Silver-haired ladies moving noodles around the pool to a medley of ABBA songs…. Throw out every preconception you might have about aquatics classes. This is a workout, and you’ll know it.

AUT Millennium’s Deep Water Running programme has been put together by Kiri Price, a qualified sports coach, aqua instructor and personal trainer. She’s also run over 160 marathons, so she knows her stuff about running. In these sessions, you’ll be instructed on running technique, making sure your posture is correct and arms are pumping. “It’s a structured training session,” Kiri says. “There’s a warm up, dynamic movements, a series of drills, then we have the workout, a warm down and stretch.” There’s also resistance work, occasional poolside push ups and core exercises – all of which can be tailored to your level of fitness level.

So how and why is Deep Water Running effective? It is 12 times harder to run in the water than on land. As a result, you burn four calories more per minute than running on land. In a non-weight bearing environment, you’re able to work on your aerobic capacity and general conditioning.

If you’re injured, or unable to take part in regular high intensity exercise, deep water running could be the answer for you. In deep water, there is minimal impact stress through the joints. There is also increased blood flow which aids in recovery. “Hydrostatic pressure increases blood flow by 30%, which aids blood flow into injured areas and flushes out waste products,” Kiri explains. “You can recover from everything from a hard gym session to a serious injury much quicker.”

If you’re not comfortable in the water, Deep Water Running is done wearing a flotation belt, which keeps you upright and your head out of the water, allowing you to focus on your workout (and chat, if you can!).

The unique combination of non-weight bearing activity, aerobic exercise and total body movements is what makes it an ideal activity for all ages and stages. “For serious athletes, it can aid your recovery and increase your training volume without increasing your load,” Kiri explains. “For our Everyday Champions, it can be anything you want it to be. You can use it to help you recover from gym sessions, lose weight, burn additional calories, help rehab an injury or to increase your fitness.”

So come jump in and see how you like it. Kiri, Vicki and Nicole are warm and welcoming to those interested in giving the class a go, and are happy to talk through how you can get the most out of the sessions.

Deep Water Running has become so popular within the AUT Millennium Community that there are now classes every day. Check out our class timetable for all class times, including the lower-intensity Wednesday session, which is perfect for those keen for lower intensity workouts, such as beginners or those looking for recovery and rehabilitation.

Don’t forget to ask the team at National Aquatic Centre Reception to stamp your card so you qualify for the Try A Class competition! And remember, even if you know and love Deep Water Running, you are still eligible to enter if you attend classes in April.

Our advice – arrive early – there’s a cap on class numbers and it’s first in, first served!

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Heather is our Communications Manager here at AUT Millennium. With a BA/BCom from the University of Auckland and postgraduate qualification in communications, Heather honed her copywriting skills in the recruitment and tertiary industries. As a storyteller, she loves to share the inspirational stories of the AUT Millennium community. Her mood will greatly depend on the current (mis)fortunes of the BlackCaps and Warriors. [email protected]