Swimming and athletics are the two most classic Olympic sports. In some ways the sports are similar, displaying different types of movement in their purest form. But in other ways they are complete opposites. For example a key component of sprinting is how the body navigates gravity and contact with the ground. Both of those play little role in swimming. As a result, the sports do not influence each other very much when it comes to physical preparation. That’s a shame, as there is a thing or two that runners could benefit from by jumping in the water.