Can you swim in running shorts? This handy guide answers this question once and for all.
Can You Use Running Shorts For Swimming?
There's a lot of hype about compression shorts, especially when it comes to what they can do and the level of performance that they provide. However, what you really want to know when buying them, is just how versatile they are. Can you use them for swimming, perhaps?
While most runners rely on wetsuits, it is possible to swim in running shorts, also known as compression shorts, should the occasion call for it. In fact, experienced runners consider it a good idea to swim in running shorts if you're doing so in a pool as opposed to open water. It's much more comfortable. It's also good practice if you're training for a triathlon.
If you're a conscious consumer who wants to keep your workout gear minimal, then you want something versatile that you can wear when performing different kinds of exercise. This question is also quite common with beginner swimmers who don't yet have a collection of wetsuits and other swimming gear.
The good news is that running shorts are perfect for swimming, especially if you're swimming in a pool. They don't provide the same buoyancy as a wetsuit, especially in open water conditions, but they do offer a level of compression that can optimize your performance.
You see, running shorts provide a gradient of compression from the lower extremities up, which means they're tighter at the bottom than at the top. This means that the shorts force blood flow back up to the heart while introducing healthy, oxygen-rich blood to the lower body, thus increasing circulation to the lower body so that you can recover quicker.
Not only that, but a wetsuit can feel super restrictive around the neck, especially if you're not used to it. So, swimming in running shorts that you're accustomed to just feels more comfortable and fitting.
What's more, running shorts can help to keep your temperature levels down as opposed to when you're wearing a wet suit. This can come in handy when taking part in a triathlon, for example, where you have to go from wet to dry in an instant without compromising your performance. Finally, running shorts tend to dry quicker than regular shorts so they're hand to use if you find yourself at the beach or pool and don't have a bag of swimming clothes to hand.