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1767 Views 5 Replies Latest reply: Dec 5, 2011 1:59 PM by runtolivetorun
C-Rock Pro 70 posts since
Aug 24, 2007
Currently Being Moderated

Aug 26, 2011 8:36 PM

Is swimming a good alternative to running in the summer heat?

I'm a firm believer that if you want your running to progress, there is no substitute for running.  I'm in Florida.  The summer heat is killing me.  I don't know why but I feel as though I don't have the tolerance I have in years past.  My training has been going awful.  Track workouts are miserably slow.  The 5-6 mile token weekday runs are hard to finish at times.  I'm considering, for the first time ever, some cross-training.  My question is, if I start hitting the pool almost exclusively throughout the summer, will there be more or less of a benefit to my running than if I had just continued to tough it out on the roads?

  • lenzlaw Community Moderator 10,539 posts since
    Jan 18, 2008

    I think the problem is that swimming is not a weght bearing activity.  So over time your body's adaptations to the stresses of running on joints, tendons, ligaments, etc. will be lost.  Mixing the two - getting in a couple runs a week - can help reduce or prevent that loss.




  • rhonda rhonda Amateur 10 posts since
    Sep 14, 2011

    Out of curiosity, when do you typically run?


    I'm a canadian currently in florida, and I have been running through the summer. My runs typically end at sunrise; there's no WAY this cool-weather gal would be able to go out in the afternoon. Just walking to the car after work is deadly.

  • Dobrobuck Pro 151 posts since
    Apr 17, 2011

    Cross training is always important! Swimming is a good low impact way to train and use mucsles you dont use running. I run in the IL heat which may not be as brutal as FL or Tex but 95 degrees with 90 percent humidity is still rough for running. I prefer to bike ride for my cross training as well as weight lifting to maintain muscle strength. The bike really works my legs in a low impact way and I get a little breeze from the speed even when its hot. Most of my strength training is done before a race or in the winter when its cold outside. I should probably strength train more but tend to run alot more when its warmer. There's only so many hours in the day for me and running is my favorite. Running in the heat is hard for everyone. If you remain in FL you'll adapt to the heat, if not then just take it for what it is. Its hard running in the heat. Good running!!

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  • runtolivetorun Rookie 2 posts since
    Dec 5, 2011

    I have also had a similar problem lately.  I live in Pennsylvania, but I have been working in Puerto Rico and I have found that my performance is worse in the heat than when I am back home.  I have found that wearing compression clothing helps me from overheating longer than anything else.  I also run in the last 40 minutes of light because it is a little cooler.  Carrying extra water and dumping some on your head from time to time helps too.


    I have read quite a bit about the benefits of cross training and have read that it can even improve your running.  With that being said, I have also read that you must still run from time to time to not lose your running legs and performance.  If you don't want to exclusively swim, running in the pool can help with your regular running because of the increased water resistance.

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