Swimming by Squares

By Eug, 14 January, 2023
Person swimming in Iffley Pool

Did you know that Balliol provides free swimming at Iffley for all its undergraduates? Well, now you most definitely do! Slots can easily be booked via the Oxford Sports App.

Have you ever struggled to optimise your time spent in the pool? Fear not! My revolutionary method swimming by squares is here to help! The only requirement is a rudimentary grasp of the from time to time challenging concept of a square number; then you are free to really enjoy swimming. As one avid swimmer put it,

I don't think I ever experienced true joy till trying Swimming by Squares.

, a valuable insight I think. The method is as follows;

  • You will swim 64 lengths.
  • Counting up from 1 you will sprint on every length that is a square number. So sprint on the 1st, 4th and so on.
  • Simultaneously you will count down from 64 and take a rest before every square number. So you will rest before getting in the pool, then before the 15th, this corresponds to 49 and so on...

This combination improves cardiovascular health by increasing the function of the heart and blood vessels. Just two weeks improves the function of the endothelial cells, which line the blood vessels, and led to a decrease in blood pressure.

It can also increase endurance and endurance capacity. It improves the function of mitochondria, the cellular powerhouses that produce energy, in the muscles of sedentary adults. This leads to an increase in endurance capacity, as well as an increase in the number of capillaries, the small blood vessels that deliver oxygen to the muscles.

Finally use this eloquent limerick to memorise the method before you go swimming next,

Swim 64 lengths, with a square in mind,

Sprint up from one, you'll be feeling spry,

Count down from sixty-four,

Take a rest before,

The square numbers, that you'll come across, don't tire!"