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Aquajogging Hints & Tips
Another option to consider is to run in the pool.
This can be a great way to start running, cross-train, recover from an injury or just run alone.
Most Aquajoggers use an Aquajogging belt which is a foam floatation belt that when attached around your waste will allow you to float upright while running in the water. These can often be hired from your local pool or you can purchase your own.
The idea is to run without touching the ground so a deeper pool is better. Some public pools have a deep end or even a diving pool which Aquajoggers can use. Some pools even allocate a specific lane for Aquajogging.
Pool running/aquajogging can be very good for a variety of reasons:
Non-weight bearing. As you are not touching the ground and the water is supporting your body weight, aquajogging is great for your joints as you are not getting the constant impact of the ground. People carrying extra weight have found this to be a nicer running introduction or cross-training option that is kinder on the knees and hips etc.
Recovery. Because of the nature of Aquajogging it is great when used as a recovery run after the "Long Run" or when you are recovering from an injury that stops you getting out on the road or treadmill.
Independence. As a blind or partially sighted runner, you can do this without a guide runner totally safely and at a level of energy of your choice. I have used two methods which include either trailing along the side of the lane, or fixing myself to one location via a bungee cable that is attached to the back of my aquajogging belt and a point on the outside of the pool such as a lane marker or eyelet. I use a bungee cable like you may use for a trailer tiedown with a hook on each end as this is easy to attach to the pool.
Aquajogging can not always be the most mentally stimulating activity in the world. So if you are doing it alone then you may want to look at using a waterproof MP3 player/iPod. As your head is always out of the water I have known people to attach their regular iPod to their hair or wear it under a swimming cap. I purchased a waterproof iPod Shuffle from www.h2ofriendly.comwhich was $149 u.s. and can be attached to goggles or whatever. It is easy to use and has "Voice Over" speech to tell you what track is playing.
Another trick I use is to ask a pool lifeguard to let me know when I have completed the amount of time that I wish to run for.
Aquajogging can be quite a social event too. I have met lots of cool people doing the pool running thing for a variety of reasons. Some pools even run classes/training sessions which may suit your requirements. Otherwise, run with a friend or two or drag a family member or partner off the couch for something different to do.
Chafing. Just a tip, but many people experience chafing while Aquajogging. You may like to trial anti-chafing gels or different clothing if you find this is happening. I have been known (more than once) to find chafed areas either whilst on the walk home from the pool or when you jump in the shower. Ouch! Makes you walk funny as well.
Interval training. You may like to vary your Aquajogging sessions. For example jog for five minutes, sprint for one minute and so on. You can even mix it up with a set of straight leg scissor movements, high knees or hamstring curls where you lift your heel towards your butt. The variety just helps keep it interesting.
If you get really courageous, you could even try Aquajogging without the belt. Man will you soon find out how fit you really are.
Another cool thing is you can Aquajog at the beach or at a lake or river. It is a lot easier to Aquajog at the beach without a floatation belt as the salt water helps you keep your head above the water. Really? Yes, try it out.
Aquafins. For additional resistance when aquajogging you might like to try a set of Aquafins.
Aquafins are like plastic wings that are attached to the ankles with Velcro and are ideal for aqua-jogging, pool running, deep and shallow water exercising. If used in conjunction with aquatic Aquagloves, the entire body receives a great workout. For more information check out the Aquafins New Zealand website or email firstname.lastname@example.org
I have found that intergrating a few longer Aquajogging sessions into my weekly training schedule to be extremely beneficial. Pre-marathon build-ups have seen me do up to 3 hour pool sessions. You know you have done something when you finish that. I have found that having on going shin issues has made me make good use of Aquajogging as a great cross-training solution. Try it out. Let me know how you get on.
This page was created on 3 January 2011