Why would you run with weights? For what reason?
Around town, you most likely don't see many runners intentionally running around with weights, or a weighted backpack, right?! I mean, other than that hardcore runner who's in BEAST MODE sprinting over the Williamsburg bridge while practicing for that next OUT AND BACK race of course. It's not very conventional for runners to train this way, BUT it can be a very smart way to train!
So, the real question here: Why do runners even bother running with weights? What does it do for runners? Why should a runner even attempt to run with weights?
There are both advantages and disadvantages to simply answer this question, which I'll explain later in this post.
Running with weights has many benefits for runners. Some of these include:
Improved Posture & Mechanics
Increased Core Strength
Stronger Bones & Joints
Improved Mental Toughness
While the benefits are exceptional, there are some factors to consider that could bring out the disadvantages of running with weights.
Running with weights adds a ton of of excess weight to your bodyweight while you're running. This could influence poor running mechanics since you might begin to use stronger muscles that will begin to overcompensate for your weaker ones, leading to muscular imbalances, or even worse, an injury! OH NO! The good news is that this is preventable. Consult a Coach, or Specialist who can give you advice from experience in addition to any research on the topic that you've done on your own. Train smart.
Different Types of Ways to Incorporate Weights into Your Training
We talked about the benefits of running with weights. However, bodyweight strength workouts can allow you to gain similar benefits. Don't neglect them!
Try to include two days for strength-training workouts as a part of your running program. This will allow you to keep your body strong, prevent yourself from overtraining and from running too much too soon! Of course, training this way should keep you injury-free!
My 3 Go-To Bodyweight Strength-Training Exercises To Strengthen My CORE are here:
If you need a go-to bodyweight circuit to compliment your training runs, you got your new one now! Perform anywhere between 12-15 reps for each of these 3 exercises in a row mentioned above. Complete 3-5 rounds of these exercises with minimal recovery intervals between each round. This will allow you to add some HIIT into the mix and work your HEART a tad harder. Strength mixed with HIIT?! Let's go! Kill two birds with one stone and try it out. You can mix and easy run with your strength workout and combine those two training days by condensing those two workouts into one. MAGIC. Right?! I suppose it's also pretty convenient too!
I didn't realize what jogging with a backpack would do to my running. Besides making me feel like Wonder Woman at times of course! I used to jog back to Brooklyn from Manhattan quite often after I would train clients in Central Park just a few years ago. I didn't even realize that while I was doing that, I was also building up my core strength and many other major muscle groups and energy systems in my body.
Sometimes, the unexpected benefits from exercises happen to be the best ones. Like jogging with a backpack!
Running with weight has many advantages. Speed development, agility and power have all been proven to improve while running with added weight. And these are just a few of them.
Some disadvantages caused by running with weights can be avoided with the proper guidance, smart training and with a systematic program to follow that will allow you to successfully run with added weight while being sure to prevent any potential injuries!
If you are planning on trying out weighted runs, I highly recommend connecting with another runner (or two) who has experience training this way, or connecting with a Coach! Everyone is different and adapts differently to different types of training. That includes YOU too!
Coaching Tip: Listen to your body. You know it best! If you don't know the answer to something, or you're just unsure, don't be afraid to use your resources and ask questions! There are good people in this world that are here to help you! You just need to reach out!
Dream big. Set goals. It's YOUR time to CRUSH IT!
Let's keep you #RUNNINGHAPPY for GOOD!
Until next time ✌🏼,