Just Keep Swimming, Swimming, Swimming

I recently sprained my ankle running trails, so I’ve had to take a month hiatus from most cardio workouts…especially running. For the first week, it was a great excuse to read all three Hunger Game books, but after I burned through those the novelty was gone.

Not being able to run has only made me want to run even more (funny how that happens).  It doesn’t help that with the arrival of spring, the weather has been beautiful. Running has been such an integral part of my life. It’s helped me set goals, burn off steam, and  stay in shape. Without it I feel pretty darn lazy.

After sitting on the sidelines of one recent race (read here) I am now even more determined to get back into my fighting shape.

I’ve already signed up for two races, the Mayou Angelou 5K  (in April)  and Rebel Race 5K (in July). My friends caught me in a weak moment, and I even agreed to run the Tough Mudder (10-I-want-shoot-myself-miles) in September.  I know, really smart to sign up for races when I can’t currently run…

fat ankle

So no running? What to do? Well, when my foot and ankle look like this after just standing on it for a couple hours…my options are pretty limited.

I tried the stationary bike twice, but when I looked down at the meter and realized I burned 40 calories in an hour (exaggerating)… the bike just wasn’t cutting it.

I’ve been meaning pick up swimming again, mainly for the men in speedos,  so this was the perfect reason to hit the pool.

mean in speedos

Washington and Lee Pool is only a 5 minute drive from my place, but for some reason convincing myself to lap swim again makes it seem 200 miles away. Guess spraining my ankle is what it takes…

Waking up at 5:50 a.m., squeezing into my speedo (damn those suits are tighter than I remember) and walking into chlorine filtered air sure did bring back a lot of memories. The first swim was pretty rough for me. No cardio in a month = I’m reallly out of shape.  I’m winded after walking up the stairs to my apartment, unlike my swimming partner, who played water polo for Michigan, and is a lean, mean swimming machine. I was dying.

My ankle did hurt but the next day I noticed I could move it around more, so now I’m hooked. I even bought a 20 swim, swimming pass. It’s funny how easy it is to convince myself after that first initial swim.  The amount of calories you burn doesn’t hurt either…

I found this chart online. This website  gives an estimate for calories burned per hour for many cardio workouts.

Calories Burned per Hour 130 lbs 155 lbs

180 lbs

205 lbs

Backstroke 413 493 572



590 704 817 931
Butterfly 649 774 899 1024
Freestyle, fast 590 704 817 931
Freestyle, slow 413 493 572 651

My swimming partner recommended this website for workouts and we actually tried our first “legit” work out for ol’ timers (aka masters) like me . I still died but I’m glad to be back in the water.

Here’s our first work out:

600 warm up (200 swim/100 kick, repeat)
4×50 w/:15 rest (kick/swim, drill/swim, swim/build by 25)
3×150 swim w/:20 rest (descend 1-3)
4×50 w/:15 rest (non-free/free by 25)
4×50 @ 1:10 (Tarzan drill/swim by 25)
3×150 swim w/:30 rest (NO Walls!)
200 cool down
*2300 Total*


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