Monday, February 11, 2008

Cross-training


I've only been two times so far, but I have to say I'm loving the pool running. Thanks to Bob for his recent posts on the subject. I've known about this form of cross training, but being a non-swimmer, I don't think I'd have considered it otherwise.

Yesterday, I ran for 30 minutes while the little guy was at swim team practice. The only feasible place to run was in the open play area so I had to make sure to stay out of the way of the kids jumping in and splashing around. Marc ran with me for a while but then went to swim some laps. Interestingly, another man showed up to run, who just so happened to be a former high school track and cross country coach. We chatted for about 15 minutes, which helped pass the time. I explained why I was there and I think he was surprised that I could pool run without pain. He suggested that I might actually have a bulging disc which could be causing referred pain into my hamstring. I'm not sure he's right, but I'll definitely bring up the possibility of alternate diagnoses with my PT on Wednesday.

This evening I ran for 35 minutes and it was a much more peaceful experience. I arrived while the aqua aerobics class was going on in the lap pool. They had 4 lanes roped off, but since they were only using the shallow end, I had a good 30 sq ft of the deep end to myself. I was right by the timing clock ticking off the seconds, so I passed the time by going hard/easy for 60 second intervals. This lasted for 15 minutes. Then I started losing my form and spent about 5 minutes trying to regain my rhythm. Out of water, our bodies naturally know how to walk and run. But in the water its easy to lose stride and start lifting right knee with right arm, then left knee with left arm. Or maybe its just me! After finally getting my form back, I ran another 15 minutes steady. Surprisingly pool running is not boring. At least at the community center pool, there's a lot to focus on. My goal is to work up to 60 minutes. And I think I'm going to keep this up long term. I have to take the little guy to swim practice anyway. I might as well take the plunge too.

This weekend I also tested out the various cardio machines at the gym at work. Both the elliptical and stair climber feel fine. I used each machine for 30 minutes and had no pain, but did feel a little pain later in the day. And were my quads ever sore. Ouch! But in a good way! I should probably make those machines part of a regular cross-training routine too. So many ways to exercise and too little time! I tried some power walking on the treadmill too but felt some pain in my hamstring so stopped. At some point I might try to push it, but right now I want to stick to painless activities.

Endorphin junkie signing off!


12 comments:

Natalie said...

Well, I feel a little silly posting a comment on your blog, since I will surely never, ever be a runner. But hey, I can still send PVs that you'll be on the mend and feeling better soonest. BTW, that's a cool picture on the left - is it you? And last, I love the elliptical, and since there is no gym to speak of here (okay, there's one - it's got equipment that looks as old as me, nearly, and not surprisingly, there is no babysitting option), I'm going to have to suck it up and buy one, I think.

Backofpack said...

Sarah,
Did you have all the gear showing in the picture? When I did pool running (keeping an injured friend company) we just wore belts. No feet thingies, and no arm weight things. I'm glad it's going well for you, and even better, that you like it!

olga said...

You are a real dedicated person...I could never make it for this form of cross-training:) So proud of you, may be you'll teach me this one day!

Sarah said...

backofpack said: "Did you have all the gear showing in the picture?"

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

So far I'm just using the belt. The pool has some of the hand "weights" and also some webbed gloves for extra resistance. No shoes available that I can see. But right now I'm happy just concentrating on my form and working up to 60 minutes.

Carrie said...

I've been meaning to post to say, first, I'm so happy that your visit to the PA went well! It's horrid when you go to the Dr saying "I need help" and the only answer is "stop what you're doing" instead of working with you to get better. Again, I'm glad you had the other experience.

Second, we aqua jog at least once a month with my workout group. We do it at the beach park, which can be a little challenging if the surf is up (it's protected by a breakwater though), but the salt water is nice because you're really buoyant without a belt. Anyway, I've always been pleasantly surprised at how tired I am the next day. And doing intervals is much easier in the water, I've found.

Pinkcorker said...

Nice legs (I hope you don't mind me saying that-I'm assuming it is you?) I know that when I have been out for injury, I discovered some other activities that were really enjoyable! I'm sure you'll keep your fitness while you heal doing all that other stuff.
Renee

angie's pink fuzzy said...

i've heard pool running is great cross-training. where'd you get your gear?

Sarah said...

No, the picture is not me! : )

The community center pool I've been going to has all the gear to borrow. Sweet!

robtherunner said...

Glad to hear you are able to manage some good cross training. Yes, there is just not enough time for exercising.

rick said...

Really it's not boring? They have a PT center here that holds classes in groups so folks can keep themselves company. Glad you are finding new ways to keep up your fitness.

Joe said...

I'm impressed with your discipline, Sarah. Good for you. You'll be keeping the cardio in good shape while easing the stress.

Eventually, it will make the trails all that more enjoyable...knowing the time you've been off of them.

Darrell said...

I've wondered about this option. I'm glad to hear that its working for you.