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Training to Run Without Pounding the Pavement

Posted Aug 24 2008 1:49pm
ANNOUNCER: Believe it or not, this woman is training for a marathon, not a swim meet!

Joan Rowland, Deep Water Runner: It's the ideal alternative exercise. Because it's getting to every part of the body.

ANNOUNCER: Joan is taking a class in deep water running.

Joan Rowland, Deep Water Runner: It's non-impact, it's non-weight-bearing and so you're not getting any of the pressure on your joints that you get when you're running on the road.

ANNOUNCER: Instead of pounding the pavement, runners in deep water remain suspended above the pool floor, usually with the help of a flotation belt. The buoyancy of the water protects them from injury while the resistance gives their muscles a workout.

Doug Stern, Deep Water Running Instructor: The water is 773 times as dense as air. It's really quite thick. It's hard to do. So, as you're running in the water, you're really getting stronger. The faster you move the more resistance you create.

ANNOUNCER: Deep water running helps improve muscle strength, cardiovascular fitness and flexibility. Because the water bears most of the body's weight it's also ideal for people recovering from injuries.

Doug Stern, Deep Water Running Instructor: You have bad knee? Yeah. Bad back? Bad ankle? Good. The water will take care of you.

Joan Rowland, Deep Water Runner: I had a bad ankle injury and I was in a removable cast. Came here on crutches. I took the class several times a week, because I was determined to do the marathon.

ANNOUNCER: But you don't have to be a marathon runner to reap the benefits.

Doug Stern, Deep Water Running Instructor: It's a low-skill activity. People go I'm just not coordinated. This requires no coordination. Anybody can do it.

ANNOUNCER: So run, don't walk – into the deep end of the pool. And thanks for joining us on today's Once Daily!

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