Jump in, Get Wet: Your Guide to Indoor Swimming in RVA
If you’re not a fan of the cold weather still to come, now is the time to get into a good indoor swim routine. Swimming may not be the quickest way to burn calories, but for general fitness, respiration efficiency, and core strength, it can be your best friend. Swimming’s also super low impact, so it’s [generally] easier on the joints than running and riding, and all you need to get started is, well…a swim suit and goggles. Most pools have kickboards, pull buoys, and paddles for you to use, if you choose to use them.
Can’t swim? Learn how!
YMCA - $33-88 (depending on location and membership status) There are 176 different entries on the RVA YMCA’s registration page. Guaranteed, you’ll find something for you!
VCU - $25 for students, $50 for other faculty/staff/alum/plus ones
AmFam – Members only; cost & schedule varies per facility (Current schedule accessible on their site, but cost info., and future schedules are not present)
Don’t want to go it alone? Join up!
ACAC - Masters Swimming – Members Only – Free
YMCA - Masters Swimming – Midlothian Only (according to online schedule) – Members Only – Free
VCU – Fitness Swim Class (Fall registration is closed, but check back for Spring semester info.!), Swim Club at VCU – Anyone can join a practice; dues ($25/semester) required to attend meets
Some tips for free:
1) Breathe on both sides. Breathing every 3-5 strokes (instead of 2-4) helps prevent strain and fatigue on just one side of your neck.
2) Don’t hold your breath. If you’re not inhaling, you should be exhaling.
3) Keep some H2O poolside. Just because you’re in the water doesn’t mean you won’t sweat. You need to hydrate just as much in the water as you do on the road.
4) Count your strokes and count your laps. Don’t just swim for 20 minutes. You’ll never know if you’re improving that way. If you want to just swim laps, instead of going for a full workout, count how many laps you’re doing, so you can set new goals for improvement. Completing a length in fewer strokes means you’re getting more efficient. That’s a good thing. Mix it up: swim sometimes for distance, and other times for time.
5) Learn flip turns. Search YouTube for some demos. Stopping to turn around invites you to stop and take a break. That’s like chilling for a few seconds every block while you’re running, and you wouldn’t do that, would you? (“But water goes up my nose!”: see tip #2 above).
6) Similar advice to above: Learn the technique. Slapping your arms against the water isn’t going to get you far. You don’t have to have perfect technique (and without a full-time coach, you probably won’t), but watching videos can be a great way to get the gist of it.
7) If you see someone in the pool swimming really well, take a deep breath and sink down to watch them from under the water. You’ll be amazed at how much you can learn that way, and nobody will ever know you’re staring. (Bonus: this also works if they’re just nice to look at.)
All set? Great. Go get wet.
Tom loves triathlon training, and shares his adventures on Twitter. In his spare time, he works with coffee and watches Doctor Who.
We had a blast celebrating Rumors Boutique’s 6th Birthday at Hadad’s Lake this weekend! Arriving around 1, we managed to beat the rain and spend a few good hours eating sweet meats and drinking mixed beverages to the beats of local DJ’s and bands. Smiles were abound, as were fashionable swim suites. Take a gander [...]June 4, 2013
- Never Too Old To Jump In…, December 19, 2011
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