Yes, I water train for land events. Now that I wrote that statement, it seems kinda silly to actually state it. But let me explain.
I am frequently asked about water training - and the "point" of it. Well, deep water training or HIT method training isn't to be come faster or stronger at deep water.... it serves one purpose: to be able to run on land with less joint trauma. Period. I think some people may conjure some image of deep water events, especially since they know I've had a history (and future) with racing.
What I do in the water is work my body; my muscles and cardiovascular system as if I was performing a strong run up hill. At least, that is what I do most of the time. Strong working sets with short recoveries. This works by entire body and I can get an excellent stretch if I'm looking for more of that. I was asked recently when interviewed by a major fitness writer, how deep water training is different than shallow water. My answer was one which I really tried to emphasize the whole body workout. I find that in many cases, shallow water doesn't allow me to open my limbs up to experience a full body workout.
In deep water training, there is no grounding with the limbs or the arms. This freedom allows a bit longer reach to the limbs which aides in a better follow through with every motion. Once I take this training back to land, there is a straight correlation. I run as strong as if I was performing all my runs on land (yet with joints thanking me for the kindness). As with any training, sometimes you just don't know what it is about until you try it. I'm so thankful that Shirley Archer got me in the pool 20+ years ago. I think she saved my body!!