As some of you know, I like to pound the pavements whenever possible. And I'm an avid runner, too (hey-hey! Buh-drrrrrrrm-chsssssh). But recently the pounding packed a little too much punch... and I was a little TOO avid. I pushed the training-racing envelope to the point where I was posting a letter to renew my BC medical insurance -- rather than a PB in the 2012 Vancouver Marathon.
Which meant I had to bite the bullet, throw my New Balance 880s in
the closet and accept the fact I’d be forced to engage in some alternative
sweat-enducing endeavours, in a bid to avoid gaining weight like a sumo
wrestler priming for a Grand Sumo title bout (their version of the Olympics).
One of the best non-weight-bearing activities is, of course, swimming. Done in a facility called a swimming pool (if a tropical beach is not handily located), this activity involves a person self-propelling across the water (rather like an alligator stalking prey, but with less grace): flailing his or her arms windmill-like (front crawl); like Tarzan trying to separate branches of a bush in the Amazonian rainforest to snatch a view of Jane (before they were going steady; breast-stroke); flailing their arms like a double-armed reverse windmill -- the famous goal celebration of 1970s English football/soccer star Mick Channon (butterfly); and practicing a vague combination of the crawl and breast-stroke facing chest-up (back-stroke). All the while doing something useful with their legs/feet (namely kicking and splashing voraciously to at least soak a few people in the Slow lane). And all with the principal goal of not sinking to the bottom and drowning.
For runners, there’s also the option of pool running – or aqua jogging, as it’s also
known (most runners will refer to it as the former, as referring to anything
running-related as jogging is a
heinous crime and will result in us runners emitting steam like a boiling kettle from various anatomical 'spouts' and not speaking to you for at least five seconds... until you ask us how our running's going).
So pool running (if you remember where we're at? I sure hope you do, as I'm pretty lost) is where you dive
into the deep end of the local baths and try to simulate running wearing a
flotation belt (like a World Championship boxing belt made of foam, but slightly less prestigious or hard-earned) – or going flotation belt-free, if you’re really hardcore... and keen to prove you can 'tread water' on-the-move.
I made my pool running debut last week, so am now (it goes without saying) an expert. Here’s my guide to this (possibly) ancient art-foam... I mean, form:
To read the rest of this column, check out BC Johnny's upcoming book: Chilled Almonds.