Pool running, often called aqua jogging, is a great activity for exercisers who have medical conditions or physical limitations which limit them to water based activities. It is also excellent off-season training for runners.
Pool running is simply running in the water. It can be performed in shallow water so the feet still contact the bottom of the pool, but generally pool running is done in deep water with the use of a flotation belt. Many health clubs have flotation belts available on pool decks for swimmers to us. Foot gear can also be used to increase resistance.
With the flotation belt securely wrapped around your torso, pool running is performed exactly like running outdoors. The legs move through the same range of motion as they would while running on the road. Without the momentum of pushing off of a hard surface, however, the body doesn’t move as far. For this reason, pool running can seem odd and frustrating at first. Try to avoid using a flat hand to propel the body faster through water. Hands should stay in a relaxed fist as they would during an outdoor run. The upper body should lean slightly forward, but not so far forward that the legs start to float to the surface. Again, it should mimic the posture of an outdoor run.
Pool running offers the many of same benefits of running outdoors without the wear and tear on the joints. While the intensity of water jogging is generally lower than that of weight bearing jog, the resistance provided by the water strengthens the muscles in the lower body and offers a solid cardiovascular workout. Pace training is also possible in the water. Of course no one is going to cover their goal mileage while submerged, but performing a workout that forces you to turn your legs over at a comparable rate helps you to get back to your goal pace when you are ready to hit the road again.
This brief video demonstrates what aqua jogging looks like from under the water. For more information about running workouts in the pool, or products which can be used for this workout visit Aquajogger.com