The Difference Between Aerobic and Anaerobic Workouts For Swimmers

The difference between aerobic and anaerobic exercises for swimmers

Correct management of the aerobic and anaerobic groups in a swimmer’s training will affect performance. This balance includes sharpening your cardiovascular endurance and sprinting speed. For example, runners are more anaerobic oriented. On the other hand, distance swimmers rely on the benefits of aerobic groups. In analyzing these types of exercises, the primary difference between aerobic and anaerobic exercises is the intensity of the exercise.

Aerobic exercise

Swimmers increase cardiovascular conditioning by increasing the amount of oxygen in the blood. The goal is to build cardiovascular conditioning and improve muscle redox capacity. For this reason, athletes should perform sets at a moderately high intensity with minimal recovery between sets. However, because swimmers can breathe continuously and send oxygen through their bodies, aerobic exercises are classified as “less tiring.” Then, since oxygen is the main source of energy, swimmers must breathe faster and deeper when their heart rate is at rest. After that, athletes can do aerobic exercise for longer periods.

Aerobic training is essential early in the season, roughly during the first eight to 12 weeks. With this training approach, he will prepare athletes for high intensity training and competitions that arise later in the season. Meanwhile, the benefits of aerobic exercise include increasing a swimmer’s endurance and reducing fatigue during exercise. Equally important, aerobic exercises also improve a swimmer’s ability to perform more efficient strokes with less energy.

anaerobic exercise

The purpose of anaerobic exercise is to improve the muscle’s ability to reduce lactate. Lactate, also known as lactic acid, is a byproduct produced in the body after cells produce energy without oxygen around it. Moreover, during this process, the body acquires energy through glycogen. Glycogen is stored in calories that are used by the body when no oxygen is being pumped to the muscles to continue the exercise.

Anaerobic groups include short periods and high intensity. These strength training exercises also involve maximizing the swimmer’s effort. Since it is necessary to reach maximum effort within sets, anaerobic exercises can include long rest periods. Then again, due to the higher physical and mental demands on them, anaerobic groups are sometimes considered “more stressful.”

When done correctly, anaerobic exercises benefit a swimmer’s muscle strength and mass, reduce pain, and enhance joint protection.

Threshold groups

These combinations occur when the athlete carries 1,650 yards or 30 minutes (non-stop). While doing this, the swimmer must tolerate the buildup of lactate. Bottom line, the threshold set is a long exercise during which the swimmer must pass the set. For this reason, the required effort must be made between the aerobic and anaerobic regions.

Some of the benefits of doing a bound include improving a swimmer’s endurance, ability to process lactate, generation of aerobic fitness, and development of anaerobic ability to blast. Thus, swimmers will be able to perform more high-intensity repetitions. The threshold set gives the swimmer a better idea of ​​what the desired race pace feels like.


Usually, runners do not feel the need to perform aerobic sets. In the same way, long-distance swimmers may exclude anaerobic exercises. However, swimming and its training methods have also evolved. Therefore, new training stages such as thresholding appeared. It is best for coaches and swimmers to determine the correct balance between aerobic, anaerobic and threshold exercises. In addition, it is essential that every swimmer maintains direct contact with his coach to avoid fatigue, injuries and overtraining.

All comments are the opinion of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Swimming World Magazine or its employees.

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