3 Aqua Running / Swim Sessions for Triathletes

Water running is very useful for injured triathletes but not exclusively so

We have been using “aquajogging” or “water running”,  in triathletes’ training programs (especially during the winter months) for several years and can clearly see the benefits it brings. It is an excellent , almost stress free work out which reduces impact on your joints.

Notes On Effective Deep-Water Running

Run as you would on land in the deep end (you can choose to  use a deep-water jogger belt or not, depending on your level). You can either move across or along the pool or you can stay in one spot (or one small area).

Do not to just tread water (that’s cheating), but try to simulate your run gait and flex your ankles, knees and hips as you would while running on land. Your running should look like your running on land, including your arm movements and just as in land running, it should be a true aerobic work out. You can use a heart rate monitor to monitor your intensity in just the same way as you would during a run.

Here are three Aqua running sessions that you can include each week during the winter as part of your winter training program, or if you are recovering from run injuries and do not want to overtly stress your recovering injury. Your  Run “tempo” intensity should be 96 percent of your average heart rate for a 5K race. In water, because your weight is supported it is harder to get your heart rate up that high, so you will probably find the equivalent is 5 – 10 beats lower.

Any new activity will take time to master and even enjoy, be careful not to fall into it becoming a low-intensity recovery session (although it can obviously be used for that too).  However the purpose of these three particular workouts is to provide low-impact but reasonably high-intensity tempo-running to keep you  fit without pounding the tracks or treadmills.

Session 1

Warm-up: 300-meter swim

—( 200-m pull, 100 cr Drills (own choice)

Swim set: 800 meters

—(aim to hold even pace for each 100 m)

—1 min rest

—400m cr pull aim to hold the same pace as the 800m

Run set: 20-min water running

—2min warm-up

—3 x 5:00mins  (as 1min tempo intensity, 1 min easy-jogging recovery)

—1 min recovery between each 5 mins

Swim set: 500m

—(aim to hold even pace for each 100m)

—1 min rest

—(200m aim to hold even pace for each100)

Cool-down: 200m

—easy own choice cool down

TOTAL DISTANCE =  2,400 (swim) + 20Minutes run

Session 2

Warm-up: 700m

—(200cr, 200cr pull, 100 cr kick,

—(200 cr single arm  – change arms every 50m)

Run set: 400m

—(Jog 8 x 50m (or 3 minutes) with 15 secs rest)

—(in shallow water, alternating high knees and heal flicks)

Swim set: 800m

—(4 x 200m cr pull with paddles breathing every 5 strokes go on 3.30mins)

Run set: 15mins

—10 x 1: 30 (40 secs sprint/jog, 20 secs treading water/rest, 20 secs sprint/jog, 10 secs treading water/rest)

Swim set: 12 x 50m cr go on 50 sec

Run set: 5min light jogging, shallow water

Cool-down: 200m  (easy own choice cool down)


TOTAL DISTANCE =  2,300 (swim) + 46 Minutes (ish) run


Session 3

Warm-up Mixed: 400m

—(400 easy oc warm up)

—(5 mins easy aqua jog (deep water))

Swim set: 400m

—(4 x 100 done as 50 swim, 50 kick rest 15 sec)

Run set:  5 mins

—(4x1min as 30 sec – aim for 45 strides ( counting 1 leg) 30 sec steady, rest 15 sec (chest depth water)

Swim set: 400m cr

—(8 x 50 done as 25 catch up, 25 full stroke, rest 10 sec per 50)

Run set:  5 mins

—(4x1min as 30 sec – aim for 45 strides ( counting 1 leg) 30 sec steady, rest 15 sec (chest depth water)

Swim set: 800m

—(4 x 200 cr hard but breath every 5 strokes rest  20 sec per 200)

Run set:  10.30 mins

—3 x 3 mins aims for 80 strides per min ( count 1 leg) with 30 sec easy recovery per 3minutes (deep water)

Cool-down: 200m  (easy crawl really stretch out your stroke )

TOTAL DISTANCE =  2,200 (swim) + 25 Minutes (ish) run

Related Posts
pingbacks / trackbacks
  • […] I have been given the all clear to run again by my physio and have been on the treadmill a few times (it’s the safest environment), happy to stay I’ve still got some legs! However, am being conservative with my ankle and easing myself back into it, by way of deep water running in the pool.  The water is great resistance, and means much less impact. DWR is actually really fun and brings out my inner aqua aerobics child! For all you non-runners out there, I encourage you to give it a go.  You can find some example workouts here and here. […]

Leave a Comment

Translate »