Be the best and swim
Mark Foster is swimming royalty. An eight-time world champion, he remains convinced of the benefits swimming can have for any sport. With Speedo’s link up with Porte and himself, they now have an online tool in the Speedo Swim Coach that can help athletes of all abilities and ages complement their sport in the impact-free environment of water.
“The online setup allows you to tailor the workouts to your needs, whether that be for cycling, running, or even yoga,” says Foster, “but most importantly, as we get older we’re not aware of how much strain and wear and tear our bodies are put under with training, and fundamentally swimming can help with that.”
Foster is referring to the highimpact nature of running and other land-contact sports. Even cycling can’t escape his critique, because of the unnatural position cyclists are forced to sit in for prolonged periods, especially when training in an aggressive time-trial position.
“Swimming is just about the only sport where you’re weightless, and every movement is a stretch – which can help with mobility, range of motion, flexibility and so on. I’d also add that none of the injuries I suffered with as an athlete happened in the pool – they all happened in the gym. It just goes to show that swimming itself isn’t necessarily injury-causing.
“I do think it’s about moderation, especially when you’re not at the pinnacle of your sport. That said, even high performers need moderation, and that’ll help you to avoid getting injuries, but also with recovery too.”