I needed a recovery day from tri camp so I went for a 40 minute aqua jogging session yesterday and it felt great. Whenever I need a recovery workout, I aqua jog. If I'm on the verge of injury, or already injured, I aqua jog. Whenever the weather is horrendous and running outside will make me miserable or hate life, I aqua jog. In the winter, I aqua jog at least once a week and I'm one of those crazy people that actually enjoys it. I think I find pleasure in it because I believe in it as an effective tool for improving running and so does Bill. He has used it before several key races when he was injured and he was able to perform well running. Of course, he is a genetic freak so we can't really count him.
I use hydro cuffs for my workouts (photo above) they provide buoyancy and resistance for your legs. I alternate between a high knee lift and a straight leg stride (like cross country skiing) during the workouts. I notice when I run on land, especially into a strong headwind that I am able to drive my knees up consistently and I credit that to aqua jogging. I think it makes me stronger and keeps me away from injury.
Bill likes to do several sprints while aqua jogging and even carry a water brick on occasion to make it harder. A lot of people I talk to about aqua jogging say it's boring--I try to aqua jog with a friend or do lots of different sets so the time passes faster and I don't go longer than 1 hour.
When I have a good aqua jogging session, my entire body is fatigued, the resistance from the water makes for a great total body workout. It also feels good to aqua jog in slightly cool water, that feels very nice for recovery. I have arthritis and aqua jogging helps ease some of the pain in my upper body. In warmer water you have to be careful to drink water since you can't feel yourself sweat. I have stumbled out of the pool a couple of times after not drinking enough. Here are some articles that include information about aqua jogging:
-Active.com Try Aqua Jogging for Recovery
-Runner's World Forum
My recovery time is over, today I'm back to swim class and will ride the trainer tonight after work. Tomorrow is Bill's birthday so I'll have to fit a run in early so we can go out and have a nice evening. I've come up with a race plan for Saturday and I hope I can stick to it: cruise the swim (the pool is ridiculous--3 lanes and super shallow so there will be no 500 PR here) get up the first set up hills on the bike at a moderate pace and then start pushing hard for the rest of the bike, cruise the first mile of the run and then build into a hard pace and then end with an all out effort and hope there is no one around me at the end since I've lost every sprint finish I've been in. This could be the only triathlon I do this year or the start of the tri season depending on whether or not I get pregnant. That's quite a split in the road: pregnancy or triathlons. It will be interesting to see what happens!