Deep Water Running for Injury Prevention


Blog by Rachel Grunwell: Award-winning journalist. Wellness writer for three magazines (Good, Indulge and Run4YourLife). Magazine smoothie creator. Yoga Teacher. Fitness Consultant. Multi-Marathoner x19. Blogger. Co-leader of health retreats at Rotorua’s Polynesian Spa.

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Are you an injured runner? Well, then you have to try Deep Water Running. It’s low-impact, the closest cross-training activity to running, it’s a kick-ass full-body workout, it can result in improved biomechanics for land running and it can help you recover from injury.

I’ve done some sessions with run coach Kiri Price, who takes classes at the AUT Millennium as well as private lessons. I’d recommend a private lesson for your first time so you can suss the technique and so you know you are doing it right. There’s an art to mastering it.

Kiri says deep water running classes have come a long way from the aqua jogging classes of the 80’s and 90’s. AUT Millennium’s Deep Water Running sessions have been developed specifically for runners and athletes to develop and maintain their aerobic fitness and running technique in a non-weight-bearing environment.

The AUT Millennium sessions have been developed specifically for runners and athletes to develop and maintain their aerobic fitness and running technique in a non-weight bearing environment.

“The biggest benefit of deep water running is that it is no impact, therefore minimising musculo-skeletal stress, while still providing a full body workout,” she says.

Kiri says it is biomechanically the closest cross-training method to actual running, providing a fantastic aerobic training workout. Deep water running is perfect for those currently suffering from injury, or who are on the path to recovery. Kiri has 100% success rate with helping injured runners she has worked with, to heal, and achieve marathon running success. 

So what’s the experience like? Well, I did this for several weeks while training for the Chicago Marathon in 2016. You strap a blue float device tight around your waist and then get in the pool with a bunch of other folk wearing blue-belts too.

Kiri starts with a warm up – getting students to tread water for a few minutes – maintaining an upright position with minimal forward leaning from the ankles, shoulders just out of the water, core-tight, and pushing the feet straight down and slightly behind you, feet relaxed, toes pointing down (so you imagine pushing off the bottom of the pool). Meanwhile, your arms pump forwards and backwards by your sides).

The class includes things like  drills, interval sessions and the class is full of different things to focus on to improve things like run technique, form or to have some fun.

The pool here is massive, multi-million-dollar complex where you can often spot some elite athletes. Kiri says she has seen rugby legend Sonny Bill Williams and lots of elite athletes here. I’ve spotted Valerie Adams a few times too on her way to the AUT Millennium gym nearby.

The deep water running workout is tough by the way; It is no walk in the park. You get red-faced and feel like you’ve done a really tough workout. The best thing is it helps you keep your running base strong. I recommend this for injured runners and I highly recommend Kiri’s sessions. She’s an incredibly experienced runner (she has run close to 150 marathons) and she’s also one of the nicest coaches you could hope to meet.

One-on-one sessions are available with Kiri Price and these can be booked directly with her – just email [email protected] (please tell her Rach recommended her!) Group sessions available by appointment. You can click this link to find out more .


kiri pacing

Pic of Kiri Price pacing at the Rotorua Marathon.


Blog by Rachel Grunwell. Rachel’s mission is to inspire Kiwis to live healthy and happy. Follow Rachel via InspiredHealth’s Facebook page & Instagram 

To find out more about the health retreats she co-leads at Rotorua’s Polynesian Spa click HERE




The Running Yogi & Warriors Captain

canterbury roger and rach stretch

I’m an ambassador for the John West 12km Traverse at the Auckland Marathon event on October 29. Here’s week two of my blog that features on Good magazine too. Here I get some top fitness tips from Roger Tuivasa-Sheck, rugby league player, Vodafone Warrior Captain and Canterbury ambassador. To see the rest of the blogs in this series on Good magazine find the link at the bottom of this blog.

 By Rachel Grunwell

Mind-set and motivation matters. It doesn’t matter what kind of sport or fitness activity you do, your mind drives your motivation..

I did a fitness workout with Roger at Health101 in Auckland – trailling the new Spring season of the Canterbury sports clothing line. Needless to say, I got the questions covered before the workout. Afterwards, I wasn’t useful for much. Other than gasping….

Strength work is a key to Roger’s power on paddocks. Strength work is also a key part of my run training too. Although the crossfire-style work out we did took strength work to a whole new level. Handstand push-ups anyone? Er, yeah, I suck at those too. 

Anyway, here are Roger’s top fitness tips. They don’t suck. They’re worth noting by anyone taking on the 12km John West Traverse event – or wanting to “be their best”.

  1. Train right. Make sure your training is specific to the event. i.e lots of power presses in the gym might not be best in this instance! Be sure to mimic the event into your training as much as possible. 
  2. Nutrition. A healthy diet plays a huge role in success in sport. Especially for game day. On game day I always ensure I have a healthy breakfast and lunch with loads of carbs and protein to get me through a game of footy. I usually have eggs on toast with avocado for breakfast. Lunch is something like chicken or salmon (white meat) with loads of veg. And probably a big smoothie.
  3. Sleep! It’s so important to ensure you get 7-8 hours sleep each night to allow your body to repair and rest before the next big training day or event. I am a big believer in breathing techniques for those nights when I find it a bit tricky to get to sleep. And there is a great app called Mindfulness I like to use every now and then.
  1. FUN! This one is huge. Make sure you enjoy what you are doing. Otherwise there is no point putting your body and mind through the pain and stress of training if you are not enjoying it!
  1. Support. Surround yourself with people who will inspire you and keep pushing you. I am lucky in my team environment to have such an amazing support network. We all know each other so well and can feel when one of the boys is a bit off. We rally together to get them back on track. So having training buddies, family, husbands, wives to keep you on check is a great idea! You will always have those down days, so don’t worry.

Rachel is Good magazine’s wellness columnist. She teaches yoga-for-runners and blogs on website You can also follow her on 


and Facebook

Meanwhile, here are some pictures from the Crossfit workout

canterbury frong jump

I think I was a frog in a pervious life chuckle..

canterbury plate lift rach

Plate lifting is good for the arms…

canterbury roger and rach stand

Still standing at the end. Or is Roger just propping me up?

Follow the rest of my blogs in this series via Good Magazine.


adidas boxing lesson with gold medalist David Nyika

By Rachel Grunwell

“Instead of being a big dog, be a fast cat”.

So says Commonwealth Games gold medallist David Nyika just before taking a group of “fit chick influencers” through a boxing lesson to trial the new adidas climachill gear.

I was there – and it was nice to do something different instead of running, running and more running…

Nyika shared a few gems of advice (before making us suffer in our own sweat baths). He revealed his strategy around winning. He reckons boxing, by the way, is “a super chaotic sport” and there are so many “different animals in the ring trained to do different things to you”. So to come out on top he says he becomes a “chameleon”. What he means is, he knows he’s not the biggest, strongest guy. So instead his strength is “adapting to whom I’m fighting”. So he adapts to who he faces in the ring to overcome adversity. So instead of being a big dog, he becomes that fast, light-footed cat who devours its prey and spits it out. And not just some pussy…

I loved this lesson. Adaption is important. Taking a different approach is sometimes key. Being someone, or something, that people don’t expect too keeps you one step ahead, so to speak.

Anyway, here are some pictures from that sweat bath I was talking about…

By the way Nyika told us “I don’t bite, so this should be pretty fun” before we entered the sweat bath… 




Fast rounds of punching and then doing “combinations”… but I’m keeping my cool when the heat is on.


Finding focus…. ten points if you can guess who I’m visualising as that poor bag #meangirl ha ha ha


The exercises were a killer on the arms. I hope my arms will be able to move tomorrow… at least enough to lift my toothbrush.


Game on girlfriend pow! Actually, this is the lovely Jen from transforme_nz


Pictured here with David Nyika. Sometimes you just have to have a sneaky step up on the box so you can get (almost) to the same height as your opononent. Just saying… #shortgirl


Who else laughs when they’re getting their ass kicked in a boxing session? Or am I alone… and weird. Maybe both. Yes, definitely both.


Here’s some of the sweat team.

Thanks adidas.

ps thanks for the set of boxing gloves. Life can get tough; these will be very handy…

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Rach 02

Rachel is a wellness magazine columnist, Cigna wellness ambassador, multi-marathoner, qualified yoga teacher, healthy recipe creator, Goodpeoplerun ambassador, Achilles charity ambassador and adventure-seeker…