I had this post written and ready to go only to try to edit a small section. The whole post disappeared and before I could go back, it was gone. Normally I write them in word and copy them over, but not this time. Damnit.
So, the summary…
Achilles is still down. Running and cycling are out. Pool running and swimming are in. The Kansas City Marathon may be in jeopardy. Time will tell. So far I’m running up a tab at the sports clinic for rehab and Graston on the back of the legs. Look it up, like torture. Good times.
If you have ever ran in the pool…
You know it’s not exactly exciting. The scenery doesn’t change and the only real variety is changing your tempo. Try running for 2 hours in there and not going insane. BUT, I still want to run the KC marathon, so Coach Bob swears by the pool run and I’m putting my eggs in the pool.
But, I’ll share my top 10 tips for pool running.
- Bring something to listen to. Grab your H2O audio and bring the iPod. It’s going to be a long day and if your pool is anything like the normal gym warm therapy pool, kids and inappropriate adults will be aplenty. If H2O is a little high priced for you, consider a plastic baggie taped around your iPod and stuck in a swim cap. Don’t submerge it, but it will work in a pink if you keep your head above water.
- Wear something to protect your toes. Water shoes; bring them if you have them. Old tennis shoes, wash them off and bring them. Nothing is worse than being injured than being injured with tore up toes from scraping the pool floor.
- Find a deep pool. The deeper the better. It will help simulate running if you can barely touch to use the pool floor to help and reduces impact, which is the main reason of doing pool runs while injured.
- Have patience. You will probably see obnoxious kids, adults with questionable decorum and depending on the time, a generally full pool. Find your inner peace and work it.
- Keep your form. Don’t think just because you are in the pool that you can just let your arm movements go to pot. Keep your form, even though you will have to work harder to do it under water. It defeats the purpose if you’re nursing an injury and ruin your form.
- Don’t float. Don’t bring floaties unless you are heading to the kiddie pool. If you’re going to go through the agony of a pool run, come to work. Don’t rob yourself of the full benefit of the workout by making it easier.
- Unless you have a polar heart rate strap with the proper software, you won’t be getting much heart rate data as most straps don’t work in water. Learn to read your perceived rate of exertion to gage how hard you are working. If you’re not getting the heart rate up, it may not be as effective keeping your fitness up while you are off of your feet.
- Jammers work in a pink. Running in water causes less friction, so your ordinary jammers will work for a pool run. You might wear them out faster, but don’t fret that you need to go out and buy more gear to get your pool run in.
- Stretch like you mean it. Just because a water run might have less impact doesn’t mean you get a vacation from stretching. You older triathletes out there can attest that stretching becomes more and more important after years of beating on the body. Allow for the 10 to 15 pre and post-workout stretch.
- Don’t be fooled, it’s still a workout. If you bring it, fitness will come. If you put the work in, you won’t come out feeling the pounding from a 2 run on pavement, but your legs should feel like lead. You will be fatigued in places you didn’t think about while your joints recover. You will work your arms harder, your uplift effort on the legs will be harder and you will get worked.