Deep water running can help you recover from and avoid injuries
Runners everywhere are discovering deep water running as being one of the best options for cross-training. Basically, it is running in deep water, suspended by a floatation device such as a vest or belt. You can achieve the same workout in less time and with less impact than running. Water running uses the same muscles as regular running, but it is much kinder to your body.
Water running offers a more intense workout as the water density provides resistance everywhere. Athletes are choosing to run in water when they are injured, when they want to enhance their training, when they want to work on their form, and when the weather is not suitable for an outdoor workout.
Studies show that athletes who trained by running in deep water as opposed to running on land did not lose their fitness. It is an effective method for runners to stay fit when they cannot run on hard surfaces.
Benefits of Deep Water Running
There are numerous benefits to pool running. Here are some of the reasons why you should consider adding deep water running to your training plan:
Increases muscle endurance due to increased resistance in all directions
Helps you recover from injuries while continuing to train
Improves running form
Stress-free, non-impact workout
Provides strength training in both arms and legs
Helps beginners ease into land running
Provides cross-training that most closely resembles land running
Provides a great cardiovascular workout
How to run in deep water
To run in deep water you will need a floatation device to keep you suspended in the water. Your feet should not touch the bottom. Warm up first by swimming for a few minutes. Then start in the shallow end and gradually move into deeper water until your feet can no longer touch the bottom.
When you are suspended in deep water, use your normal running form and start running. Keep your shoulders back and your head up as you would do on land. Try to keep your alignment straight without leaning. Run for 5-10 minutes initially.
Pool running provides a lot of resistance, so you will tire very easily. With practice you will be able to run for longer periods of time.
When you are able to maintain your form while water running, you can add variety to your training by doing intervals. Run at a faster pace for 5-10 minutes, followed by a slower pace for 5-10 minutes. You could also do laps at a regular pace and then laps at a sprint pace.
Check out the video below for an excellent demonstration of how to pool run.
In addition to deep water running, you can also add water aerobics to your workout. Use water barbells to build strength in your arms and give them a great workout.