My First Time Pool Running

I celebrated being injury free too soon because my heel issue has created a new set of problems.

When I decided to run 10 miles on Saturday I paid great attention to my form to make sure I wasn’t overcompensating anywhere. Since my heel wasn’t hurting at all, there was no reason I should have shifted my form and it didn’t seem like I did at all at the time.

Well, I guess I overcompensated somewhere because I woke up on Monday with some new aches in my right foot/calf that have never been there before. Ever. The aches weren’t that bad so I did a short run on Monday night, and woke up on Tuesday morning with deeper aches. Not really pain, just incredible uncomfortableness.

The more I walk, stretch and ice the better I feel, but not wanting to make the issue any worse I tried something new last night: pool running.

I found some great info about the benefits of pool running along with two sample workouts on the USA Triathlon website.  Here’s the one I did last night:

pool running workout

If you think pool running is easy, please try 5 minutes hard! Whoa!

Abby Ruby, Ph.D. and Level II USA Triathlon Certified Coach says that pool running “is a non weight-bearing activity but still engages the running muscles and form. The benefits include gains in cardiovascular fitness, as well as training muscle recruitment patterns that are the same used when running on land.

As with regular running, technique is important when engaging in pool running. You want to be in the deep end of the pool so that your feet don’t touch the bottom, and lean slightly forward while moving your arms and legs as normal.

Ruby suggests, “Take short, quick strides. A fast cadence intensifies the workout.”

Since you need to be in the deep end while also focusing on your form and cadence, it’s recommended to use an aqua jogging belt. I found mind at a local sporting goods store for about $40 and saw some on Amazon for slightly less. Whoever said that running is free was crazy. 

Here’s a quick video that provides an overview of pool running:

Did I need to go out and buy an aqua jogger belt? Nope. I could have just got in a regular swim as my workout, or did something else, but I have been interested in pool running for a while now. This just seemed like the right opportunity to finally give it a try.

I probably looked really cool in the deep end running with what amounts to an adult swimmy on : )

In better news, I got a sweet delivery yesterday afternoon at work from one of my clients that made me forget all about my stupid foot for a minute! The client is in the health and wellness industry and sent an Edible Arrangement. All of the fruit was so fresh and delicious!

The cantaloup is my favorite… I could eat cantaloup for breakfast, lunch and dinner. During the summer I have been known to eat two in one day on occasion… and then I walk around the house mumbling “it tastes like candy” with a big smile on my face.

Happy hump day!

Have you ever tried pool running? 

– It’s weird to have your heart pumping fast but not produce any sweat!

… LET’S GO H-E-A-T! Big win last night! 



  1. marcy
    May 21, 2014 / 9:11 am

    find a podiatrist now, before it gets too bad. I started off like you, and one year later, I was still dealing with it, until it got very painful. A few steroid injections and I was as good as new. Don’t Wait!

    • May 21, 2014 / 12:11 pm

      Hi Marcy – I’m so glad to hear that you’re good as new now! I just made an appointment with my doctor for Friday pm. Hopefully he can help me get back to my normal routine!

  2. May 21, 2014 / 10:00 am

    Oh, no – sorry that the aches are spreading and getting worse!!!
    I spent almost my entire senior year of high school doing pool running because I was hurt – not my favorite but better than nothing!

    • May 21, 2014 / 12:12 pm

      Exactly! It’s not the same, but at least it’s something. Hopefully my doctor can shed some light on what’s going on. It does feel like it’s getting better on its own, so hopefully I’m on the right track anyway.

  3. May 21, 2014 / 11:22 am

    Well that sucks…. Sorry your injury flared up. I think we are all guilty of coming back to quickly. But you took a huge step to recovery with the pool running. I’ve read nothing but good things about it. I read a lot about it when I was having my ITB issues. And yes I’ve read it is way harder than you think. Those edible arrangements are incredible, I don’t know where they get their fruit but it is soooo delicious.

    Go Heat Go… Huge win last night and our two superstars came to play when it mattered most. Now back to South Beach.

    • May 21, 2014 / 12:12 pm

      It does seem like it’s the best alternative, although nothing is a replacement for good ol running! 😉

      I’ve made an appointment with my doc so hopefully I can get back out there soon and get on with marathon training!

  4. May 21, 2014 / 2:48 pm

    Edible arrangements are so yummy! I tried pool running but it didn’t work for me. I think I was doing it wrong. This was several years ago so I just ended up swimming instead! I’m sorry you’re having some pains but glad you got to try something you always wanted to! Do you think it is plantar fasciitis after all or something different?

    • May 21, 2014 / 5:12 pm

      My coach said that she doesn’t think it sounds like PF … and I don’t really think it is anymore either. The heel pain has gone away completely, I just have deep soreness in my calf and my foot overall now. I must have really changed up my form to something weird without realizing it. I made a doctor appointment for Friday just to make sure everything is all good!

  5. May 21, 2014 / 3:27 pm

    thank you thank you thank you!!!! i have had so many questions about pool running and you just answered all of them for me 🙂

    and now, that my parents live so close and have a pool…and since i’m aparaently obsessed with cross training…i’m totally going to check it out. especially when i have long runs to do when it’s 96 degrees (like this weekend, ugh!)

    • May 21, 2014 / 5:13 pm

      Exactly! I wanted to spend more time in the pool this summer anyway, so might as well get a little pool running in along with swimming 🙂 Although i would much rather choose to do pool running over land running instead of being forced to do it! Argh!

  6. May 21, 2014 / 5:49 pm

    I SO want to try aqua-jogging someday. Hopefully this summer I’ll be able to try it out!

    • May 22, 2014 / 2:12 pm

      It’s a little bit boring, but way better than the elliptical! When you go moderate to hard it feels pretty much exactly like real running! Towards the end of my 30 minutes yesterday I was thinking about taking a ‘walking’ break! 😀

  7. May 22, 2014 / 3:14 am

    Ahh, rubbish about your injury mate! Sorry to hear that! Hope it clears up straight away. And in the meantime, you’ve got this new pool running instead! I’ve been reading about pool running in various blogs lately, it definitely seems the go for when you can’t run. I have never tried it, but I would love to. Is it as hard as it sounds??

    I think the purchase of the belt is a great idea! New equipment for sport is so motivating I reckon!

    Yum to the fruit! 🙂

    • May 22, 2014 / 2:19 pm

      It’s not really hard at all. Once you get into the rhythm it feels pretty much like real running. I noticed that I takes me a lot longer to feel the burn, but other than that it’s such a good alternative when you can’t land run.

      So true, I LOVE new equipment 🙂

  8. May 22, 2014 / 11:41 am

    I am sorry you foot is giving you trouble 🙁 I have to read your other post still. I had surgery and used the pool to do aerobics because my middle was so sensitive. After I got past putting on bathing suit it was a great work out! My gym I belong to now doesn’t have a pool. is that the pool at your condo? I think that’s a great solution if you need a break from running.

    • May 22, 2014 / 2:21 pm

      My foot is feeling A LOT better today … it’s actually feeling really normal. I’m still going to go to the doc and get it checked out to be on the safe side, but I hope to be back to regular running asap.

      Yes, it is the pool at my condo. We have two pools and not many children live in the building, so it’s usually pretty calm and perfect for a little ‘running’ 🙂