I’m still undecided whether I’ll be running the full or half marathon in Richmond, but I have decided that aqua jogging will be part of my training.
I used the water to maintain fitness while letting my tendonitis heal for 5-6 weeks, and so far, I’m continuing to get in 1-2 pool workouts a week. It feels amazing to be in the water and get in a great workout with low impact!
Last week, I spent some time reading more about using the pool for marathon training and I came up with a plan.
There are several ways you could use aqua jogging in training. The key is to continue normal training volume and intensity- alternating hard and easy days.
For all aqua jogging workouts, a belt is ideal to keep your body weight in place so you can work on the movements. These exercises are meant to take place in deep water.
Using the pool for intensity
While injured or first coming back from injury, the pool is where the hard runs should happen, and you can use the road for the easy runs as you build back.
There are countless ways to get a high intensity workout in the pool. After a warm up jog in the water, choose one of the following:
- alternate 2 minutes hard, 2 minutes easy x 8-10
- run 5 minutes hard, 3 minutes easy x 5
- do a ladder of 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 4, 3, 2, and 1 minutes hard with equal recovery
- “run” a length, skip a length, try high knees, butt kicks or front kicks each for 1 minute with equal recovery and repeat
This book is also a fantastic resource for getting a high intensity workout in to complement running. It covers forms, exercises, tools, and sample workouts in detail.
Using the pool for recovery
A second option is to use the pool for easy days in order to “run” without the impact. This can include easy aqua jogging, with short bursts of speed for 30 seconds to break it up.
Using the pool for a combination of hard and easy workouts
The pool can also be used for both speed and recovery. This is ideal if you want to get in one hard workout on land but prefer to keep the other runs easy. The second hard workout (or third) can take place in the water.
I’m going to combine some of the theories of Run Less, Run Faster with pool running, spinning and strength. So for now, I’m focusing on about 3 runs per week, with 2 of them “hard” – intervals, tempo or long runs with a pace goal. My recovery runs will be in the pool.
Because my body tends to break down when I consistently run over 40 miles per week, this will allow me to maintain higher volume while hopefully keeping my body strong and happy!
I’m planning to get in a few more long runs before making the call for the half or full.
If you are currently injured, I shared more workouts in this post on getting fitter while injured.
Have you ever used pool running in your plan when not injured?
Do you have one set way you train for races, or do you like to experiment with various training plans? I’ve done a lot of experimenting over the years!!