I know if I want to get better at swimming I need to get out a kickboard once in a while, but it took a running book to actually make me do it.
And my motivation had less to do with improving my kick than with increasing my ankle flexibility for yoga and trail running. Don‘t you just love when one workout pays dividends in multiple sports?
Most runners who swim hate kick sets because they have tight, inflexible ankles, according to Run Less, Run Faster, the book I’ve been using for my marathon training.
But kick sets “help improve your ankle and lower leg flexibility,” which helps benefit running as well as swimming, say authors Bill Pierce, Scott Murr and Ray Moss, who are all involved with the Furman Institute of Running and Scientific Training.
Kicking with flippers on not only gets me down the pool a zillion times faster, but forces my feet and ankles out of their usual right-angle relationship into role-player mode. It’s a bit uncomfortable for them to stretch their boundaries like that, but it’s also kind of new and exciting. I swear I can almost feel those muscles and tendons awakening to new possibilities.