Nathan Pennington Running in The Distance

Running with a Weight Vest | Good or Bad

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Is running with a weight vest a bad idea? Welcome to RunDreamAchieve.com. I am glad you have made it here. I think it will depend on your level of fitness. Furthermore, I would not suggest wearing a weight vest when you are not in great aerobic shape. It is one thing to wear one when you are very fit but not when you are first getting started.

Runners already know how to work hard. My goal with this post is to provide you some suggestions to start using leverage and working smart. Let's face it. The majority of people around the world have been taught to work hard since birth.

How many hard working employees do you know who are broke? Why is that? Well, a failed philosophy of expecting to live off of one source of income, a paycheck. Leverage is creating new revenue streams that will yield you residual income. I talk about this at Internet of Business if interested. That being said, this post is about running and getting better results. So, let's discuss.

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Is it Good to Run with a Weight Vest?

I believe it is. The reason being is you are running with more of stimulus then had you decided not to wear one. Also, it will force you out of your comfort zone and create more of a higher physiological boost. Running with a weight vest is similar to pool running. The extra pressure that water creates forces you to pump your arms and legs more to remain above water. Of course, wearing a flotation device makes pool running much easier.

That being said, running with a weight vest forces to you run with that additional weight on you. Yes, you will need to be in great aerobic as well as anaerobic shape to start running with one. In addition, you are also burning more calories while you run with a weight vest too.

Benefits of Weighted Running Vests

Running with a weight vest will allow you to run with additional weight on your chest easily. I wish the process was easy to run with that extra weight though. The easy part is putting a running weight vest on. The challenging part is maintaining your form and sustaining pace while wearing one. You will have to factor in proper hydration while running with this additional weight on you. So, make sure to place water bottles out along your run course.

Also, ensure to have drinks, fruits and protein bars ready and available at the track. Remember, you always want to focus on replacing lost electrolytes no less than 30 minutes after a hard workout. Weight vests remind me a lot of when I was doing ruck marches when I was still in the military. In fact, I was the ruck march champion at Air Assault School at Fort Campbell, KY. The major reason? I ran the whole thing instead of walked it with a 40 pound ruck sack on my back.

I was seating so bad that my boots were soaked afterward. There are some people who sweat less than others. I am not one of those people. So, as you are running with a weight vest be mindful of the amount of fluid loss you are losing. If accessible, drink while running. If not, ensure you hydrate well after you are done with your workout.

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Tips for Running in Your Weighted Vest

1.) Consider the amount of weight you are using.

Remember, weighted vests coming in different weight considerations. For example, you can get them which range in weight from 15 pounds to around 88 pounds. Of course, runners have different needs. So, 15 pounds may be perfect for you but 50 pounds may be better for someone else. Of course, if the athlete is heavier and stronger, more weight may be best.

2.) Make sure it fits.

You want to make sure your weighted vest feels right on your while you are running. It should fit comfortably onto your body and not too tight. In addition, a running weight vest should have straps that are placed on the Velcro panel that is located underneath the front flap.

3.) Is it Comfortable?

You are going to be out in the sun and conditions with this thing on. So, make sure it is comfortable on you while you are running. In addition, ensure that it does not bounce while you are running. It should be snug but not uncomfortable.

4.) Be Mentally Tough

Remember, you are going against the status quo here. The majority of people are running without a weighted vest. People choose what is most often times most comfortable. So, running with a weight vest in not high priority for most people. You will need to be mentally tough to handle training in a running weight vest. The fact that you are here at RunDreamAchieve already tells me that you are.

5.) Make use of the running weight vest pockets.

There are many running weight vests that have places where you can put your cell phone, car keys and other needed items in. You definitely don't want to be having to constantly monitor your items as you run. So, make use of the pockets that may running weight vests have.

How to Run Longer without Getting Tired?

Focus on periodization. Remember, focus on one specific intensity for 3 to 4 weeks before moving to the next intensity. I believe the longer you prepare for your races the better. Of course, you can prepare well for a race in 4 to 8 weeks. That being said, to train optimally and be as best prepared as possible, 16 to 20 weeks is best. I have training plans here that are 8, 12 and 16 weeks in length. In addition, I have created running courses for half-marathoners and marathoners seeking specific race times.

You want to spend a longer amount of time training at your anaerobic threshold. You are running at or around 88 to 90 percent of your max heart rate. So, first start off running 2 to 3 mile tempo runs before moving to longer efforts. It takes the body between 3 to 4 weeks to adapt to any stress load places upon it. So, be patient with yourself. Your pace will increase while running at the same heart rate you were at earlier in your build up.

Implement a Strength Training Routine

You don't have to be in the gym 3 days a week. One day a week is legitimate. Remember, you are in there to build stamina and endurance, not to bulk up. So, focus on lifting light weights with high reps. Below are some of the common strength training exercises I used to lower my marathon time down to 2:19:35. Of course, I was doing a lot of anaerobic and aerobic running as well including running with a weight vest.

That being said, these strength training exercises helped a lot

  • Box jumps (focusing on jumping up and down on the box) for 60-90 second repetitions
  • Medical ball drills (left, right and center) – 10-15×45 seconds
  • Planks
  • Push ups
  • Sit ups
  • Bench Press (10-15 reps of 90lbs+)

Closing Thoughts

Yes, running with a weight vest is challenging. That being said, is a great tool to help you get in sensational racing shape. In addition, it can also be your secret weapon against your competition who more than likely are not utilizing them in training. Remember, the best middle to long distance runners are always thinking outside the box.

Focus on running longer and faster during your weekend long runs as well. A common mistake I see a lot of runners making is simply running too many miles or kilometers per week too slow. Of course, you will build endurance, lose weight and get fit doing this. That being said, to sustain race pace longer you have to improve your body's lactate tolerance. You will not get this physiological adaptation by running slow every day.

The best middle to long distance runners are running about 40 percent of their weekly volume at or or far below goal race pace. So, they make it look easy for a reason. It isn't just that they are talented. Americans, in general, are not training as intensely as the Kenyans, Europeans or Japanese, respectfully.

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