Forum home Road cycling forum Training, fitness and health

Can swimming laps be considered interval training?

crispybug2crispybug2 Posts: 2,938
Might be a bit of a dumb question!

I'm spending Saturday mornings at my local swimming pool for my daughter's swim club, so rather than sitting in the gallery studying Facebook and this forum I thought I'd have a bit of a swim.
I'll explain that I'm a terrible swimmer and I can just about manage a lap at a time, at which point my heart feels like it's trying to jump out my mouth, so I wait a minute or two and then go again. Now I'm only going to the pool once a week so I'm not going to improve much, but this technique seems to be like interval training to me so should I consider as such?

Posts

  • hdowhdow Posts: 146
    OK for overall fitness but no cycling crossover whatsoever. Sorry
  • imposter2.0imposter2.0 Posts: 11,003
    Take your bike next time and go for a ride instead...
  • it will improve your cardio which is predominately what cycling is so it will help and he better than the alternative of sitting about doing nothing, I guess it is only an hour? so your unlikely to get much of a ride in if you were to do that as suggested?
  • NeXXusNeXXus Posts: 854
    it will improve your cardio which is predominately what cycling is so it will help and he better than the alternative of sitting about doing nothing, I guess it is only an hour? so your unlikely to get much of a ride in if you were to do that as suggested?
    It'll help you get better at swimming. There is a reason why duatletes and triathletes train in 2 or 3 sports.
    And the people bowed and prayed, to the neon god they made.
  • imposter2.0imposter2.0 Posts: 11,003
    it will improve your cardio which is predominately what cycling is so it will help and he better than the alternative of sitting about doing nothing, I guess it is only an hour? so your unlikely to get much of a ride in if you were to do that as suggested?

    If the objective is 'interval training' - like he asked - then an hour is more than plenty.
  • AK_jnrAK_jnr Posts: 717
    When the nrs wanted us to go swimming I would do a few sets of Tabata to see what its like in the pool instead. Used it as a fat burner rather than cycling performance.
  • I don't know about swimming being interval training, but it certainly is a great form of cross training for cyclists. I started swimming many years ago because I was tired of having super strong legs and no upper body. I now feel that I now have a more "balanced" physique because I've developed the upper body strength necessary to swim.

    The reason you're nearly going into cardiac arrest when you swim is that swimming is mostly an upper body work-out. You're legs are big, powerful muscles that aren't very efficient at moving you through water, but you're probably depending on them at the moment because you think you need to. Focus on using your upper body to pull you through the water as smoothly as possible. Hydrodynamics is to swimming as aerodynamics is to biking... only water is much more dense than air, so if you're not "hydrodynamic", you're going to suffer even more.

    Anyway, don't give-up on swimming. Once your body gets a little stronger and you get a little more confident in the water, I think you'll enjoy it.
  • diydiy Posts: 6,680
    try to rest/pause for half of the time between laps and it might be..
    but the problem with being a bad swimmer (and I was one until I got lessons) is the heart pounding is often more to do with poor breathing technique than elevated HR due to exercise.

    There are some good self studies on youtube to help with technique.
  • supermurph09supermurph09 Posts: 2,471
    Can I get a bit preachy here...

    There are 148 hours in a week, that's enough to fit in all the training you need. Spend the hour watching your daughter swim and enjoy the time off.
  • buckmulliganbuckmulligan Posts: 1,031
    I think almost all cyclists could do with some cross training, ask any triathlete and they'll tell you that swimming is great for your core strength. If you have a strong core, you're going to have a much more stable position on the bike, especially under high intensity efforts, which ultimately means greater pedaling efficiency, decreased risk of injury and possibly greater comfort over longer rides.

    I wouldn't consider it interval training as such; it might feel as though your RPE is through the roof, but if you've ever worn a swimming compatible HR monitor, you'll realise that your HR when swimming is nowhere near your HR for cycling or running at a given RPE. It probably feels like you're working harder because you're working relatively untrained muscles (i.e. the upper body and core) and you're breathing is being severely restricted by the water.

    I'd definitely keep at it though, as others have said, it's much better than sitting around and it'll have a number of background benefits to your cycling.
  • DeVlaeminckDeVlaeminck Posts: 6,027
    Can I get a bit preachy here...

    There are 148 hours in a week, that's enough to fit in all the training you need. Spend the hour watching your daughter swim and enjoy the time off.

    I kind of agree we shouldn't get obsessive about training but why not use it to learn to swim ? That's what I did when my daughter went from the half hour to full hour lessons. Unfortunately she packed in not long after so I only got up to 5 lengths of a 25 metre pool - alternatively is there a gym at the pool as an hour is enough to do some strengthening and stretching.
    AFC Mercia women - sign for us
  • briantrumpetbriantrumpet Posts: 4,976
    I swim partly because I just like it, partly because it's a passable upper-body session, partly because it means I can eat a bit more without getting fat, partly because it probably helps with heart & lungs, and partly because it means I get a break and a shower in the middle of the day, and counting the laps takes my mind off other stuff. I can leave my place of work, cycle there, do 32 lengths, have a shower, and cycle back in 50 minutes. And with a season ticket it costs me less than £1 a swim.
  • stu-bimstu-bim Posts: 406
    Raleigh RX 2.0
    Diamondback Outlook
    Planet X Pro Carbon
  • lesfirthlesfirth Posts: 1,075
    I do not know what stage your kids are at .I taught my two from a very early age. I thought I could swim ok but I had never had any tuition. When they were about 6 I took them to a swimming club and had proper lessons.Not only did they learn to swim properly, I listened and watched and found out what was wrong with my swimming.I improved immensely. I do the odd triathlon and the swim is my stronger bit.

    My kids learned to swim properly at the club but when they got to a certain standard the club wanted a commitment to do 5 sessions a week or clear off! They had lots of other interests 5 sessions was not possible and that was the end of the swimming club.
  • FatTedFatTed Posts: 1,214
    I'm with SuperMurph, not that it's an answer to your question.
  • bobmcstuffbobmcstuff Posts: 8,839
    Supermurph clearly has a point in that it would be better for your cycling to fit more cycling in at other times and spend that hour relaxing, but I don't see there's any harm in doing an hour of swimming a week if you want to. I know some pros do a bit of swimming on the side, albeit in the off-season.

    As mentioned it's good for your core and it's a bit of a change, so why not?
Sign In or Register to comment.