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swimming and intensity

When I run, I can get my heart rate in the 85% range. Swimming barely cracks the 65% mark. And yet people tell me swimming is such a great total body cardio workout.

So is swimmimg faster my only means of upping the cardio? I already swim 2k in about 42 min- that's *I think* 50m every 1m10s. I did 700m in 12m53s, and that was more intense, but I think that still only got me to about 75% of target range.

Any swimmers with advice?
(And I don't need caution about my target zone, I worked out for months at 70% with NO results, upped it to 80-85% and got results.)

Sun. Jul 9, 6:54pm

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You say total body cardio workout - technically a cardio workout works your heart, right?
I think when people say that swimming is a total body workout, they mean the muscles that are used to swim involve your whole body.
I know that some people swim with weights on their arms and legs to up their strength training and muscle strength in the water. You could also try water running rather than swimming to get that heart rate up in the water.
Good luck with whatever exercise you are doing! :)

Sunday, July 09, 2006, 7:28 PM

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to increase muscle workouts in the water use hand paddles and fins. they give you more resistance and teach you how to get an efficient stroke.

as for getting your heart rate up - are you a distance athlete? i am. sometimes i get into a bad habit of finding a nice steady pace and sticking with it. i can't get my heart rate up doing that, so i have to remember to modify it. i don't know how you lap swim - if you just do one long distance or if you do sets of shorter distances. but try mixing things up - like do a length / lap at 100%, followed by a recovery lap. or do a "build-up" where you start at a medium pace and then build up to 100% by the time you reach the other end of the pool.

Sunday, July 09, 2006, 7:57 PM

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You may also have a higher max heart rate than the standard calculation gives you. In that case you could use Rate of Perceived Exertion (RPE) instead, or in addition to, your heart rate.

See the link for more info


Monday, July 10, 2006, 9:50 AM

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drills drills drills

Continuously swimming laps will have you moving slower than you realize- esp. because boredom may become a factor. Use the kickboard- do flutter kick sprints. Turn sideways and do side-kick sprints(no arms). Not only do these up your heart rate they engage your whole torso. Break up the drills with freestyle (front crawl) sprints, full out! Do this for at least 30-45 mins. Can you do other strokes? Butterfly is great for cardio AND TB workouts. Swimmers have great cardio endurance. You may just want to get a trainer short term to give you an effective workout.

Monday, July 10, 2006, 1:32 PM

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