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So with the winter fully set in I'm finding it hard to get good training time in. Recently i've discovered that swimming at the local pool is a cheap quick way to get a workout that isn't at the gym and isn't on the rollers (Both of which i am growing less and less keen on)
How is it going to affect my cycling?
A couple things I've noticed.
-It uses alot of the same muscles but in a very different way than cycling. (Sort of a pulling vs. pushing thing that I can't really explain)
-Using the flutterboard is a good way to isolate my legs but it's harder to keep my HR up.
-The main thing I've noticed is that it teaches you fairly quickly how to control your breathing and take full deep controlled breaths. I like that.

I guess the main thing is that with the lack of road time pretty much anything that i don't hate is a good idea at this point.
 

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I started swimming 2 weeks ago after 4 years away from the pool. Also started spinning classes about same time (I had never tried spinning before, was using a magnetic trainer at home.

I find swimming to be a good cardio and upper body workout, while cycling/spinning is good for lower body and cardio.

Have you tried spinning? Even though it's only been 2 weeks I'm pretty much addicted. Bought a HR monitor as well. I find the group atmosphere, music, motivating instructors to be a nice incentive. Plus the bikes feel more like a real bike for climbing.

BTW your HR in the water when you are swimming will be lower for the same effect than when you are training out of the water. How much lower I am not sure, but because your body temp is lower because of the water, your HR does not get as high, yet you get the same effect. I am sure you could find HR training zones in water pretty easily.
 

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BTW your HR in the water when you are swimming will be lower for the same effect than when you are training out of the water. How much lower I am not sure, but because your body temp is lower because of the water, your HR does not get as high, yet you get the same effect. I am sure you could find HR training zones in water pretty easily.
Actually, you can get your HR just as high as if you were outside of the pool (cycling for example). It's just a lot harder because of the extremely high intensity we have to be at to do that. And for most of us, myself included, it's just too hard to concentrate on keeping that intensity while maintaining our rhythm, breathing, form, etc.

Even trying to monitor your HR alone in the pool is hard enough. There's so much else going on that it's nearly impossible to hear a beep to know if you're in your target zone and everything else (if you use a watch). If you use the pulse method, by the time you stop to take your pulse, your HR has probably already dropped nearly 10-15 beats.

Probably the best way to get a good cardio workout is to do a "field test" to find out what you swim for a 100 or a 400 meter swim for example, and then develop paces and go by a specific pace based on your time from those field tests. That way you'll know which intensity you're at and how hard you should be going. :)
 

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Swimming for cycling

I've been a competitive swimmer off and on for 40 years. Some drills you can do while swimming that will be good for the bike include the following:

Butterfly kick with a kickboard - long and slow, but steady rythmic kicking, say 100-200 yards per swim, resting 30 seconds and repeating to exhaustion. Awesome for both core strength and quads.

Backstroke kick without a kickboard. Interlock your fingers and lay them out like the bow of a ship as you kick on your back. Do the same distances as above for butterfly kick. Be careful to break the surface with your feet only minimally - all the propulsion comes from underwater, not making a big splash. Keep your hips up, head back, and your back and arms straight; your biceps should be pressing on your ears. This will work your hamstrings, quads and core.

Water Polo eggbeater kicking. Find a spot in the pool deeper than your height. Tread water using alternating legs in an eggbeater pattern. Once you get the coordination down, lift your arms up out of the water so your elbows are above the waterline. Continue repeating this in sets of 60 seconds kicking and 15 seconds rest. The higher you lift your arms, the more you have to work. This will work on your anearobic threshold as you push it.
 

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my experience

i come come a school with an extremely good swimming team (kenyon college) and have ridden with some of their top swimmers, and let me add a little something i found out: swimmers make horrible cyclists.a this gives s a baseline idea of what swimming will do alone for your cycling as neither of the people rode very much although presumeably they had excellent cardiovascular fitness. as for workin the same muscles ..... swimming does not by any means work the muscles in the same fashion as cycling
 
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