As a runner trying to make it through an injury, we’ve all been there. You can’t hit the pavement, the bike has become a pain on your back, and all you want to do is get in a good workout. Your only option left is water running. Though it is long, boring, and really awkward to do if you’re in a public place, it is the best non-running option.
Having zero strain from the lack of pounding your legs and adding a full body workout because of the resistance, water running is great way to keep up training, even if running isn’t a possibility. With that being said, here are a couple of pointers on how to get through the exhausting workout.
Outdoor pools: While this isn’t always possible due to weather, outdoor pools allow a person to still get some of the best aspects of running. Having fresh air, sunlight and the noises of nature (or screaming kids and diving boards) helps take your mind off the fact you are barely moving and exerting a lot of effort.
Take off the flotation device: For those just trying water running, a small flotation device can help you keep form and keep from drowning. If you have done this quite a bit, one way to add some extra effort to your workout, while keeping your mind from the topic of how bored you are, is to drop the flotation belt. The first time without it is a real doozy of a workout.
Alternate directions: Regardless of how big the pool is, you are going to have to do some laps. Alternating direction is a great way to forget you are stuck in this mess. Along with that, only look at your watch every few laps helps to make the time go quicker.
Add intervals: With your body not feeling the extra strain that is added when actually running, incorporating intervals increases the workout, and will effectively make the time go quicker. Fartlecks, alternating fast and slow laps, or just adding in sprints is a great way to make the clock an ally.
Having had a few days in an impenetrable concrete jungle, I found myself water running to keep from going insane. While the first day I could barely last 20 minutes, after implementing these tips, my last day I was able to go for an hour without stopping. It was the best alternative to running, and though I would prefer a nice trail run, the water workout really did let my body feel good.
Good luck with your workout, and remember, as excruciating as it is, water running really does help keep up fitness if running isn’t an option.