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Running Can Be Fun

“You got to do what you can, and let Mother Nature do the rest.”

Meat Loaf

At some time in our careers, water running, or aqua jogging,
will be recommended as a method of cross training injured athletes. Others find
it an ideal form of non-impact aerobic training. Basically, you
“run” in water that’s deeper than your limb length. This can extend from the
diving well up in to the lanes, with a flotation vest or belt to increase
buoyancy…so you don’t drown. Although most run the length of the available
area, others attach themselves, say to the ladder, and run in place. Running
with a partner provides easy conversation, or, a water proof source of music
may be of benefit. One attempts to mimic one’s form as closely as
possible to that used on land.

Mimicking run duration and intensity is also important. For
example, if you’re scheduled for 45 minutes of steady running, do 45 minutes in
the water. As you’d imagine, heart rates will be lower but many find that they
can come within about 10-15 beats/minute of their land running HR. It’s possible
to run intervals repeating levels of intensity done on land.

Athletes have shown that not only can they maintain their level of
fitness, but with dedication can actually improve. This comes into play
when one begins to return to the road. Initially, shorter workouts can
be supplemented with time in the water keeping the workout time “whole.”

Again, it’s a priority to duplicate your form on land, arm swing, head
position, elbow engagement, etc. If your pool has both vests and belts,
you may find one or the other allows you to more easily maintain this action.
Your hip flexion will likely increase in the pool giving you an artificially
lengthened “stride.”

Like many, I am currently water running at the end of my swim workout. And,
watching the others in my swim group continue to turn out the yards is all
the distraction I need to stay focused. And, I can still joke with the
lifeguards while I’m running!”