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Discussion Starter #1
I'm very out of shape at the moment and I just started to enjoy swimming.. was wondering if anyone had good experience with swimming to get in shape for soccer.. doesn't really do much for your acceleration for instance, does it?
 

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But it does, especially if you are out of shape. Swimming will give you a strong aerobic base, which is the base for everyting. Once you have that, then all the speed work can start.

I swim long and often and highly recommended for all sports.
 

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I think a good base is to be able to swim 1000 yards continuosly which is 40 laps of a 25 yard (meter) pool. Once you have that, a good strong workout should be 2000 yards.

In an endurance workout I ussually do;
400 yards warm up
1600 yards at a good comfortable pace
200 to 400 warm down.

Speed workouts are varied.
 

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Swimming is also great for people who have injuries they do not want to stress from running. Running/Jogging in a shallow pool and swimming in general helps in rehabiltation and conditioning.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Well I've started out doing 2km and I'm quite comfortable with that, been swimming everyday the past few days. But I got a muscle cramp (in both my legs!!) yesterday so I'm gonna have to take a little break to prevent a recurring problem. Any tips on that, by chance?
 

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Alot of Streches when you wake up, when you sleep and obviously before/after exercise and drink plenty of liquids through out the day to keep your body hydrated, BTW When you finish exercise its good to take in carbs within a hour or so(Like a packet of crisps or power drink), Your muscles will store the energy quicker after exercise.
 

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I agree with Faisal, almost all muscle cramps occur from some type of dehydration. I take a water bottle and keep it by the end of the pool and drink right after I finished.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
So how long should I keep this going? How many km if you will? Or to make it simpler, how long would it take you to get in shape if you were feeling out of it?
 

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Really it depends on what you want and how hard you train.
You should time yourself and try to break your personal best. That way you will have a target to help your motivation.

If I was you I would keep on going for life, When you feel you are fit then mantain that by exercising 4/3 times a week.

Staying fit isn't that hard, Its getting fit thats the hard work.
 

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I just returned from a symposium on training for power and speed, and there was also debate on warmup and when to stretch. The old thought was to do static stretching (stretch and hold for a certain time) before doing the sport/exercise but this has been shown to decrease nerve activity, which is what we do not want just before exercise. Instead do this sort of stretching AFTER the workout, and always warmup before you do this sort of stretching if you want to stretch at other times.

So before a workout, do a dynamic warmup, where you do controlled movements that will be used in the workout...sort of a very slow progression to the exercise. For swimming this can be simply a very easy swimming pace.

Swimming is great for overall training. However, move to more running as we dont play football in a pool. Training must be as similar to the sport as possible to be most effective
 

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Swimming is absolutely brilliant training. Because when you do it, you're working on every single muscle in your body, so through it you do get a lot more in shape. :)
 

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Good posts. I have always learned that in order to strecth the body has to be warm, so I raise my heart rate a bit for about 15 minutes and then I start any stretching excersises.

polaris said:
Swimming is great for overall training. However, move to more running as we dont play football in a pool. Training must be as similar to the sport as possible to be most effective
Excellent point but a little more clarification.

The aerobic endurance training can be achieved with any sport. Swimming is as good as any, running, cycling etc. But the conditioning of the muscles (the ability to take on the "pounding") must be as close as possible to the sport for which one is training. Thus the running must be incorporated if football is the goal.

I play football but also run triathlons, so for me, cross training is natural. In the spring and fall my endurance is mostly from cycling (just because it is my favorite sport) and in the winter, it is swimming. In the summer, I race.

For football, the cross-training of the triathlons is plenty to stay in shape.
 

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Yeah I forgot that he mention football, I just stuck to the swimming part.


Oh and yes I also jog lightly and warm myself up before doing proper streches. I meant before the intense exercises and not the warming up, Sorry about that.
 

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as a swimmer this is my advice

start of with a warm up that is a simple 200-400 depending on how in shape u are

then do about 10 100's at 1 minute 30 seconds...so if u do one before time is up u can rest

once you are done with that do a rolling swim at a nice pace
100
200
300
400
500
400
300
200
100

that should take you about 30-45 minutes...depending on the shape u are in...if u dont have time u can make it
100
200
300
400
300
200
100

and then if u can do another set of 5 100's this time give yourself 2 minutes as u will be dead...

then a simple 200-400 cooldown and you are done....

guaranteed to make u sore tomorrow
 

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Discussion Starter #17
I might try that, Lav, thanks!

A question thou.. what do you do when you're tired? Like I said I get cramps sometimes and drinking water helps but I still feel them coming and I have to relax the muscles for a bit. After swimming for a few days, the leg muscles are so tense that it takes several days to get back to normal. What do I do? Just power through or take at least 2 days off?
 

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Is running in the pool beneficial to your aerobic endurance at all? I ask this because I am not a good swimmer but I want to exercise without doing much running (just finished a whole season of Aussie Rules with shin splints in both legs from hard running in the pre-season).
 

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Yeah its good especially when you are trying to come back from injury and you don't want to put too much pressure on your injury with real running
 

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I am also interested in swimming as an alternative to running. I have had injured both my knees, my left ankle, and haven't played football for about 10 months because of my back. I guess it all comes from overuse.

Thing is I can swim -- I can more than hold my own in a rough surf -- but I can't really swim swim. You know like the form and all that. Is this necessary in order to get in shape by swimming?
 
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