Deep-water running for aerobic fitness
Based on current research, it would appear that DWRcan be a valuable mode of exercise within a running program. Beginners should focus on workout intensity and DWR form. Avoid becoming a human buoy floating in the water instead of an athlete in training!Aslight shift in mindset is required because increasing the speed of movements will increase drag, so gauging the intensity by horizontal movement through the water is not appropriate. Instead, consider charting leg turnover (also referred to as cadence); a higher cadence reflects a higher intensity. Intensity can subjectively be assessed with a perceived exertion scale, like the Brennan scale. Using interval training has been found to be beneficial in studies with trained runners (3,7). In addition to workout intensity, attention to running form appears to be key. Given the combination of buoyancy and the increased density of water (compared with air), realize that muscle recruitment will be somewhat different, but the intent is to mimic OLR form while in the water. Some time may be needed to adjust to this new mode of exercise, but attention to form and intensity will help maximize the potential training benefits.
Bushman, Barbara A. "Deep-Water Running for Aerobic Fitness." ACSM's Health & Fitness Journal 16, no. 4 (2012): 4-7.
ACSM's Health and Fitness Journal