I fractured my rib on January 21st, which means that it’s been 6 weeks since it happened. I started running outside again on February 25th. Thankfully my rib appears to have healed sufficiently to be able to run outside. When I ran 5 miles on February 25th and then 8 miles on February 27th, I suffered zero pain. What a relief that was!
The thing is, it really does take 6 to 8 weeks for a fractured bone to be 100% healed. To get my monthly gym membership rebate I have to go to the gym 8 times each month. The only thing I’m willing to do at the gym during these covid pandemic times is swim. However, swimming requires that I twist my body and body twisting while I wait for my rib to be fully healed, let’s just say, not smart. Yet, I want to get my monthly rebate for going to the pool. It’s true, I am motivated by that $20 rebate!
I decided to take up pool running. Of course I had a few questions!
Does pool running work?
What if the pool you have access to for running is a shallow pool?
How can you keep yourself from getting bored out of your mind?
I went to Coach Google to seek my answers! Turns out pool running has been studied, here’s one study, and it is a wonderful way to get low impact exercise. I realized that there have been times I’ve taken up pool running, namely about 14 years ago when I had a vicious bout of plantar fasciitis.
At the time I bought a deep water float belt as I had access to a deep water pool for pool running. It was important, because of the plantar fasciitis, that I not touch my feet to the bottom of the pool. I have fond memories of my pool running from way back when. That helped motivate me this go around of pool running.
The University of Minnesota Saint Paul Gym that I attend these days is a shallow water lap swimming pool. At the deepest, in the middle of the lane, the water comes up to my neck, so it’s about five feet deep. Not deep enough to do deep water pool running. Turns out pool running where your feet hit the bottom of the pool works quite well to maintain cardio fitness.
Here’s an article I found that has a great overview of Aqua Jogging, the what, why and how.
As of today, March 5th, I’ve gone pool running in shallow water 10 times. Most of the sessions have been for 30 minutes. How I keep myself from getting bored is I challenge myself to do 1 minute push hard intervals. I use the huge clock on the wall to time myself. Then I go slower for one minute. I do this routine for 10 minutes or so.
Then I spend 10 minutes doing high knees and sculling my arms as I run leaning forward as much as makes sense in the middle of the lane. I don’t run to the pool walls back and forth, as it gets really shallow at the pool wall. By staying in the middle of the lane, going back and forth, I can tell I’m working my muscles. I gaze out the huge windows onto the blue winter sky and the tall trees that encircle the old brick gym.
Then for the last 10 minutes, I run sideways back and forth and I mix it up with kick butt running and high knees running. Along the way I move my arms and hands to get as much water resistance as possible.
I found this helpful video with shallow pool running ideas! Here it is for you to enjoy and be inspired by too!
The 30 minutes sessions fly by and I leave the pool with a good blood sugar and the sense that my pool runs are helping me get ready for the half marathon I’m doing on April 24th. Worth the time and the energy.
How about you, have you ever done pool running? Yes or no, please leave a comment, I love hearing from you!
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