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  • Writer's pictureAnnaka Hogelin

Just keep swimming...

When I trained for my last race, the BolderBOULDER in May 2018, I was ecstatic: I beat my race goal and ran my first 10K. But in the process I ended up pushing myself a bit too hard and decided to take things easy after the race.

My next half marathon is on the docket for February and I'm back to training. I've got my training plan, my training partner, and am doing my best to prepare for this next race. But I don't want to push myself too hard this time. So I am taking the oft given advice and adding cross training into my routine: swimming!

I've been enjoying regular treks to the local YMCA to put in some laps. I would highly recommend it (or another form of cross training) to everyone.

I first fell in love with swimming after I suffered bilateral tibial stress fractures training for a marathon in 2011. I wanted to stay fit, so I started swimming. And, within a year, I completed a sprint triathlon.

I love swimming because it's HARD. Perhaps the biggest challenge is efficiency. One of the best tricks for increasing efficiency is to count your strokes. How may strokes does it take you to get across the pool? I enjoy counting my strokes and analyzing my form to see how I can become more efficient -- to get that number as low as possible.

It's a skill that I get to develop and I can see tangible results from my efforts. That makes it rewarding. I've heard that in swimming only five percent of your energy goes toward forward motion. Which is another fact that keeps me motivated to count my strokes.

Overall, it's a great no-impact, whole body cardiovascular workout. So perhaps Dory said it best, "Just keep swimming!"

What is your go to cross training activity?

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