The Water Running Workout
On really hot days, Matthew Reedy, head running coach at Leapfrog Athletics in Southwest Florida, sends his athletes out to run thigh-deep in the Gulf of Mexico. He says running through water simulates tired legs and makes you focus on your form. Wear old running shoes for this — you want this to be as close to regular running as possible, so don’t go barefoot. “You do not point or reach your toes forward, this is overstriding and it will fatigue your quads," he says. "You move forward through the water by pushing, not by reaching out. The stride is short and powerful.”
Reedy plants PVC poles in quad-high water to mark the entry and exit points for his runners, but you can simply choose two landmarks about 60-yards apart. As you enter the water, focus on running with high knees and lifting your legs above the water. As the water reaches mid-thigh, shift your focus to using your arms and core to drive your stride. When you meet your designated exit point, leave the water and use the run back to the entry point as recovery. Repeat, trying to make it through 10 full laps. For a more advanced version, hold 16-ounce water bottles in each hand to further tax the arms, or tack on a 100-meter sprint through the sand to the end of each circuit.