Due to injury I got in contact with aqua-jogging. Yes, you‘re right, it‘s that ugly thing old ladies are doing with rings or „noodles“ around their flowery swimsuits. As they still could chat a lot in the water the intensity normally isn‘t that high.
The first you have to do when thinking about aqua-jogging as a high quality add-on to your off-season trainings is getting rid of this ugly pictures. But don‘t worry, sporty aqua-joggers are still a bit exotic and always a reason for the boy to ask his mum questions like: „does he learn to swim“? If he knew that some of the world top runners are training regularly in the water …
I have experienced aqua-jogging as a highly efficient and joint-gentle training impulse. It‘s somehow smoothly but at the same time you can really power out, pushing your heart up to max. in intervalls and challenge your muscles in a very short time. The reason for that is that the density of water is 800 times higher than the one of air. So you‘re doing the same when running outside, but your body has to work through the water. And you can concentrade much more on your body and the running technique. With the right equipment you‘ll be able to balance your body slightly to the front, making long steps and working perfectly with your upper body. And your core and arms will get a nice training too 😉
Overall there are the following advantages:
- injury free training or even training with an injury, gentle to joints
- perfect to focus on your running technique, even better than running slightly uphill
- more physical power needed to move, not only in the legs but in the core and arms
- highly efficient, you‘ll need less time for the same effect
What do you need to start?
- a suit to run in the water (google for aqua jogging suits) is the best, alternatives like noodles or rings work but are poor for ambitioned people going beyond just „fitness“
- a pool or a lake, you‘ll run lanes if you run properly – you won‘t stay in place!
- if you‘re the „music runner“, speedo is offering some water resistant players
- you need a plan, don‘t just pedale and struggle around in the pool – it‘s inefficient and it‘s boring
What‘s a good plan?
First of all don‘t go too hard in the beginning. Take your time. Have a look at these videos and then add a 20 minutes aqua jogging to your swim exercise. Which can be the following one:
- 5 minutes at moderate speed (70%HF)
- 50m, start very fast (Sprint, 90%HF) for the first 15 seconds, then moderate
(if it feels too hard after the first two ones, go 25m at easy intensity)
- 50m to 100m easy
A good way to go longer is to make more of the 4x50m. Overall you can go up to 50 minutes. But don‘t go there in just one step.
My trainings today look like
- 5 minutes at moderate speed (70%HF)
- 50m with sprint (90%HF) start and then at moderate speed (40 minutes)
- 5 minutes out
Yes, it‘s sometimes a bit boring – depending on who is swimming in the lanes around you. But hat‘s why I am going to spice it up in the middle (40 minutes) with the following alternatives:
- speed-endurance: 3x 5 minutes at 85-90%HF (10km-race-speed), with 2 minutes easy after each one
- some sprints
towards the end of the off-season with more focus on
- race-hardeness: 6x 2 minutes at 90%HF++ (5km-race-speed), with 60 seconds easy after each one
- sprint: 10x 60 seconds at maximum speed, with 30 seconds easy after each one
an other idea is to vary your step to activate different types of muscles:
- stay on the point and just push your feets down
- go long in front and then use your legs like arms when crawling, feel the push
- stay a bit shorter in front and longer in back (natural running)
- more activity with your arms
Have fun and keep an eye on the swimmers in the pool, they will appreciate your respect for them when cruising a cross the pool like a water slug 😉
And by the way, I am open for everybody joining me in my blue pampers racing in the pool!