Need to Stay in Shape With a Foot Injury? Take Your Training to the Pool

Posted on: 31 May 2016

Exercise is an important part of staying in shape, but how can you stay active when you need to rest an injured foot? In addition to seeking physiotherapy to help you recover from your injury, you may also want to continue your cardiovascular training, so your fitness doesn't decline while you wait for your injury to heal. While pounding the pavements isn't a good idea when your foot hurts, if you have access to a swimming pool, you can safely keep running without putting further strain on your injured foot.

What is Pool Running?

Pool running is a sport that mimics ordinary dry-land jogging, but avoids impacts between your injured foot and the ground. It involves running along the surface of water, using a floatation device secured around the waist to keep your torso upright and your head out of the water.

Why Pool Running?

Pool running is an excellent substitute for running on land, as it uses a very similar technique. If you're training for a marathon or other running race, shifting your training into your pool can keep you on track, while taking the strain off your injured foot. Unlike swimming, the technique is quick and easy to master, and you don't have to put your face or head in the water, which many people find uncomfortable.

Use Intervals to Spice Up Your Training

For many people, the main downside of pool running is that it can be boring. Fight boredom by using intervals to diversify your training. Begin by jogging steadily around the deep end of the pool for a few minutes, focusing on keeping your body upright and your legs moving in a steady rhythm. Once you feel comfortable in the water, add in short bursts of intense running, where you move as fast as you can for one or two minutes. As your fitness increases, you can make the intervals longer and shorten the gentle jogging breaks between them.

Consult Your Physiotherapist

Pool running does not involve any impacts on the feet, but it's still a good idea to seek professional advice to find out whether it's a suitable choice for you and your injured foot. Ask your physiotherapist whether pool running can contribute to your recovery, alongside your regular physiotherapy sessions. As with any exercise, remember to listen to your body and stop if you feel sharp pains or lack of function in your injured foot.