Saturday, July 12, 2014

Pool Runnings

Look what arrived for me this week...

That's right, it's an AquaJogger!  I've recently read several blogs from very competitive runners who have used pool running as a form of training. Sometimes runners run in the pool as a way to train through an injury and sometimes they use it as a form of training to prevent injury. I, on the other hand, just bought the AquaJogger as a way to combine my afternoon runs with the fact that our new backyard pool was just completed. Because you know, I need to run, but I want to lay in the pool. 

By the way, the AquaJogger came complete with an instructional booklet and DVD. I did not read or watch either. 

The day it arrived, I put on the belt and jumped in for one full hour of pool running. 

Here are my observations:

1.  I need more practice!  I found that keeping actual running form (chest up, legs down, and arms pumping back and forth) was very difficult. My body's natural inclination in the pool, even with the belt on, is to tread water, which is more like an outward circling of the arms and legs. I would say that of the hour I spent in the pool, half of it was in true running form and the other half was more like treading water. 

2.  My pool might be just a touch to  shallow.   Goodbye toenail polish. I kept dragging my feet along the bottom of the pool. We purposefully designed the pool to be rather shallow (for me because I'm really short and for my husband to be able to play sports like volleyball), but we obviously didn't take pool running into consideration. I think it would have been a little easier to keep good form if I had been in a true deep end. 

3.  Don't expect it to be a workout like road running. Okay, so I did really feel it in my legs. Pretty much as soon as I started, my leg muscles shot to action and really started to burn. I guess water resistance is no joke. And every now and then I would catch myself breathing a little heavily. But overall, after my hour of attempting pool running, I didn't feel like I'd gotten that hard of a workout. Sure, I think there were a few sweat beads on my forehead, but it was nothing like what even a 20 minute run would feel like. I'm sure it will get harder and I will feel like it's a better workout after I really learn how to do it (I guess this means I'm watching the DVD), but I wouldn't say pool running could ever really replace actual running or other hard cardio routines. That said, I do see where it could be great if you're injured.  And, given the option of running in 95 degree heat or submerged in a pool, well....bring on the floaty, foam belt.

Have you ever tried pool running?  Any tips?

1 comment:

  1. This looks so difficult! When I was pregnant I would walk in the pool back and forth... but that was at a leisurely pace and in 4 feet :)