Yesterday I went to the doctor just to check up on shin soreness in my left leg. The good new is that it is not a stress fracture, but likely a soft tissue injury. The bad news is no running for this chica for the next two weeks! So, rather than lament the runs I will not be getting in this week, I decided to take a look at pool running. If you have never tried pool running–it’s a great workout for cross-training or injury rehabilitation.
So, how exactly do you RUN in a pool? There are two options for pool running. You can choose to run in the shallower end of the pool with your feet actually coming in contact with the pool floor or you can run in the deep end (which I have done and prefer because it is zero impact). If you run in the deep end, you will need to wear a flotation belt to keep you upright.
The reason that pool running is such a great cross-training alternative is that you use the same form and muscles that you would on land. The only difference is there is no impact. Other cross-training activities can provide you with an aerobic equivalent similar to running, but only pool running allows you to get that aerobic workout AND exercise the same muscles you would be using to run on land.
Pool running is not only great for getting in more running minus the impact, it can help when you have an injury that prevents you from running on the roads or the treadmill. Runners with shin splints, stress fractures, and plantar fasciitis are able to continue their running workouts in the pool without inhibiting their rehabilitation. This can go a long way in helping your psychological state when you are told you can’t run for a month or more!
Whether you are looking for a new cross-training activity to boost your fitness or recovering from an injury, try running in the pool!
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