Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Training Alternative: Water Running

I mentioned in a previous entry that I have basically been grounded from training because I fractured my toe in a car accident. The doctor told me the only exercises I can perform are; elliptical, stationary bike (spinning) or water exercises.

When he said I can get in the water I immediately began to wonder if it would be possible to run in the water. I started doing my research and found a few good articles (see below) and Youtube videos on water running. I found out that water running ( mostly deep water running) is a good way for injured athletes to continue with their training with out further aggravating their injury. It is also a good way to train yet prevent injury to your muscles period. I felt this was a good option for me because it still allowed for me to train while my toe fracture healed.

I have been water running at least twice a week for the last two weeks and I must say, in my head it was easy to do. Water running is extremely challenging as you have to push against the resistance of the water. If you add weights to your work out then it makes it even more of a challenge. From previous entries you all know I tend to learn things the hard way so here are the lesson that I learn...if you are not a strong swimmer don't go in the deep end. If you go in the deep end wear a water jogging belt (aqua jogger) to help keep you a float or if you are not a swimmer at all I suggest you run in water deep enough to cover your shoulders yet maintain your balance or run in the shallow end of the pool. It's a great activity, good for training, cross training and speed work but risking drowning in the pool is not worth it.

Anyway, I got a pair of water shoes got into the water and once I got my bearings I started running. I have read a lot of different suggestions on how you should run. Some say run as if you are running on pavement, and some say run as if you were riding a bicycle, making sure you bring your knees high up to your chest. No matter which way you choose to run always maintain your form so you don't end up straining your back. I chose to run as if I'm riding a bike, this way is easier for me to perform with out putting much thought into it because I need to concentrate more on maintaining good form and not leaning forward to much in the water.

Overall I really like water running and I will continue to run in the water even after I'm released to run on pavement this week. I am strongly considering running two days on pavement and one, maybe two days in the water.

I will keep you updated on the transition back to pavement running after running in the water. I have heard it is not easy and I've heard the transition is not hard in the slightest.

If you want more information on water running here are some articles that may help....


Jordan Ashlee said...

This is excellent!!! I just injuried myself too and I do not want to give up (sorta speak). I am going to try this for sure.

Running Is... said...

Jordan, I'm so glad you found this to be helpful. I can definitely say that it was a life saver and has allowed for me to work out without causing further injury to my toe. Good luck and a speedy recovery to you.