Deep water running with a flotation vest provides an excellent training stimulus, and more closely simulates land running than most other cross training options. Running in the water is a total body exercise that works your legs, trunk, and arms, and positively stresses your cardiovascular system. By maintaining correct alignment the abdominals are engaged and this improves strength in the core. This strength helps to protect the back and spine.
Several studies have verified that deep water running can be used by runners to maintain fitness. Investigators from Florida State University coerced a group of trained male runners to run in the water while another group continued regular training. The runners were tested for VO2 max, lactate threshold, and running economy before and after 6 weeks of water running.
The water running group fully maintained their aerobic fitness over the 6 weeks. Similarly, a study by Ed Eyestone (yes that Ed Eyestone) and colleagues at Brigham Young University found no change in 2 mile run time after runners trained in the water for 6 weeks. Additional support for the fitness benefits of water running is provided by a study from the exercise physiology lab at the University of Toledo, in which trained runners ran in the water 5 to 6 days per week for 4 weeks. These runners had no change in 5 km performance time, VO2 max, lactate threshold, or running economy after 4 weeks of water running. So, there is little question that water running is an effective method for runners to stay fit.
But it is not only for runners. The class suits anyone who wants to improve their cardio vascular fitness, core strength and flexibility.
Please Note: This class is not suitable for non-swimmers.