Be the best and swim

Triathlon Plus - - Swimming -

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.”

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