As an athlete preparing for the three disciplines (swimming, cycling, running) of the triathlon, you have multiple training options. But when time restraints, inclement weather or injury place restrictions on a proper workout, the mounting frustration may send you off the deep end… and that’s exactly where you belong.
Pool running or aqua jogging is an optimal cross training activity that can be accomplished in any community or backyard pool. It’s ideal for triathletes or anyone striving to improve cardiovascular fitness while building muscular strength at the same time. Pros and coaches endorse pool running because it’s a non-weight bearing training activity that mimics the muscle movements you would engage in an actual competition.
To fully maximize the benefits, pool running should be preformed in the deep end of a pool. By not touching the bottom, the activity literally becomes non-impact. This is critical for those either nursing an injury, in rehabilitation or just taking a break from the daily pounding on the pavement. A pool running belt may help beginners. It provides buoyancy and helps determine proper running posture. You should be leaning slightly forward, properly activating the hip extensors. Keep your toes pointed downward (ballet style) and simply move your arms and legs as you would when running on land. Basically, you are meant to propel through the water as opposed to running in one spot.
As a bonus, pool running adds an isokinetic element to your workout. In the pool, you are working against the force of water, which has more resistance than the air you would encounter on land. Basically, the harder you run the more the water resists your force, which provides a great strengthening benefit.
Euro-Sports is Ottawa’s foremost retailer and wholesaler of premium cycling and triathlon products. Visit them at www.euro-sports.ca or come by for a Monday night drop-in run, 6 p.m. every Monday, rain or shine.