Jennifer Conroyd had the privilege of speaking with Danny Kilrea, assistant distance coach for the University of Tennessee Cross Country Team, discussing his journey with Fluid Running. A distinguished graduate of the University of Notre Dame, Danny proudly held the position of captain of the cross country team in 2021. While he was there he helped the team clinch the ACC conference title and secured a commendable ninth-place standing at the NCAA Cross Country Championships. During his time with the Fighting Irish, Danny was a three-time All-American, top 10 finisher at the 2020 NCAA Cross Country Championships and achieved an impressive 10K PR of 28:23. Reflecting on his achievements, Danny attributes much of his success, both in overcoming injury and excelling in his athletic endeavors, to the benefits of Fluid Running.
Discovering Fluid Running in High School
I am a huge fan of Fluid Running! I have personally experienced the power and benefit of this aquatic training method. My journey with Fluid Running began during my freshman year in high school when a stress fracture sidelined me from traditional running. Little did I know that this setback would lead to a remarkable ascent in my athletic performance.
A Saving Grace During Downtime
Fluid Running became my saving grace during that downtime, keeping me in prime condition while allowing my body to heal. Incredibly, I not only recovered but also made a significant leap in my running success. From initially missing the varsity lineup, I was really excited to get 10th place in the state during my sophomore year, thanks to the fitness and strength I gained through Fluid Running.
Overcoming Setbacks in College with Fluid Running and Breaking School Records
The true testament to Fluid Running’s efficacy came during my senior year at Notre Dame when a stress reaction in my meniscus left me unable to run on land. I didn’t want this setback to prevent me from having a great last college season, so I utilized the Fluid Running workouts for 2 hours daily. After a three-month hiatus from land running, I returned to the track, clocking 28:20 in the 10k—a personal and school record breaker. I was shocked at how strong I felt during the race after essentially only aqua-jogging for months. The strength and endurance I developed during these Fluid Running workouts sessions were nothing short of astounding.
Rigorous Workouts in the Pool
While running in the pool might sound easy, make no mistake—it’s a rigorous workout. My heart rate frequently soared to 180 during pool interval sessions, surpassing levels I achieved during land-based runs. The low-impact nature of Fluid Running allowed me to build aerobic fitness and leg strength without the wear and tear associated with traditional training.
Shifting Perspectives on Cross-Training
This experience fundamentally shifted my perspective on cross-training. Even when injury-free, I now incorporate Fluid Running into my routine 2-3 times weekly. The aerobic benefits and muscle engagement make it an indispensable supplement to my training regimen. I’ve introduced Fluid Running to my athletes at the University of Tennessee, where I coach. They, too, have embraced it as a powerful workout, whether enhancing their training or maintaining/gaining fitness during injury recovery.
Maximizing Benefits with Proper Workouts and Form
To truly maximize the benefits of Fluid Running, proper workouts and form are crucial. I owe a debt of gratitude to Jen Conroyd for introducing me to this invaluable tool. Her guidance has elevated my training, and I’m excited to continue spreading the word about the game-changing impact of Fluid Running on athletic performance.