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Learn about aqua jogging and how it can keep you going

Running is a critical component of all training plans and its one-third of triathlon. It’s also the leading recreational and competitive sport that results in some form of injury. This includes sprains, plantar fasciitis, patellofemoral pain syndrome, stress fracture, etc. and they happen to everyone. There’s good news for triathletes experiencing a running-related injury in that they can keep training with aqua jogging. This is an effective form of training that will help you continue training and improve your cardio fitness. Aqua jogging provides a beneficial alternative to running without worsening an existing injury or increasing the stress on your joints. It’s also a great addition to your first 70.3 training plan or the perfect alternative to a 60-minute run.

Aqua jogging explained

Also called deep water running, this is a cardio exercise that is similar to jogging underwater. It’s performed two ways:

–      running laps in the shallow end of a pool

–      wearing a flotation belt around your midsection and jogging in deeper water

The flotation belt keeps you suspended in deeper water so your legs and arms move freely and mimic running. Your head remains above the water during aqua jogging so you can focus on your breathing as if you were running. Both of these can also be done using light, water-proof weights.

Benefits of aqua jogging

1) Injury rehab

This is a top training choice for injured runners. When wearing a flotation device, aqua jogging takes all the pressure off your lower body. It enables you to work out without experiencing any discomfort or pain from your injury. If you’re running in a shallow pool, the impact on your lower body will be significantly reduced.

2) Triathlon training

An important feature of aqua jogging is that it replicates running on land. Triathletes include this even if they aren’t injured, especially before or after a swim. You’re already in the water and you can continue to improve your cardio output and increase your muscle strength. Think of it as a brick workout! It also helps you maintain your running form and posture, while reducing the wear and tear on your lower body. Just like swimming, aqua jogging is a full-body workout that strengthens everything and helps you improve your balance.

3) General workouts

When you’re running in water the exertion is much less than on land. You don’t have to be injured or training for a triathlon to enjoy the benefits of aqua jogging. Incorporate it into your week and switch it out for a run. If you have a 60-minute run planned, try aqua jogging for 60 minutes. Your weekly mileage will be lower, but you’re still getting a significant workout without all the stress and pounding from running on the pavement.

Aqua jogging is the ideal alternative for injured athletes. But that’s not its only use! Add it to your training plan and turn your swim into a swim/aqua jog brick workout. And if you’re not training for anything specific, this particular exercise is a nice alternative to one of your weekly runs. Just because you’re not pounding the pavement doesn’t mean you can skip foam rolling. Take care of your body, even after spending time in the water, with these 4 effective foam rolling tips.

Learn to hydrate better with these 5 tips for triathletes

Water is the ultimate hydration for athletes, although it shouldn’t be your only hydration. You lose essential minerals when you sweat. Ensure you’re consuming enough electrolytes to replace what you lose. During physical activities like swimming, cycling, and running, dehydration can be a huge problem if you don’t hydrate properly. Triathletes can shed more water from their body compared to normal athletes, especially during prolonged or brick workouts. Knowing how you can hydrate better will go a long way in preventing dehydration, fatigue, and cramps. Learn to hydrate better as a triathlete when you review and adhere to the 5 tips below.

  1. Hydration timetable

Filling up your favorite water bottle several times a day will help you hydrate better.

You should create a schedule for fluid intake at regular intervals. Plan this according to your training and your day/week. Fill up your favorite water bottle and refill it throughout the day. Stick to this schedule and combine water and an electrolyte-based drink. Check with other triathletes and see what works for them. Keep in mind that your intake will differ based on your body composition, training plan, and how much you sweat. Remember that too much fluid intake can adversely affect your performance. If your training plan calls for you to increase your mileage, ensure you increase your hydration too.

  1. Add electrolytes

Proper hydration is necessary for maintaining the balance of electrolytes in your body. Essential electrolytes such as sodium and potassium are lost when you sweat. This can adversely affect your performance if you don’t properly hydrate prior to a workout and replace what you lost during the workout. Many specialty drinks with added electrolytes are available. Test some of them during strenuous workouts like brick workouts, find what works best for you, and stick with it. 

  1. Eat natural fruits

Watermelon is the perfect post-workout snack and will help you hydrate better.

Certain fruits are loaded with a lot of water and essential minerals. This will help in natural water replenishment and hydration. The additional mineral content also helps in balancing the electrolyte concentration. Fruits like watermelon and coconut are highly recommended for athletes. Treat yourself to these fruits when you take advantage of your rest days.

  1. Reduce caffeine

A cup of coffee might actually be beneficial. But you shouldn’t plan to drink a pot of coffee before a long workout or race day. It is a diuretic and can induce the need for passing urine frequently. Some electrolyte drinks will advertise that they have caffeine. The amount of caffeine in these electrolyte drinks might provide the same performance benefit as a cup of coffee. If you introduce new drinks, try them out with shorter workouts. You’ll know if they work for you and can adjust your intake for longer workouts. If you try new drinks on bike rides, follow this advice to get better at hydrating while cycling.

  1. Monitor food intake

Practice hydrating and cycling when finding the right hydration for you.

The water content in our body plays an important role in the digestion process. Certain types of foods are known for dehydrating your body. Processed foods and snacks with high salt content should be avoided in large quantities similar to caffeine. Nutrition with a small amount of salt isn’t detrimental as the salt could help replenish what you lose when you sweat. This will help your body to stay hydrated.

Training is the ideal time for you to research and test different hydrations. You’ll also need to learn what combination of water and an electrolyte-infused drink works best for you. These 5 tips will help you hydrate better, but at the end of the day it’s up to you to learn what works best for you.