i read this in a magazine yesterday. of course i know that swimming is better for your joints as it supports your body weight etc. and i am getting little aches and niggles since i started running. so should i be swimming instead?



  • KhanivoreKhanivore ✭✭✭

    I would imagine this depends on why you are running. 

  • i'm running cos i enjoy the challenge. and the run itself once i've got going. i like swimming butcan only swim on my back, so that makes a lot of swimming .difficult. and i have long hair, which i just couldnt wash three times a week, but is running just too bad for your joints?

  • KhanivoreKhanivore ✭✭✭

    You can learn to swim on your front via lessons and wouldn't a swimming hat save you from having to wash your hair? When I take my daughters swimming their hair is bone dry afterwards when I take the hat off.

    I will let someone else who knows what they are talking about comment on the joint effects.

  • I have long hair, I swim and run

    Not sure what the point is here  image

  • I have short hair and I swim and run.

    Shoulders are a bastard to fix if you hurt them swimming image

  • mathschickmathschick ✭✭✭

    just because one physio in a mag says he has never treated a swimmer doesn't mean swimmers don't get injuries. I would think there is a lot of potential for shoulder problems.

  • That physio should speak to my physio then, she's treating me for shoulder problems caused by swimming.

    Mind you she's also treating me for knee problems I'm having from running! image

  • Choice between swimming and running will depend in part on what your objective is. I tend to lose mor weight if running than through swimming. I tend to run at higher heart rates than swimmimg so it is a different CV workout. Also many swimmers I see in the pool are barely moving - I wonder if they really are getting much cv benefit. It is easier to  go very slow in a swim.

    As noted shoulder injuries can happen for swimmers. Also strokes like breaststroke are very hard on leg joints  -so could aggravate a problem.

    I have heard that running is good from an OA prevention point of view - dont know how true that is though.

  • KhanivoreKhanivore ✭✭✭

    I would imagine that a good mix of running, swimming, cycling and gym activities would be the best way to lose weight, get fitter, and avoid injuries associated with doing the same thing too frequently...

  • Didnt one of the original pirates injure himself swimming ? Rotator cuff or something ? Dangerous Dave was it ? 

    I agree theres less risk from swimming - as theres no impact - but I struggle to burn many calories swimming - I just have one survival pace. With running its much easier to get a good workout.


  • Maybe drop a couple of runs to swim instead and see how you manage.

    Aches and niggles are quite typical with running when you start out, just make sure you can tell the difference between a little fatigue and soreness to an injury waiting to happen.

    Everything in moderation I suppose.

    I wouldn't switch completely to swimming just because one magazine article says it's better for your joints. You do it because you want to and enjoy it.

  • Your physio may not have ever treated a swimmer but I bet a life guard has never had to drag a runner out of the waterimage

  • I do swims to stop me running all the time. I feel my body benefits from a bit of lying down exercise.


    image sounds good doesn't it image

  • mathschickmathschick ✭✭✭
    Ultra AJH wrote (see)

    I do swims to stop me running all the time. I feel my body benefits from a bit of lying down exercise.


    image sounds good doesn't it image

    certainly does! Actually, I think a bit of swimming after a hard run session helps stop my legs aching too much afterwards

  • yep, swimming definitely helps recovery, i think. but apart from that, it's deeply, deeply,deeply boring...

  • For me, there are two problems with swimming:

    A) The motivation factor - with running, all I have to do is put on my gear and go - with swimming, I'd have to drag to the local leisure centre.

    B) I can't bloomin' swim! image

  • On the other hand runners hardly ever drown.

  • Personally I think that if you swim at the same intensity, for the same duration, and the same number of times per week as you currently run, you will get just as many aches and pains, just in different locations.

    Another popular myth - its impossible to hurt yourself doing yoga.

  • LOL to quote a friend of mine who is a competitive masters swimmer:

    "I got Dr X to do my knee op, he's got a good reputation and has done a lot of the others..." (i.e. other swimmers).


  • thanks for all the messages. very helpful.

  • when I had a swimming lesson one thing she stressed was potential injury to shoulders, shoulders are very vulnerable in swimmers. she said it was important to warm up and loosen up the shoulders before a swim

    needless to say I dont image

  • Would swimming cause less injuries and aches and pains?  Yeah I'd imagine so. 

    But would I be willing to substitute the sounds of early morning bird song for the sounds of the awful music they play on repeat in the pool? 

    Would I be willing to substitute the feel of those first few cooling drops of rain on my face for some badly behaved kid splashing me in the face?

    Would I be willing to substitute the bargain price of £0 for a run for the price of £5:20 for a swim?

    Would I be willing to substitute the breath taking scenery, the challenging hills and the fun of splashing about in the mud for endlessly repeating the same old 25/50metres in the boring concrete building, back and forth, back and forth?

    Hell no image.

    Don't get me wrong, I enjoy the occasional swim and I'm sure it has many benefits but I could never swap running for swimming entirely.  Never.

  • Hog-mouseHog-mouse ✭✭✭

    I love swimming and would rather swim than run. I just happen to be pants at swimming and reasonable at running.

    I'm a member of a swim club and pay £15 a month for 2 swims a week which are coached. I get pointers on technique and help with pacing. So I'm happy.

    As for injury - of course you can injure yourself swimming. Breaststroke is notorious for it - neck, back, hip, knee, shoulder. Plenty of swimmers who have given up on breaststroke due to injury.

    I was told never to warm up with breaststroke as you are more likely to get injured this way.

    I swim in a pool without tinny music, without kids and it costs £3.30 per swim outside of club time.

    My favourite stroke is fly. If you want to injure yourself get your fly wrong.

    When I run I don't notice what is going on around me. I don't notice the scenery or the noises. I'm totally switched off to everything apart from the running and the ground under my feet.



  • trying to teach myself fly at the moment, watch this space for injuries image


  • Swimming isn't without injury, but yeah maybe I imagine it's a little "safer" than running. It'd be a good activity to do between running days (or on a rest day). As for the not washing your hair issue, I find it weird when I don't after running.... sweaty and greasy hair here.


    My main issue with swimming is that when I was doing it regularly, I developed broad MAN-SHOULDERS. image If I didn't, I'd love to do it a lot.


    Kryten wrote (see)

    Another popular myth - its impossible to hurt yourself doing yoga.

    I read a long article about this recently... it's very true it's easy to get hurt doing yoga. But I think in classes instructors should be teaching you ways to prevent those injuries. Independently you need to listen to your body and not ridiculously push it. image



  • CindersCinders ✭✭✭

    +1 for not warming up with breastroke.

    I'm also a fly fan, that was my stroke when competing image

    Also never found long hair a pain when swimming/lifeguarding but did struggle to loose the constant pong of chlorine!

  • RicFRicF ✭✭✭
    Kryten wrote (see)

    On the other hand runners hardly ever drown.

    Nearly did this morning.image

  • RicFRicF ✭✭✭

    Breast-stroke and injury, I've been there. Just before my first race I decided to avoid aches and pains by doing a spot of swimming. However, after breast-stroking around I found I had developed groin strains so bad that I had to lift my legs into the car by hand for the next three days.

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