Time for the Belt

By: Cassandra Henkiel

Two weeks ago, it was Wednesday and another über hot and humid day in the afternoon. I didn’t have time in the A.M. for a run due to work and I had a social engagement early evening and HAD to get in my run in the P.M. Well, running in the great outdoors was not in my future. So, it’s that time and plan B was in execution. Got all slathered in sunscreen, put on my swim suit, sunglasses, visor, grabbed my water bottle and my swim backpack. Off I went to Deep Eddy Pool!

Time for the belt, an aqua belt that is, for my first aqua jog session of the summer season! I walked down to Deep Eddy around 3:30’ish and wasn’t ready for the scene I’d never witnessed before. There was a huge line to get in. Probably over 20 adults and kids, that’s what I get for going the last day of school! I totally forgot, though at this point, there’s not a plan C, so I patiently waited to get my card punched to head down to start my cool, wet run in the water.

My first intro to aqua jogging was back in college in 1991, when I was recovering from a stress fracture. Spent my last indoor and part of my outdoor track season of my senior year running my butt off in the pool. I ran everything the team ran at practice, though my practice was in the pool with other athletes doing their rehab. Can’t say that was a very fun time, though all that work kept me in great aerobic shape enough to come back in outdoors and get my time for outdoor Nationals and make All-American in both my events. Case in point – it works!

Since college, I swear by aqua jogging as a great tool for either rehabbing an injury to stay aerobically fit or as a cross training tool for any athlete. At this time of the year, I usually get 1-2 aqua jogging runs in a week, due to the high heat and humidity of ATX. As a runner training in these conditions, it’s truly hard to keep up with hydration from running day in and day out in these conditions. So, for a refreshing change, go get an aqua jogging belt or borrow one from a friend and try it out!

Here are my tips for a successful aqua jogging session:

1. You need a body of deep water, you’re feet are not to touch the bottom.

2. Form is important. So, do a little research or ask advice of someone who has experience.

3. The object is NOT moving forward. Your goal is to up your heart rate and have good form!

4. I recommend wearing either a hat, visor or sunglasses if it’s sunny. The reflection off the water is intense!

5. Bring a bottle of fluids to have near pool side for a sip here and there for hydration.


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