Running when there’s nowhere to run

As per my last post, I am now committed to a formal training schedule.  This means that I do not take days off when it is not convenient to run.  If there is little opportunity and a run is called for, I’d better start getting creative.

Last weekend I spent three days at my parents’ wonderful cottage.  It is so fantastic and relaxing and comes complete with sisters, brothers-in-law, cousins, parents and nephews with whom I love socializing.  The only problem: it’s on an island.  The island is filled with trees and does not contain any paths suitable for running.  It is not far by boat to the mainland where I can run on roads, but the extra time and effort required take me away from my pleasures at the cottage which is always a bit of a nuisance.  Not to mention, heading out for a run always means someone else is put in charge of looking after my brood.  This is not always a hard task, and many are happy to do it, but I just like to stay close if I can.

Luckily I’ve come up with the perfect solution: deep water running.

Deep water running is just that – going for a “run” in deep water (feet not touching the bottom).  I was introduced to this cross-training method in high-school, and relied on it to maintain fitness through an injury in university.  I’ve seen the effective results of water running – athletes often return from an injury after having trained in the water and set PB’s.  For a more in-depth review, here is a great article and training program outline for water running by Pete Pfitzinger.

I won’t lie – water running feels tough.  I always feel like I’ve done a lot more than my watch would indicate.  And it can be a tad boring.  Or very boring.  Before my run on the weekend I think I was gearing myself up for a good two hours – unlike my land runs where I don’t even think but just head out the door. The nice thing though is that this was my setting:

The water temperature was a perfect 17 degrees and the view was unbeatable.  So why did I keep looking at my watch every two minutes??  Somehow I can’t seem to let my mind wander as it does when land running.  This was my total effort:

I will usually do a water run to mix up my training or for convenience.  If I have to do more than one in a row however, it becomes more arduous, and one of them must be an interval workout to stave off boredom.

I’m not sure if I’m actually selling this idea to readers or turning you off.  So let me end with these three images:

1.  My endorphin-boosted self-satisfaction after a mere 35 minutes start to finish:

2.  My well deserved post-workout recovery drink:

3.  My view of the sunset – less than 100m from where my workout took place:

Final analysis – injured or not, I say give water running a shot.  It is summertime after all – get into it!