Aqua Running

Newcastle City Council have been offering Aqua Running taster sessions at various pools in town for the past couple of weeks. I know a few runners who have had long injury lay-offs that have benefited a lot from aqua running so I thought I’d give it a go.

What is aqua running? It’s basically a glorified form of treading water. You wear a buoyancy suit and run in place in the deep end of a pool for an hour. The obvious benefits are that it’s impact free and because of the resistance in the water and weight of the suit, a great workout.

The session is composed of various intervals. You’re told to ‘run’ in a variety of ways for a few minutes with short bursts of maximum effort followed by longer periods of recovery runs.  Then you’re given foam dumbbells and made to run while swinging them about underwater, thus giving your arms and upper body a workout.

I came out of it feeling  like I’d gotten a decent workout without the tiredness in the legs. It doesn’t feel like there’s much difference between this and swimming but if like me, you’re not a great swimmer and can barely tread water, then aqua running is a great impact free exercise, particularly if you’re injured and want to keep your fitness up. It’s not something that can ever replace pounding the pavement but I’ll definitely be substituting one of my training runs for a session in the pool every week.

You can find more information about the suit and videos of aqua running at

To book a session, check out the Active Newcastle website at or call the City Pool.

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