Pool Running

Before I could do the AlterG, I started pool running. I have decided to keep doing it when I go out of town since I have the access to a pool and I get tired of doing the elliptical every day. When I was first told I  that I could go pool running, I was thrilled. The word run was in my exercise routine again. Turns out, it’s not quite the same. I much prefer the AlterG, but pool running still has it’s benefits.

I had no idea what to do, so I googled.

There were a few tips and blog posts on how to actually pool run and what I needed to buy. I went to Dick’s Sporting Goods and bought the speedo water belt (I can’t remember which blog recommended this brand), and watched this video. The only thing I really took out of it was to pretend like I was stomping grapes, never let my arms come out of the water (still use a running motion), and stand (float?) up straight.

I definitely don’t look like this when running. The video says don’t let arms come out of water…hmm.

My first attempt at pool running was at my friend Johanna’s pool (in the rain). First thing I noticed: the speedo belt is hard to adjust. I don’t think I had it on right. Thank goodness the pool was empty, because I’m sure I looked like a fool. I only ran for about 30 minutes to see how I felt. Overall? BORED but pain free.IMG_4031

I decided to research a bit more, and apparently there are full on water running training plans. Not my idea of a good time, but I wanted more of a plan/goal to follow. So what does this super experienced pool runner do? Skip ahead to week 7 or 8 of an online pool running plan and pick a workout.IMG_4054

My first time doing the workout was in Knoxville a few weeks ago. (Side bar- I can really only pool run when I travel. I don’t have a pool, neither does my gym, and the weather has been so crappy in ATL this summer that outdoor pools haven’t been an option either). A workout is exactly what I needed. Something to focus on.

What I did:
5 minutes warmup
6 x 2:30 “speed” with 30 easy recovery
2 minute light running
5 x 2:30 “speed” with 30 easy recovery
5 minute cool down

I did this workout 3-4 times and I started to get bored. I was actually pretty good at it (I think). I decided to change it up and add a few more minutes and time for “hard running.”IMG_4161

New workout for the next few weeks (I’ve done it twice so far):

5 minutes warmup
2 sets of 10 x 1:30 hard with 30 second easy recovery
2 minutes easy between sets
5 minute cooldown

All in all, it’s just another way to get my heart rate up and get my legs in running motion. It’s defnitely not my favorite way to exercise, but it’s fine for now. I know this would be a great way to continue to cross train, but I will for sure stop once I can run again (prefer spinning to pool running).

Tips to make pool running more fun:

1. If you are in a private pool (or the hotel one is empty), bring music. It makes it go by faster.

2. Don’t buy a speedo belt. Turns out you can still chaffe in water. See arm pic below.


3. Find a workout. You will get REALLY BORED (pretty sure I’ve used this word 5 or more times in the post) just running in place for that long. It’s nice to have a plan to follow-it makes the time go by faster.

And in case you are wondering, I could probably swim at this point in recovery, but I don’t enjoy swimming. I’m not very good at it. I feel like I am all over the place so I stick with pool running. At least it has the word RUN in it.

Have you tried pool running? If so, did you use a workout? 

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