake (whether that is at a healthy weight or morbidly obese) then burning more calories in a day will allow you to lose weight providing your caloric intake does not increase. Now, if your weight is ever increasing, then yes, you have to burn the extra calories that you’ve eaten in a day first before being able to create a deficit.

    If you swim for 30 minutes and it is intense calorie-burning exercise then why would you not lose weight (not dramatically but you can still create a calorie deficit)?

  46. Swimming much harder Says:

    I have done swimming and running training and swimming is by far 100 000 times harder if u come 1st in your state for running that is equavilent to coming in the bottom 5 for swimming the average swimmer trains 8 times a week And up to 12 about the first 30 to 50kids in the state do that but I know of runners that medal at nationals wrhout training at all swimmers train much harder than runners it would be easier to run with one leg than swim and swimmers get up at 4 in the morning to go and swim but the most I have ever heard of a runner training is 4to 6 this is at age group level For both talent can get u some where for running because it comes naturally to humans but swimming requires alot more hard work to be somebody

  47. Swimming much harder Says:

    Btw I have competitavely raced both

  48. Lauren Says:

    Scientifically I don’t know which is a better work out, but I detest running. However, I’ve been swimming almost my whole life; I competed for several years and did about a year of synchronized swimming, which is A LOT harder than it looks! For me, swimming far more ideal because: A. it’s fun and doesn’t feel like exercise. B. I have several previous injuries to both of my knees and ankles from biking and skiing (I’m a klutz…), so the low-impact is great. Therefore, I would take a pool over a track any day.

    These opinions aside though, the thing that made me have to post something about this topic is because I don’t understand why everyone takes Oprah’s word (or anyone she listens to) like it’s the word of God. Any exercise that is fun for you is always the best way to go because you’ll stick to it.

  49. BD Says:

    Just wondering about the chemicals in the water or the water quality in sea, lake, etc. If you are swimming quite regularly what effect will this have on your eyes. Maybe the answer it to wear goggles but I find them rather uncomfortable.

  50. tye Says:

    I would have to say that swimming is pretty tough since we are not really designed to be in the water plus we have to utilize all our body parts in the water to be efficient.

    Myself, I have done some hard core mileage all around since I use to be lots of triathlons and distance events and you just get addicted to the mileage and being hard on the body.

    These days I run to commute to work once with a 15lb – 20lb pack its a 14km/day commute but had decided a month ago to get back into swimming. And no doubt about it swimming is tough. But also did ironman and do the annual “Ride to Conquer Cancer” 220km ride through the Rockies and that is tough too. I have to say guys that participate in the Tour de France have amazing fitness and burn 12-15000 calories a day at what they do comparable to Michael Phelps.

    All in all swimming is easy on the joints but i do enjoy all 3 disciplines combined ๐Ÿ™‚

  51. Shane Says:

    i use to be a state competitive swimmer 5 years ago, now im 20 nd im getting back into it. Also i have been running with my father and to tell you the truth an intense swimming session always would be more gruelling than a running session ( since i use to run back in my swimming days ) but for me running is not as gruelling but i dnt feel like doing it. Where as with swimming i always look forward to swimming harder and faster. I have had session where i could not walk or even get out of the pool. In the end i think swimming is harder but everyone is different

  52. Kentao Says:

    I swim in my apartment house 25 meter pool most days each week. At 62 I am semi-retired, and I have a lot of free time to experiment with various swim strokes. I have come up with a solution to a particular bad habit that swimmers tend to stand up at the wall at the end of laps, since going vertical or stressing the heart against gravity is in my opinion a shock to the cardiovascular system. I suggest swimmers should turn in a horizontal plane after turning off the wall. Also if you need to rest place the back of your neck on the rim and keep your arms and legs moving freely. You can even adjust your goggles while keeping prone and body in motion. I also want to introduce an innovation that’s related to the above. I have learned to swim feet first! Yes, both on my back, and on my face. I do a lap with a conventional stroke then I push off the wall, still horizontal, and do the return lap feet ahead. Kind of like a ferry boat you see. The added benefit to keeping prone all the way is that you use your muscles in a reverse, and therefore alternate your muscle building routine. Kind of like doing chin-ups, and then doing pull-ups. One more thing about swimming is that it more than any other sport mimics the way quadrapedal mammals move, which although humans don’t have tails, has a pleasing emphasis to our body motion. By the way, dogs don’t have to learn to get around in the water, but humans do.

  53. anonymous Says:

    You guys don’t understand… Comparing swimming and running…just doesn’t work. Sure, if some random person from track comes and tries a swim workout, they’ll probably get owned. But on the other side, if a random person from the swim team goes to a track practice, they’ll probably ALSO get owned. Swimming isn’t harder because people who don’t swim can’t do it; people who don’t swim can’t do it because humans aren’t meant to swim. If we were meant to swim we would have been born with gils or flippers, but instead, we’re born with this weird skin that is SLOWER than synthetic material. So yeah, swim practices are hard, but so are track practices. Track practices may actually seem harder for me because I hate the sweat. Swimming is also easier to slack off in as taking extremely long strokes won’t hurt your joints as much as taking extremely long strides.

    Experience as varsity swimmer and varsity runner as a freshmen.

  54. laurie parisie Says:

    i totally disagree with #28’s response about listening to your ipod while running. OMG! i couldn’t run without my music. I am always looking for new songs to listen to while i run to keep me motivated to do a better workout. When a good song comes on, i run faster and harder. and when a not so good song is on, my legs are dragging. I’ve had my battery die on my ipod in the middle of a run and i had to stop.

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