Eight ways swimming can kick-start your training season Swimming is not just for adults who swam back in the day on a high school (or possibly college) team. Now a day, swimming is for the average person who is looking for something new to find fitness in the water. I find more people getting into swimming and adding it as part of their daily workout regimen for multiple reasons. Whether you are a veteran swimmer or someone taking a swim clinic to get going with the sport, here are eight ways you can use swimming to kick-start your training in 2013. 1. Cross Train During your Run Season: Swimming is a means to get aerobic fitness and conditioning without the impact on your legs. Runners need to remember that, when things get sore from too much running, there are other methods to keep that heart rate up and steady. 2. Use It for Flexibility: There are many drills you can do in swimming that are great for flexibility work. For example: Using your fins can increase ankle flexibility by helping with the flexion with the extra surface area on the fins. 3. The Other Sport: If you have been running or doing another sport for a few years and want to mix things up, swimming can be great to try out as it opens an avenue to get competitive in a wide variety of new swimming events. 4. Resistance Training: Just like lifting weights in the gym, swimming can provide a fantastic way to add resistance training by using paddles and fins. There are also a great many gadgets that can add additional resistance by creating more drag. 5. Breath Control: Keeping your face under water most of the time automatically helps with expanding your lungs. You can use different stroke count to work your breathing. 6. Rehab or Therapy: Many doctors prescribe swimming to enhance range of motion. Using the weightlessness of water can provide a safe atmosphere for someone with weaker muscles to gradually build strength back. 7. Triathlon Training: Training for triathlons is very time-consuming and it can be tough to make sure that you spend time on your swimming. The water portion of every triathlon is the beginning of the entire race. Keep up with your swim training year round so that you don’t start the triathlon “uphill.” 8. Have Fun: While it can take a little time to learn something new, trying can be challenging and rewarding; you can have a lot of fun taking swim classes or a swim clinic. Challenge yourself with a new, great way to stay fit. Don’t wait unit the sun comes out this spring to get going with your training this year. Get out and swim by yourself or try taking a class to learn how to swim more efficiently. Swimming more efficiently will allow you to get longer workouts and get more out of the sport. I hope that you are able to use swimming as a source for fitness this year.