Water running, have you tried it? Prior to getting tendonitis I had heard of water running but hadn’t ever tried it. Now I have not only tried it but I have perfected my water running. As soon as it becomes an competitive sport, count me in!
Initially I thought water running was just for injured running but I realized that there are a lot of benefits to water running and it isn’t just for injured runners. Who knew! It can help you maintain fitness, it’s great for cross training, it helps add mileage without impact, it can help improve running form, your heart rate stays lower while water running, and it is an option when weather isn’t cooperating.
So what do you need to start water running? All you need is access to a pool or lake and a(n) flotation belt/aqua belt. That’s it!
When you first start water running you will most likely feel awkward. It is really weird to have your head bobbing in and out of the water as you slowly move throughout the pool (don’t be surprised if people stare). There are two different classes of thinking in regards to how your body should be positioned when water running, one says you should have the same form as your have when your run on land and the other says you should have a slight tilt at the hips. I really don’t know which is right but I found for myself I was a somewhere in between the two.
Water running is much slower than running on land. Due to that, you will want to “run” for time and not distance. When you start, it is great if you can get 20-30 minutes and then slowly increasing time as you progress. I know some runners who spend 90 minutes water running. I, personally didn’t make it that long, I am pretty sure I would have died from boredom!
With that said, I suggest you find ways to entertain yourself because it is REALLY boring if you don’t! I invested in an iPod Shuffle so I could listen to music, pod casts, or audio books while water running. I did not get a water proof one though, I just put mine in my swim cap and never had an issue!
I can’t tell you how many funny looks I got at my gym when I was water running but all those looks were worth it because I don’t feel like I missed a day of running! Even though I have been cleared to run on land, my coach and I have discussed keeping the water running in my training plan since it does have so many benefits. Now, I just need to find a really good audio book!
What are your thoughts on water running? Do you think you would try it as a form of cross training?