Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Wellness Wednesday: Running in Water

Today's Workout:
3.5 mile run

Five sets of:
Air squats x10
Push-ups x10
Sit-ups x10

Ever heard of aqua jogging? It's essentially running in water. Aqua jogging is a form of deep-water running that closely mimics the movement of actual running. When aqua jogging, your feet don’t actually touch the bottom of the pool. Aqua jogging isn't only for injured runners like myself; it's also performed by many runners who want to prevent injuries. These are some of the benefits that aqua jogging provides:
  • Prevents wear and tear of your muscles and joints.
  • It provides a neuromuscular workout that resembles running.
  • It's one of the best options for cross-training (if you're a runner) because it mimics running.

So how is it done exactly? First, submerge yourself in the deep end of the pool. Your feet cannot touch the ground. Second, use an aqua running belt/vest. The belt/vest will help you keep proper posture while you're in the water. Make sure to keep your back straight and do not lean forward too much. When aqua jogging, you should practice using a higher knee lift and a more compact back kick compared to running on dry land. This will allow you to remain upright.

According to Competitor magazine, you can perform easy and medium effort workouts on the water. You can also perform recovery runs, hard runs, sprints and tempo runs in the water. The following are a few sample workouts that Competitor magazine recommends:

Definitions Of Terms

Rest = No jogging, just rest in the water
Easy = 65-75% of maximum heart rate, or a typical easy/recovery run effort
Medium = 87-92% of maximum heart rate, a comfortably hard tempo run effort
Hard = 95-100% of maximum heart rate, all-out sprints


Easy Pool Running

Easy pool running should only be used as warmup for harder workouts, a recovery tool between hard workouts, or to simulate longer training runs. You can perform easy pool running just like you would perform easy running on dry land. There is nothing fancy about it. You should try to maintain a heart rate that is 65-75% of your maximum heart rate.


Medium Effort Workouts

1. 10 minutes easy warmup, 1:00 hard, 30 seconds easy, 1:30 hard, 30 seconds easy, 2:00 hard, 30 seconds easy (continue building up until 5:00, and then come back down by 30 second intervals), 10 minutes easy cooldown.

2. 10 minutes easy warmup, 1:00 medium effort, 1:00 sprint, 30 seconds with your hands in the air (keep moving your legs in the running motion, but put your hands above your head), 1:00 rest. Repeat this series 10-15 times. 10 minutes easy cooldown.

3. 10 minutes easy warmup, 30-second sprint, 30 seconds medium, 30-second sprint, 30 seconds medium – 30 seconds rest. Repeat 12-15 times, 10 minutes easy cooldown.

4. 10 minutes easy warmup, 10 seconds medium, 10-second sprint, 10 seconds easy, 20 seconds medium, 20-second sprint, 20 seconds easy, 30-second medium, 30-second sprint, 30 seconds easy. Repeat up to 70 seconds and then back down. 10 minutes easy cooldown.

Here's a quick video that will teach you how to aqua jog.

I'm grateful for all the rain in South
Florida. My tree is now filled with juicy mangos.

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  1. That's a great way to exercise Erika. I grew up with a pool in my back yard. We also had a large fresh water creek that we used as a workout as we swam against the current in the faster water (what a workout) We swam every day that the weather would let us. We were the in shape guys in high school. The pool attributed to our physical fitness. I miss swimming like I did when I was younger.

  2. Despite growing up by the ocean, I am not the most proficient swimmer. I took swimming lessons as a child, but that was the extent of my swimming days.

  3. I love mango! This is one of my favorite recipes when I want to eat it (besides lime and chili). It's a quinoa fruit salad with mango, blueberries, strawberry, and whatever you want really. So fresh and delicious!

    1. Oh my goodness, that recipe sounds delish! I pinned it on Pinterest! I'm definitely going to try it. Thank you!

  4. MMM... Mango! It's my fav fruit! I decided I should finally start cross-training and swimming will be my sport- I love swimming and that's all I did while growing up!Aqua jog looks like [though]fun- I should def give it a try!

    1. Swimming is not my forte, but it sounds fun and challenging =).

  5. So cool! I would totally try this in the summer of I see a best or belt on the cheap.
    Totally jealous of the mango tree!

    1. I'm totally enjoying mango season!!! Good luck with the aqua jogging ;).

  6. Hi Erica! I am so glad you talked about aqua jogging today! My hamstring injury has me completely sidelined right now, and all I can do is swim. I had to make the decision today to pull out of New York City Marathon I am signed up for this year...:-(. It's the right decision, but it just sucks. I defnitely want to try aqua jogging. I'm not sure that the pool I go to is deep enough, but I am going to try it! I hope all is well for you!!

  7. I'm so sorry to hear that you had to pull out of the race. The good news is that the NYC Marathon isn't going anywhere. Your health is the most important thing. I hope you get better soon! By the way, you don't necessarily need a deep pool to do aqua jogging. It's preferable, but not required. Good luck =)