I signed up for a marathon late in October. I currently swim every Wednesday and I really enjoy that time. However, my marathon training schedule says to do nothing on the rest days? Will it hurt to replace one of the weekly running workouts with a swim or to swim on a rest day?
I think there is an ongoing debate about cross training for marathon runners. for the most part, the best way to get better at running is to run!
and if you're training plan says rest days are for rest and nothing else, you should probably stick to that. rest and recovery are just as important as the days you are running.
on the other hand, I have heard arguments that cross training could help your performance. swimming could be good to give you an upper body workout and give your legs a rest. but I don't think I would add a swim workout to your plan on a rest day.
if you wanted to switch out a run workout for a swim, I would suggest doing it on one of the easier run training days and not on an interval/high intensity day or a long run day.
just my humble opinion hope this helps!
Or you can also complete a low intensity swim and use a pull buoy. You'll give your legs a break and still workout your upper body. If your body is feeling beat up, then just rest.
Hope this helps.
As long as you keep your swim aerobic and you don't use any hand paddles you will be fine. Keep your distances manageable so that the swim does not create an overload on your system. Your body needs to recover from the runs and if you are overloading your system, it will hinder your recovery.
Good luck with your marathon training!
I don't see a problem with replacing one workout (not the restday!) with a swim session. Preferrably skip one of those 5milers without intervalls, the aren't too effective anyhow.
I am a sports med/pain management doc.
Using off days to cross train, alternative aerobic workouts, is helpful to maintain or improve endurance. Having a day off from running is required to help avoid injury from overuse and excessive weight bearing from running without allowing adequate recovery time. Days off are not required because of overdoing the aeorobic component, per se.
I spent the summer increasing number of workout days by swimming laps; both my swimming ability (which has historically been poor)as well as running have improved.
I'm thinking of trying a triathalon (although I don't have a bike at this time.)