Both running and swimming are aerobic exercises, but they have at least one fundamental difference - running is probably an innate activity, while swimming is an acquired skill. Of course, the improvement of running techniques can also improve one's running itself, but it depends more on one's physical fitness and power. In contrast, skills seem more important for good swimming than physical fitness and power, though they are also important.
I am rather ashamed that although I was born and brought up really near the sea, I have never learned swimming systematically, and I can only swim the breaststroke, and that in my own way. For various reasons I started swimming regularly two and a half years ago. I have been frustrated to see people who are much older and in a far less good physical shape than I swim faster than I. Nevertheless, I was even more ashamed to take a swimming lesson. This week I told myself that time had finally come to start learning freestyle (front crawl) swimming systematically.
While looking for a method appealing to me, I stumbled upon a method called Total Immersion Swimming developed by Terry Laughlin in the United States. I did not expect that this method is also taught in Israel, but to my pleasant surprise, it is even in Jerusalem! I will probably start taking a private lesson in this swimming method next month. In the meanwhile I have ordered a DVD teaching how to swim freestyle (front crawl) swimming in this method. I also found a number of YouTube clips demonstrating it (cf. my most favorite clip). I am so impressed by the elegance of this swimming style. I hope that by the end of this private lesson lasting ten weeks I will have learned at least the basics of this elegant swimming skill.
For those who are interested in Total Immersion Swimming, here is a list of its centers outside the United States (disclaimer: I have no commercial interest in this swimming method):