Pool Workouts

I have recently had a calf injury that prevents me from any running. I am planning to workout in the pool for speed days. Weights and med ball throws i am able to do. So ill contine to do those aspects.

My question is, does anybody know of any good sprint workouts that can be done in the pool? I did a search and was not able to find a whole lot of info.

Because of the resistance of the water, speed workouts in the pool won’t really be speed workouts. It would be like running into a headwind. Still, workouts in the pool are a great idea. If you are at a pool where people don’t mind the splashing, then I suggest putting on a floatation belt and doing 7-15 second sprint-type repetitions with of course similar rest to sprinting on the track (3-15 minutes rest).

i knew a guy who train for 5k. he was out of running for around 6mths due to a stress fracture. During that time he done a tonn of pool running. within a few wks of him coming out of the pool and running again, he was already doing sub 14min 5k.

Im more of a 100m 200m runner

but it just shows that even if you are out of the running for awhile, you can still maintain to a high degree what you have with pool work

I was thinking of doing a workout along the lines of what Heb has mentioned, sprints between 7 - 15 seconds. I am curious about the rests however, because i will be in the pool, my body will cool down much quicker, so would i have to shorten the recovery time?

When i do water running, I wear a flotation devise around my waist. Then i do 10 water runs, each about 15m, just focusing on staying relaxed and fully extending my legs. THen i take a 5 min rest to do some stretching and repeat with 10 more laps.



So I did for a workout of

10 min of runs and different movements in the pool to warm up

about belly button deep i did
2 x 20 m of skip A’s
2 x 20 m butt kicks

then in the deep end with weight belts
4 x 5 sec hard with one minute rest
5 min rest
1 x 15 sec hard
10 min rest

then back in the shallower end about shoulder deep
4 x 10 high knees walk back recovery.

then 5 minutes of movements to cool down

Any comments suggestions would be greatly apprecited.

From what I’ve been told, you should mostly stick to the deep end. The idea is to avoid any sort of impact. We would warm up in the hot tub or sauna and then do all our exercises in the deep end with flotation belts. It’s great for recovery and doesn’t cause ANY extra strain.

My private coach tells me that deep water running only tightens the hip flexors. He likes to use water dumbbells and do movements that use a lot of muscles.

I have not noticed tightness in my hip flexors, maybe becuase I stretch in the sauna after.

I wonder what would cause that tightness?

Just lifting your knees up works your hipflexors. I don’t get any workout just running in deep water. I can’t believe I use to think that helped. :mad:

I dont think water running in deep water is meant to be a vigorous work out? I just do it for muscle recovery and to go through the sprinting motions without ground contact. Instead of doing a tempo workout on turf, i water run.

My hip has been slightly bothering me lately, i cant imagine its from water running though?

I haven’t used a pool for a while but have had up to U18 athletes at national level using these guidlines.
Deep water offers a resistance in both directions, for a speed workout keep below 8 seconds and set the recovery to suit you.

With nothing to brace against at the bottom of the stride cycle it is entirely possible to destablise hip/pelvis while running deep water, esp if there was a weakness in the area to start with.

During my work with 400m sprinters the advanced athletes themselves requested one pool session per week (during the GPP phase) if possible to take the impact away from their legs.

Done at speed, especially with no flotation vest, the repetitive short bursts generate enormous lactic response - which is handy if you’re a 400m competitor because you need to learn how to “swim” in that stuff down the homestraight :stuck_out_tongue:

At the last coaching congress in aust Sally Mclellan’'s(world junior) coach used deep water as the sole training method for several months prior to the wj and she used the 8 second rule. “Medical reasons”. I think she won a medal.

I used this method in the late 1980’s with average athletes and they improved.

Could it be possible that phosphate tolerance is being trained rather than lactate tolerance or is it all bull.


I found deep water work was good for tempo, and hip deep work good for speed. The idea of keeping stuff under 8 seconds seems like a good idea, i was pretty beat after each run, then i would just stretch in the sauna. As for my hip flexors, they didnt get tight, maybe because of the stretching in the sauna. I wouldnt advise water running for regular inseason training but for early or injury time it helped me.

I thought that if all the experts say you cannot work at full intensity for any more that 8 seconds as I only used the pool on really hot days thought about try something different. The longer you train with wrong form the longer it takes to rectify. It worked for me