Having been struck by a massive tree trunk of reality where I can’t run or can’t cycle (for the time being) I was advised by the lovely physio to try Aqua Jogging. So I did. To do this you are required to have a belt to keep you stable in the pool, almost like arm bands but for your waist.
Internet purchase made I waited for the delivery of my new toy. In the mean time I needed to see how this thing would be used so watched a few videos.. one of which being Kerri-Anne Payne describing how good it is (spurred on by the speedo marketing team of course).
How hard can it be? Running/ jogging in the pool?
Arriving at the pool with said toy, I gingerly made my way over to the bop around ‘open water’ bit of the local 50m pool. I normally swim in the lanes here and swimming in this open water bit is usually home to the non-serious swimmers (not that I take myself seriously of course!). So I jumped in, after placing the belt by the side. My main aim here was to try to put the belt on without people noticing. This was an epic fail on my behalf. The fact that this thing is bouyant didn’t really help at all, and I kinda had to get into a lying down position and then attach the belt.
Thankfully I had the sense to adjust the waist strap on dry land so as it was at least a little bit tight to me. They clearly make these for all sizes as there was another 2 foot of belt that could be used!
Anyway, belt on, snapped shut, kinda floating. This was the idea right?
Right! SO now all I needed to do was to jog.
First of all, I couldn’t work out if my legs were treading water, running or cycling. I didn’t really know what motion I was supposed to do, and as there was no road as such to push back on, I’m not entirely sure what my feet were doing. Anyway, I perservered and seemed to be moving up the lane.
I was looking like a fanny (coloquial Scottish for an idiot) to be honest but no one was pointing and laughing so that was a bonus. Some girls, with full make up, eye shadow and hair tied up swimming (debatable) with their heads above the water passed me with very little effort on their behalf, except, I was starting to huff and puff.
Still not sure if I was making a running motion, or a cycling motion I decided to close my eyes and pretend I was running outside. This probably made me look even more silly.
I seemed to master the technique, and realised that no matter what I was doing, my heart rate was being raised – if only to 120bpm.
On my return journey down the 50m pool, I realised in the distance while trying to navigate a path between the kids splashing and the old ladies bopping up and down, there was a man bobbing up and down but with a bit of a grimace on his face. Now first thoughts was that he was pushing one out (sorry if you’re eating right now) but then I realised his arms were moving in a running motion. As he drew nearer I realised he was also aqua jogging. Now normally, in these situations were a fellow runner runs past another runner, I would exchange pleasantries by way of a nod and a smile, or if I was up to it, a Hiya! or hi!
But! what was the etiquette for Aqua joggers? I mean, normally in a pool I hardly speak, apart from to moan or to thank the person for letting me by at the end of the lane. I would never strike up a conversation in the pool at all, there usually isn’t any time, or there is that lingering bit when you may be sharing a breather moment with a fellow laner goer.
In this instance I thought it was better to ignore, but in my case I just stared. I was staring as I wanted to check out his, erm, technique! Realised that I could see bugger all as the water distorts everything under the line and I didn’t want to be too obvious and put my goggles on and gawp at him underwater as he jogged on by.
This happend a further 5 times in the course of the 30 min session. I did notice he had a different make, and not a Speedo one like mine was. He did have to adjust his a bit though, getting out of the pool and tightening his up. But this could have been due to him being super skinny and mine holding on due to the flab! 🙂
Anyhoo I digress. My running was good, I thought and then I realised the sign, ‘Underwater Cameras in use’. Ah HA! I thought, there were monitors by the pool showing live pictures, not for people to perve on but for the lifeguards to look at (I assume this is the case anyway). I then started looking at the screen to see if I could see myself in the screen as I wasn’t sure where the cameras were located. Eventually, and almost perpendicular with the screen I saw myself! I stopped and looked at my technique, of which I thought looked similar to jogging if a little too much lean but then again I am not really jogging.
By this point my knee was a bit niggly and so I decided half an hour was enough fun for the time being. It was a bit strange not actually swimming but I enjoyed the experience nevertheless! 🙂
Aqua jogging.. *thumbs up* especially the Speedo Aqua Belt (I am not endorsed by Speedo, I endorse them freely and with genuine meaning, except I have not personally tried other belts, and there are other manufacutrers out there). (P.s. I am not the BBC).