Pool/Water Running

Pool running, water running, water walking or aqua jogging are beneficial training methods for runners and triathletes. Water-based training is a great way to cross train, reduce impact to manage load or rehab from injury and active recovery.

Aqua Jogging

  • Simulated running in deep water
  • Uses a floatation device
  • Same running action / muscle activation as ground running
  • High resistance
  • Good for running rehab & aspects of run technique
  • Used for rehab and active recovery
  • Focus on upright posture, high cadence, knee drive, elbows back & pushing down with your heel

Water Running

  • Running in waist deep water
  • No floatation device
  • High resistance
  • Good transition from aqua jogging to ground running
  • Used for rehab and active recovery
  • Focus on driving with your knees. Change arm position for more/less propulsion

Water-based running has the tendency to be a little more boring. Mix it up by jogging with friends & have a chat, change locations to open water in your wetsuit or in a pool with a floatation belt and include some higher intensity intervals.

If you replicate your running sets in the water, you’ll find your heart rate sits lower than ground running. This is normal, and similar to zones on the bike. Don’t worry, the aerobic benefits are still the same. It is best to do your training by perceived effort. You will find it hard to work in anaerobic zones, so aqua jogging is best to maintain aerobic fitness rather than race specific efforts.

Water recovery is popular for a reason. It is a great way to reduce muscle pain. The water acts as a compression with a change in pressure gradient from deeper to shallow, this prevents blood and lymphatic pooling. The walking or running further mobilises stiff muscles & joints.

Further Reading

Pool Walking for Runners

Why Your Next Run Should be in the Pool

Get the Most Out of Aqua Jogging