Don’t let the title freak you out too much – we’re not about to suggest anything that would get you kicked out of your neighborhood pool. However, what we are suggesting is a little thing called aqua jogging.
Ever heard of it?
Aqua jogging is a great low-impact workout that not only boosts your fitness, but can also help improve your running form. How, you ask? Well, because the resistance of the water forces your legs to find a more efficient path – allowing your natural motion to become more solid. Should you happen to find yourself in water deep enough that you can’t touch bottom, all you need to do is add a flotation belt, which allows you to “run” in deep water…all while using the same stride as you do on land.
Alignment Check – Establish an upright body alignment right from the beginning. Start out with a flotation belt and at a depth where your feet just touch the bottom. Gradually move into deeper water – but don’t forget to maintain your stride. Initially, “run” at a pace of 5 on and 5 off…minutes, that is. Repeat this run/rest cycle two to four times. With each subsequent session, work on increasing the “run” time interval, and decreasing the “rest” period – do this until you can run for 30 minutes without stopping.
Turn It Up! – In the beginning, keep your intensity level set to “easy”. This means nothing too strenuous. After several sessions, begin to dial up the intensity – gradually increase the turnover of your legs so you’re breathing the same as you would be during a moderately paced run.
Lap Time – During your rest periods, swim a few laps. Or, alternate your pool runs with a lap workout – swim one easy lap, rest for 30 or so seconds, and then swim a slightly faster lap. Follow this with a 60 second rest and then two easy laps…rest for another minute, then swim an additional two to four fast laps, resting as much as you need/want after each.
Mirror Your Workouts – What does this mean? Well, for a long run, simply rin in the water for the same length of time as you would on land. If you’re working on speed, shorten your stride and quicken your turnover – all while moving your legs faster and keeping the duration of your effort and recovery the same. During rest periods, move your legs slowly and gently.
Now that you’ve got these great aqua running tips, you can run no matter whether on land or in water…indoors or out…and in any weather, too!