Deep water running or aqua jogging is a tremendous form of cross training because there is no impact. Runners with almost any injury can safely continue their training in the water.
Injury is hard and frustrating for runners – but deep water running is a training activity you can carry out whilst you rehab.
Deep water running or aqua jogging is usually performed in the deep end of a swimming pool. Most runners prefer to use a flotation belt – but you can do it without. The good thing about the belt is that it allows you to focus on moving in a pattern similar to running, instead of how to keep your head above water.
You may find that interval training helps to break up the monotony of water running. Try three to four minute intervals of running followed by one to three minutes of rest.
The two studies conducted on deep water running showed that runners could maintain, but not improve running performance by training in the pool. Researcher at the University of Toledo, Ohio, tested competitive distance runners before and after four weeks of only deep water running. These athletes were able to maintain their 5K performance without running on land. Ed Eyestone, US Marathon Olympian, compared deep water running, cycling, and run training on run performance. After a six week period these “well trained” athletes maintained their 2 mile run time despite mode of training.