Water running can be an injured runner’s playground and is perhaps the safest option for cross-training through many impact-related injuries. Just think of times you’ve treaded water for more than 5 minutes in the ocean; yes it’s monotonous but it is an excellent aerobic workout.
The good news about Water Running is that there’s no impact on the body, so you can run in the water for as long you would run on land and perform hard workouts almost daily with no concern for aggravating an existing injury. This is important because not only will intense interval sessions keep you fit while you overcome the injury (severe shin splint, achilles pain, plantar fascitis etc.), but they will also keep you from losing your mind as you’re told to avoid running on land.
Ideally we do want the workout to be in a depend pool, but it can be done in a shallow pool. Your goal is to mimic your stride and “run in place” in the deep end for endurance runs or short sprints.
In the pool, short intervals from 30 seconds to 3 minutes with half to equal rest will give you the most bang for your buck. Because of the resistance provided by the water, your turnover will be slow but be sure to drive your knees in a sprinting-like fashion to keep your heart rate elevated. Even so, your heart rate will be lower than when running on land, so you will use perceived exertion to gauge your effort in the water.
Below is a YouTube video that explains more of running in water benefits. In short, STAY MOTIVATED!!! With hard work and dedication, you can actually IMPROVE your run even if that does not include lacing up sneakers to go for a run on dry land.