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Water Running

Updated on April 27, 2007

Tips to remember when water running:

1. In order to get a good workout in you need to work-hard! Although water provides more resistance when trying to run, it also provides more buoyancy, thus making you feel lighter and in the end exerting less energy. A good way to work hard is to lift your legs high (like doing knee raises) while running.

2. You want to stay in a running position, or you will not be training the same running muscles. Many water-runners lean too far forward (this also makes it easier, and doesn't give you as good of a workout). Try to stay in an upright running position and be sure to pump your arms just as though you are running.

3. Just like with running on land you need to drink water. A lot of water-runners and swimmers forget to drink, you don't get hot in water, which is usually something that reminds us to drink. Be sure to keep water on the side of the pool, or hold it as you run in the water.

4. Always be sure there is a lifeguard on duty- if you fall while running on land you can sit on the curb for a minute and recover- if you go underwater you will not have the same effect, and you will need assistance. Always play it safe!

There are a lot of reason to cross-train, work different muscles, do something with less impact to joints, the weather doesn't allow you to run outside... and all these reasons are also great reason to do "water running".

Water running it just what it sounds like, running in the pool. Water running not only add variety to your winter workouts, but can also help to strengthen different muscles groups and preserve fitness in the off-season.

Water running is a super, no-impact cross-training activity for anyone who wants to build or preserve leg strength. Because it uses the same muscles as running on land, it's especially appealing to runners who are prone to or recovering from shin splints, stress fractures, hamstring or lower back injuries.

If you're a runner, consider substituting one or more days of water running for an equal number of days of outdoor running to give your legs a break after a long, hard training season. (Marathoners, got that?)

Next time you run on land, you'll notice that your legs feel fresher, as if they've had a rest. The really good news though is that the strength training you do in the pool can pay off in faster race times come springtime. The key is to make sure that your workouts in the pool feel as hard as your workouts on land.

Here's some even better news. In a 6-week study of runners who ran only in deep water and not a single step on dry land, water running was actually proven to preserve racing ability. The downside is that it can get boring. Interval work helps to break up the monotony.


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