You’ve picked up an injury, perhaps you’ve run in bad footwear, or on poor ground, maybe you had an accident or are rehabilitating a bad back. Either way all signs are pointing in the direction of low or no impact sporting pursuits to avoid further damage. There are options; pilates, yoga, cycling and rowing to name a few but you want a creative, fun and exhaustive exercise session, something a little different to chop up the monotony of your injury rehabilitation. And the answer is…….run through water, the weightlessness of it takes the load off the joints and makes it low impact. Ideally you should run through water at shoulder height to provide enough support for your entire body, and better still wear a float belt to ensure proper running form. These vests or belts are made of a buoyant foam and come with an adjustable waist. The buoyancy belt should fit snugly so that your head and mouth stays above the water without tilting the head. A belt or vest will also help to support your lower back to provide good posture for running.
Once the vest or belt is secure, head to the deep end of the pool so that you are suspended in the water without your feet touching the bottom of the pool. Look straight forward and not downward. Make sure you do not lean too far forward. Instead, concentrate on having a good posture with only a slight forward lean. Mimic your land running form. Toes should not be pointed, but relaxed and flexible as in running. Focus on keeping a high leg turnover rate by driving the knees as in land running. Aim for a turnover rate of 76 to 80 cycles per minute (cpm). Due to water resistance, this would be equivalent to 88 to 90 cpm on land. Swing your arms as you do on land and keep them close to the body. Keep your hands closed. Do not cup or scull with the hands as this will tend to over exaggerate the upper body movement, avoid any bobbing……have fun!