4 Underwater Running Truths Every Track Athlete Should Know

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The track and field season is starting at a fast, furious gait and athletes from around the world will compete for personal, school, state and national fame. Those who want to reach their potentials may want to follow in the footsteps of those who have come before them and utilized HydroWorx underwater running for a boost.

Underwater Running Infographic

Despite the whirlwind of activity surrounding March Madness, the press hasn’t been able to ignore the burgeoning track season, kicking off at the 2016 World Indoor Track Championships in Portland, OR, on March 17. There, the U.S. made an excellent showing, revealing that training and talent are ripe for a track and field season where records are set and superstars emerge. For those deeply enmeshed in the world of track events this is a reminder of four important considerations that every participant – whether elite marathoner or 5K weekend warrior – needs to keep in mind.

#1: More Is Better… Except When It Isn’t

An unwritten rule among runners is that if one mile is good, two miles is better. High mileage is a reality, especially for mid-and long-distance running athletes at collegiate, pro and elite levels. Yet that same high mileage can cause serious injuries that can sideline someone from the winner’s circle to the rehab roster. As world-class trained runners like Galen Rupp know, additional miles can be safely logged on an underwater treadmill with resistance jets. Research from the International Journal of Aquatic Research and Education shows that when the resistance jets and treadmill speed are at max capacity, they effectively mimic uphill running without the joint-jolting that comes courtesy of gravitational forces. In some cases, up to 56 percent more energy per stride is possible underwater than on land.

#2: Running Can Be a Part-Time Sport But Requires a Full-Time Commitment

As thousands of Chinese runners learned at the marathon in Qingyuan on March 20, long-distance footraces require practical considerations. The number of injuries suffered far surpassed those that would be expected at a marathon in the States, Canada or Europe. Their national story is a strong reminder for anyone that a running program should follow at least a loosely-defined plan including smart training practices in low-impact environments, appropriate nutrition and the right type of gear.

#3: Youth Doesn’t Mean Invincibility

When the Wisconsin high school De Pere girls track and field team started this season, they had high hopes. Some of those hopes have already faltered due to one of their top athletes’ injuries, a tear to the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) in her right knee. ACL tears are some of the most commonly-seen among runners of all ages, including young, break-out stars, although acute and overuse injury risks do increase with time. Thanks to underwater treadmill rehab and exercise, an ACL tear doesn’t have to be a career-ender; it’s just a bump in the road.

#4: Cross-Training Is a Top Performer’s Friend

The Baltimore Sun recently reported on the huge gains that runners can get from cross-training. This includes strength training, which can be done in a variety of locations. While weight rooms are a primary location for strengthening the muscles, a warm-water therapy pool can also be a useful place for explosive sprinting, hopping, jogging and jumping. Data from a Texas A&M study also discovered that lean muscle mass grows when underwater running and underwater resistance training is added to an athlete’s regular regimen.

About HydroWorx®

Since the late 1990s, HydroWorx has manufactured aquatic therapy products with built-in underwater treadmills to enable medical and performance professionals to more effectively offer their patients and athletes the opportunity to increase range of motion, decrease risk of falls and joint stress, remain motivated through the rehab process and speed the return to play for athletes and every day normal activities.

Products such as the HydroWorx 2000 and 500 Series therapy pools, along with the new construction-free HydroWorx 300 system have revolutionized the face of aquatic therapy; in fact, HydroWorx technology is used by world-class facilities like the renowned Kennedy Krieger Institute, Cleveland Clinic, Frazier Rehab Institute and The Andrews Institute, as well as many elite athletic programs including the University of Oregon, Kansas City Royals, Washington Redskins, The Ohio State University, Manchester United and Chelsea Football Clubs and hundreds more.

HydroWorx offers a wide range of underwater treadmill pools and peripheral products and services. Every day, more than 24,000 athletes and patients use HydroWorx technology to recover from injuries and health conditions.

More information about HydroWorx can be found at http://www.HydroWorx.com

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Nicole Biesecker
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