Disclaimer: I received the Fluid Running H2Go System in exchange for my honest review. As always, all opinions are my own. This post is not intended to serve as medical advice. Please check with your healthcare provider before starting any new exercise program.
As you may recall from this Instagram post, just about eight weeks ago I developed an odd pain and ultimately, swelling on the lateral side of my left knee. I couldn’t remember any recent pain or injury while running or doing anything else, and with some important races (both virtual and live) on the horizon, I wanted to take care of it before things got worse. I was able to get in to see a Sports Medicine doctor within a week, and luckily (besides the swelling), there were no radiologic signs of injury (or even arthritis, for that matter). She gave me a prescription for an NSAID along with some PT exercises that included a return-to-running program. While the pain and swelling were much improved in as little as two weeks, it was still there. Coincidentally, around that time I was offered the opportunity to test out Fluid Running.
Admittedly, when I first received the invitation I envisioned my elderly mother-in-law’s water aerobics class, but after doing each of the workouts I assure you, this ain’t your grandma’s pool class! The program, now in its tenth year, was developed by Jennifer Conroyd, a fitness professional, A.C.E. certified personal trainer, and USA Track and Field certified coach. The program is app-based (download it on the App Store or Google Play). Once you’ve downloaded the app, as long as you have access to a pool or deep water, you are pretty much ready to go!
The full system includes a flotation belt and tether, a waterproof Bluetooth headset, instructional videos, and four audio workouts. The tether is optional, and in my pool, I didn’t need to use it. If you already own a flotation belt and Bluetooth waterproof headphones, you can buy the H2Go Digital Bundle for $70 less than the price of the full system. This option includes the instructional videos and three audio workouts. Additional workouts are available for purchase. Workouts are marked so you can choose your level of difficulty: Level 1: Easy-Moderate, Level 2: Challenging, Level 3: Hard
The H2Go system is simple to use – and if you are worried about being able to do it, there is a quick tutorial showing the basic moves. In fact, you can download the App and listen to and test out a 27 minute workout before you make your purchase. How cool is that?! To access the sample workout, open up the App and rather than signing in, click on “browse content” below the login button. From there, click on “About” at the bottom of the page. You will see some narrative information about the program, and as you scroll down, you will see the following: “Try Fluid Running H2Go till not convinced? Try our sample Fluid Running H2Go Workout, Dare to Try”. Click on the underlined narrative to access both the sample workout instructions and the sample workout itself.
So for the big question: How did I like it? Not having previously done structured pool running workouts, it took me a few tries to get the hang of things. The moves themselves are pretty easy to do, but I found myself instinctively moving my arms in a swim-stroke pattern when I first started out. Once I got into the groove, it was easy to stay in proper ‘running’ form. The sessions were fun, but also provided enough of a challenge that I really felt like I was getting a good workout. Running while suspended in water definitely feels different than running on dry ground. And the no-impact benefit was just what the doctor ordered (quite literally) for nursing my knee injury. In fact, when I met with her for my follow-up appointment and told her about the program, she said she plans to recommend Fluid Running to her patients in the future!
I’ve continued to use the program about twice a week, even though my knee is pretty much back to normal. Luckily I’m short enough, and the deep end of my pool is deep enough, that I was able to do these workouts in the comfort of my own backyard. We will be closing our pool for the season in about a month, so I will continue to use the H2Go program at least until then. While I typically don’t enjoy instructor-led workouts (the instructors tend to be too peppy and do too much yelling for my tastes), I found Jennifer’s voice to be calm and soothing, which made even the more challenging parts of the workouts seem easier.
Have you tried pool running? I would definitely recommend this program for both new and experienced pool runners!
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On my 2021/2022/2023 Race Calendar:
July 31, 2021: PNC Chicago Bears Virtual 5K
September 15, 2021: Inspiration4 Miler Benefiting St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital
October 10, 2021: Chicago Marathon
October 10, 2021: Virtual 125th Boston Marathon
November 7, 2021: Hot Chocolate Chicago 15K
March 5, 2023: Tokyo Marathon