Deep Water Running
I conducted a DWR session for the Mooloolaba group this morning at the Cotton Tree Pool.
After the initial shock at how cool it was inside and out, we soon warmed up and did a 40minute work out.
Deep Water running is great if you are injured or sore from pounding the pavements. It takes all the pressure off the joints but does give a good workout at the same time. It is also a resisted workout because the water resists every movement you make so it's good for strengthening muscle groups. It is also a good upper body workout as you use your arms strongly to try to propel yourself along.
If you are injured or just need a break from road running you can try a DWR session for yourself, at the local pool or if you are lucky enough to have your own.
It is best if the water is more than your height as you then have to work harder, but if that's not the case you can still run in waist high water.If the water is over your head..you will need a flotation device, the pool will probably loan you one of their aqua belts, or even a noodle will do the trick. The flotation belt allows you to stay afloat so all you have to worry about is the running.
To DWR you need to try to simulate your normal running style...in the water...it can be quite hard. Try to stay upright with your shoulders over your hips, it's very easy to want to lean forward, so you must keep correcting this. Your legs should move up and down, with knees coming up to your waist and legs going down and slightly behind you.Your arms should be going in the same direction as your legs but they will be working harder as you try to keep your balance and try to propel forward.
You can DWR in the same place, but it is better to try and move forward so you are running laps. By moving forward you are trying harder to run faster and you have an object to reach...the end of the pool!.
Start off doing a couple of laps to warm up (we were in a 50m pool today), after that mix it up. Try sprinting for one minute, jogging for 15 seconds sprinting again etc until you have done about 5 laps...sounds easy but, it can be quite hard to run 5 laps in water, everything seems to travel in slow motion. In fact the faster you try to run the harder it is due to the water resisting your movements.
After your sprints try some different running, you can try knees up high, jumping, hopping, straight leg crazy Basil Fawlty walks and any more you can think of, try doing a couple of laps of each.
After that you can do drill work...place your back against the side of the pool, deep end so your feet do not touch the bottom. Hold on to side of pool with your arms outstretched and make sure your back is flat against side of pool. Lift your knees high and and then push your legs and feet down hard in the water, trying to touch your toes to the bottom, do this for one minute then rest for 15 seconds and repeat...another drill is to do the splits, keep your legs straight and open them wide to the sides and push them closed as fast as you can, use strong leg movements, once again do for a minute with a 15 sec break before repeating...another is to kick you legs, one at a time, out straight in front of you, keep your leg straight and push it up hard and bring it down hard, try to aim for your toes to reach the surface, once again strong for a minute then rest for 15 seconds before repeating.
Try to make your workout go for 30-40mins, you will feel the jelly legs when you get out! Make sure you go through your full range of stretches, because your legs still worked quite strongly, stretch arms as well as they have worked too.