So I am on Day 4 of no running. Until this morning, I was convinced this was going to be a very long month. I woke up this morning and I was EXHAUSTED. I have been going to bed early the past 2 nights (I worked out both of those days) so I must be doing something correct with my cross-training.
Tuesday was Day 1 and I headed to the pool. I did 60 laps in just over an hour. I was on the swim team in high school, so swimming isn't hard for me, but my body felt it. The rest of the day I could barely keep my eyes open. Workout #1 was a success.
Day 2 I did 90 minutes on the elliptical machine that I have at home. I watched a movie which kept me on the machine longer than normal. It was a good workout, but I did feel a strain in my achilles within the last 30 minutes and throughout the rest of the day. Workout #2 was a success in terms of cardio, but I do know I can't repeat that workout until I am slightly more healed. Last night I was a little discouraged as I wasn't in the mood to head to the pool every morning but I also want to maintain my fitness.
Day 3, this morning I woke up exhausted and not in the mood to go swimming. I was planning on lifting weights after my swim but I didn't make it to the gym in time to get both in before my husband had to go to work so I knew it was just going to be my swim today. I warmed up with 10 laps which went pretty good. After that I put on my swim shoes and a swim belt and began aqua-running. I read a few threads on the Runner's World message boards this week about aqua-running. I questioned how much of a workout it could be but figured I would give it a try. Surprisingly, my heart rate did go up when aqua running and I enjoyed myself much more than swimming. I didn't have a workout planned so I did a steady 45 minutes of running and then cooled down with 5 more laps of swimming. Now that I am done, I know I didn't work out as hard as I did during my swim but my legs were definitely worked during this workout. Workout #3, success.
I came home and immediately looked up the training program I had been reading about. Pete Pfitzinger has a water running program, perfect since I really love his programs. His plan is labeled a 9 week running program to stay in shape while injured. Now I really hope I will not have to do this program for 9 weeks as I really feel my injury was not as severe as it could have been had I continued running on it, but I will do the program for at least 3-4 weeks and may only introduce short runs and continue aqua-running until I know I can add in road running again. I have read good reviews from other runners who feel they have maintained their fitness using this program and some who have even noted they were faster when they got out of the water. I do have my birthday 5k next month and would love a PR but we will see how it goes.
If you read this post and wonder how to get started with aqua-running when you are injured, I will list a few of the things I have seen recommended. It is recommended that you have water shoes and a flotation belt. These are not necessary but they make it easier. Luckily, my mom had both of these things so that saved me some money. I am currently waiting for my iPod waterproof case and waterproof headphones from H2O Audio. I will write a review on these once I get them, but I do miss my music when I am in the pool.
So there you have my current training program. I am thinking about editing the training program so that I can still get my long runs done on the weekends. I am going to be quite pruny when I spend 3 hours in the pool in order to simulate my 20 mile runs that I had on my training program. This may not sound too fun, but I can honestly say I am excited and happy that I finally can run again.