I paid that much for one of these, and I use it a ton, and I still think itâ€™s a rip off. I wanted a water running buddy, but couldnâ€™t bring myself to recommend an overpriced piece of custom-cut foam, so I got a little creative.
I used to do my water running without a belt, but Iâ€™m convinced that it is a less productive exercise that way. Sure, itâ€™s much harder to water run without floatation, but the extra effort goes into downward thrusts, which really donâ€™t simulate running as much as marching. With a belt you can still go just as hard, but you have to think about it, and you can really focus on form (like front to back movement and a high recovery.
Belt or no belt, however, water running is among the most boring forms of exercise. Itâ€™s great cross training, and wonderful for muscle balance and as a supplement to running or for injury rehab â€“ but itâ€™s slow, wet and lonely. Which is why I needed a second belt: to commiserate.
Courtenay has begun water running because itâ€™s 100 degrees in Seattle and nobody has A//C here. She has been going alone in the afternoons because we only have one belt. Until today anyway. I made myself a new water running belt for next to nothing. Hereâ€™s how:
Step 2: cut the seam along the top of the jacket and pull out the foam from the head support.
Step 4: sew or safety pin the two chest pieces together fairly close. Your making one linear piece (see picture) you want the foam to wrap around your hips, but have most of the floatation in the back.
Step 6: put it on, adjust the strap so it feels a little â€œtooâ€ tight, then go (water) run.
I like the feel better than the $50 version. With the blue one I feel like Iâ€™m going to topple over backwards if I go too hard or really accentuate my stride. When that happens I tend to bend at the waist, which is horrible technique. Iâ€™ve adjusted this belt to lift more in the back, forcing me to use good powerful strides to stay upright.