As I started training for the Warsaw Marathon (my second) I promised myself I wasn’t to make the same old mistakes and I was going to run my easy runs slowly.
I eventually did, but then I got injured again, this time while playing football (as in soccer). I fractured my toe with a tackle and was given a 4-week stop to sports activities.
It was time to put to practice what I had learned so far!
A small flashback…
After my last injury, and only e few weeks away from my first marathon, I was desperately seeking advice. After listening to a podcast from Matt at Runner Academy I decided to write an email to Matt’s guest for that episode, former Marathon Champion Jacqueline Hansen.
Jacqueline has won her first marathon the year I was born, 1972, then she went on to win the Boston Marathon the year after that, only to go and set two marathon world records in 1974 and 1975! She is now coaching, and overall involved with the sport.
Put simply water running means to do running movements in the deep end of a swimming pool while wearing a floating belt (like I’m demonstrating in the video).
After my second injury I contacted Jacqueline again and she told me a bit more about the workout I was supposed to do. I had already bought my floating belt so I started my pool workouts straight away.
Unfortunately the pool I have access to is very shallow, which defies the purpose of deep water running (it’s not the same pool of the video above). Unable to replicate the complete running movement I settled for a high-knee, bent leg, high cadence movement.
I could not complete the whole training schedule mainly for two reasons: long “runs” in the pool can become terribly boring, so that I never reached a 2-hour run, and also because it’s harder to fit the swimming pool into my weekly schedule, as opposed to just go out and run (2-3 times a week vs 4-5 when I was running). And it is hard.
Nonetheless my experience with water running was amazing. After 4 weeks I tried running again and I can safely say I retained most of the aerobic fitness I had at the time of injury.
I am now a big fan of pool running.
Jacqueline even mentioned me on her latest blog post. I’m humbly honored to say the least! :)
If you wanna know more head over to jacquelinehansen.com for great advice on running, marathon training and cross-training, including pool running (check out the Coaching section!).
Here’s my average water running workout:
- Warmup 10 mins
- Intervals: 1:30 mins hard with 1 min active recovery. Repeated 12 to 15 times. The hard parts were performed at 180 bpm cadence.
- Cooldown: 10 mins