Tuesday, March 3, 2009

A New Activity

Today I went for what was supposed to be just another regular swim during lunch. I was planning to do at least 1500m, but was also holding out hope that I would have enough mental stamina to endure the boredom and crank out a full 2000m. Once I managed to get out of the office and made it to the pool I must admit that my motivation was seriously waning. Standing in the nice warm shower rinsing off prior to going on deck I almost totally bailed on the whole swim idea. I'm glad that I didn't for otherwise I would never have had the chance to try...


When I got out on deck and saw all those people swimming laps I was not interested in just doing the same old thing. I thought back to a comment that was left on one of my posts a few months ago when a chiropractor (and fellow blogging runner) recommended I try this while my foot kept me off the road. Last night my wife made the same suggestion, for the same reasons.

Well, lo and behold the rack of floating belt thingys caught my eye and I stood there for a few minutes trying to decide what to do. Part of me felt a little weird contemplating the pool running thing. I'd never gone to a pool and voluntarily gone in the "slow" lane. I am a pretty strong swimmer and am usually the fastest in the lane. Running would pose many challenges, not the least of which was my fear that I would get in people's way and piss them off.

However, that didn't stop me and I strapped on a floating belt and went to work. Almost immediately I noticed that this was harder than I thought it would be as my heart rate jumped up and I started breathing harder and harder. Technique is not a word I can use to describe what I actually did, but I had a lot of fun. It was difficult to stay upright and keep my shoulders relaxed, that's for sure. I think my traps got more of a workout than I expected.

Although it took me somewhere between 4 and 5 minutes to do each 100m (two laps of the 50m pool) I still ended up passing two or three people. My fear of getting in their way was unwarranted. And no, the people I passed were NOT pool running. Swimming? Perhaps...

I "ran" for almost 30 minutes and will likely do this again. Any tips on technique would be much appreciated as I don't want to create new problems doing an activity that is designed to fix an existing one.

This evening I did another strength routine that consists of the following:

  • 3 X 25 crunches on a yoga ball
  • 3 X 25 push ups with feet up on the aforementioned ball
  • 3 X 15 squats against the wall with the ball
  • 3 X 8 chin ups (no yoga ball as I've yet to figure out how it can be incorporated)

Then I did some more hip flexor exercises and stretched for a while. I hope the foot lets me run tomorrow night, but I am fully prepared to skip it if I have to.

And lastly, I loaded up my Garmin stats into BIMactive and will check out how this site works. Thanks Marcy for the tip! I do like the statistics summary for my year-to-date running, and they look like this:

Don't know what the whole difficulty level thing means, but I am worried that my competitive nature would use this for evil rather than good, and end up with more injury, so I will try to curb my curiosity for the moment.

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Blogger Blyfinn said...

I really want to know more regarding the pool running thing. I can not run (on the road) at the moment and would try anything to stay n shape. If you would be willing I would be very greatful for an email regarding how you used the floating belt things to do the pool running

March 3, 2009 at 10:40 PM  
Anonymous Greg said...

I tried pool running for a while recuperating from a torn ACL. Surprisingly good exercise.

March 4, 2009 at 6:59 AM  
Blogger Vava said...

Blyfinn: No problem! I just sent you an email. Let me know if I can be of any further help and good luck!

March 4, 2009 at 9:30 AM  
Blogger Chad in the AZ Desert said...

Nice job with the pool running. I know that Deena Kaster swear by it in her training. It's a great way to improve your running strength without any pounding on the body.

March 4, 2009 at 10:53 AM  
Blogger The Happy Runner said...

I've heard that pool running is really good for you. It will be neat to see how it works for you.

March 4, 2009 at 3:18 PM  

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