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Injured and Can't Run? AquaJog! - Geek Turned Athlete

Injured and Can’t Run? AquaJog!


First off, I just wanted to thank everyone that checked out the video that I posted about yesterday.  I loved reading the comments and emails!

After twisting my ankle on Monday, I had to make a horrible call today telling one of my friends that I could not go snowboarding in Austria with her this weekend.  I felt so bad, but my ankle is still not better despite not running except for once this week.  It even hurt me during yoga.  The friend, who is also a PT, understands and doesn’t think the pressure on the ankle would be a good thing either.  It needs to rest, unfortunately!  I guess once you sprain your ankle, you are more susceptible to twisting it again afterwards.  I first sprained it two years ago two days after I moved to Europe.  It was black and blue, and I had to walk around with crutches for two weeks.  Then, I retwisted it during the Prague Half Marathon in March of last year.  DSC01303 It is not as bad as those two times though.  I have decided to not freak out about this because there are far worse things going on in the world right now, and this is just a small blip on the the radar in the grand scheme of life.

Instead, I have decided that if my ankle is still not 100% by Sunday, I will try some aqua jogging.  I did some research, and here is what I found:

  • Aqua jogging is great for the injured, overweight, or persons suffering from orthopedic conditions and back ailments because it is an effective low impact exercise due to water resistance.
  • You can add extra mileage to your running schedule without the high impact damage.
  • It increases your range of motion, promotes muscle balance, and improves coordination, balance, and stability.
  • You only need an aquajogging belt (most gyms and public pools have these for you to borrow) and of course, a swim suit to do it in.
  • For the best workout, try to combine a swimming session with an aquajogging session to form a BRICK workout (For those of you who don’t know what a brick workout is, it is just combining two or more sports together in one workout.)
  • With the belt on, enter the deep end of the pool, and run as if you would on land.  Don’t just tread water.
  • Concentrate on your running technique and really push yourself like you would on land.  This means flexing your ankles, hips, and knees just like you would if running down the street.  This is all in addition to an arm swing that you would normally do on land.
  • You should be breathing hard if you are doing it right!

Here is a workout that I got from complete with a 2,700 meter swim and 45 minutes of aquajogging:

  • Warm-up: 300-meter swim, 200-meter pull, 100-meter kick
  • Swim set: 800 meters at race pace
  • Jog: 20-minute water run with: 2-minute warm-up; 3 x 5:00 @ tempo intensity on 1-minute easy-jogging recovery
  • Swim set 2: 500 meters race pace
  • Jog: 15-minute water run with: 5 x 2 minutes hard (max intensity and turnover) on 1-minute easy-jogging recovery
  • Swim set: 3 x 250 race pace on 15 seconds rest
  • Jog: 10 minutes tempo intensity
  • Cool-down: 50 meters

Of course, you don’t have to swim at all, or you could cut it down or increase the workout to what you can handle.  I’m so happy that one of my friends suggested this to me as I forgot that it was one of my options when I’m injured.  I’m just glad that this week was a recovery week in my marathon training!  On to some ankle icing!!

I would love to hear about what you all do when you can’t run!

{ 6 comments… add one }
  • Charisa January 15, 2010, 12:39 am

    When I broke my foot I did aqua jogging as it was healing – loved it – you can really work up a sweat! Good luck, it will be better quick. Sorry you could not snowboard.

  • Good Taste. Healthy Me January 15, 2010, 3:16 am

    My knee can really bother me if I run too much so I work out on the elliptical because it’s less impact on the knees. I know you probably can’t do that either now though. 🙁

  • Zoë January 15, 2010, 4:54 am

    I’m glad that aquajogging is working for you! Ice that ankle and heal quickly!

  • Erica January 15, 2010, 2:32 pm

    Oh girl! Glad you’re taking it easy. I think aqua jogging is a great idea! So easy on the joints! When I can’t run, I will focus on weight training (obviously skipping the injured area) or swim!

  • Carrie Nyden January 17, 2010, 5:15 am

    Hey chica! Just found your blog! Love it 🙂

    I used to be a runner (cyclist/triathlete) and I often did aqua jogging when I was injured! It can be a little boring… But it gets a workout in! If you can find someone to do it with, it makes MUCH more fun! Also, I use to alternate jogging with and without the belt. Without the belt is an intense workout! Great way to throw in intervals without the impact.

    Also, when my legs were really messed up, I did arm-swimming. I stuck a buoyant device in between my legs and swam only with my arms. Have you tried that? Although, if it doesn’t hurt to swim, then I would just stick with the swimming (and maybe mix it up a bit with the arm swimming).

    And I agree with Erica, this is a great time to weight train!! I love, love, love lifting weights!

    Hope you had a great day! 🙂

  • Sara March 7, 2012, 12:41 pm

    I tried aqua jogging a few years ago because i had some problems with my knees and it was awsome..such a good and relaxing feeling 🙂
    Sara recently posted..Military Star Card


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