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  • Swimming and recovery

    I am approaching the end of LP (again). I need to swim more to maintain my lifeguard certifications. I can currently pass them. At almost 63 recovery can sometimes be an issue. How will HIIT using the crawl affect my strength training? When should I swim to minimize its affect on my strength training? My long term goal is to improve my 25 meter sprint time and to get where I can complete the 800 meter swim with a craw stroke. (I can complete it now using a resting breast stroke)


  • #2
    Hi David,

    Thanks for this and I hope you're doing well.

    To answer your question a bit more information would be needed. Specifically, how much have you been swimming recently and what is your swimming background?

    In short, if you've been a long-time swimmer for many years then I wouldn't expect introducing some additional swimming into your program to have a significant effect on your training. Conversely, if you haven't been swimming much (or at all) lately and don't have a good base of swimming conditioning from previous years...then all bets are off.

    Next, I don't think it's possible to do HIIT effectively with swimming and would recommend steady state swimming. I don't know if I'd recommend explicitly trying to improve your 25m sprint or 800m swim w/ a crawl stroke unless those are the tests. You didn't mention what the tests are, but I think you should practice the tests for the time being to maintain your lifeguard certification passing ability.
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    • #3
      As to my swimming background I currently hold Aquatics Instructor BSA certification. I have been an instructor at BSA National Camping School. My mechanics are solid. I stopped swimming last fall when I started LP again. That said I hopped in the pool Tuesday and swam 800m in 30 minutes using a resting breaststroke (which is how we teach it in the Boy Scouts.) From a conditioning stand point I probably don't get much of a training effect from the resting breaststroke, elementary backstroke or sidestroke. The cardiovascular exertion is about like a brisk walk.

      The specific tests are to 1) swim 550 yards using the breaststroke or crawl followed by treading water for two minutes with hands out of the water and 2) swim 20 yards, recover a 10 pound weight and then return while holding the weight with both hands in less than 1 minutes 40 seconds. I am confident I can do both right now I just want to do them better. The rescues are more about skill and I've taught the skills off and on since the 90's.

      The barriers right now are CV conditioning and my flutter kick. In the 90's I didn't squat and it didn't take as much kick to keep my body leveled out. I may just build up my distance with the crawl and see how it goes. I train two days a week at the moment and my plan was to swim later that same day or on the next day so I would always have at least one day off between swimming and training. I do have the luxury of an indoor pool here in Heber Springs. The lake is still a little cold.