Can you use weights for running?

You may have thought about using race weights during your workouts. They are commonly used in strength training to build muscle. If there will be benefits to running with weights, professional trainers answer.

Can you use weights for running?

Only for short accelerations

Oleg Babchin, Founder and Senior Coach of Second Wind School:

Running with weights can only be performed for the development of speed-strength abilities. These exercises are performed with maximum power and for a very short time. In fact, these are accelerations of no more than 100 meters. Running with weights over long distances will only bring injuries. Biomechanics break down, the load on the musculoskeletal system increases dramatically, the emphasis shifts from sharpness and ease of movement to drag force, which contradicts the laws of economic running.

Running with weights – no, OFP – yes

Alena Dyatlova, manager and trainer of the Time4run running club:

Running with weights – definitely “no”! I am adamantly against running with weights and dumbbells. Running itself provides enough impact for our bodies, and as recreational runners we better think about how to reduce it, not increase it. The fact is that many of us do not lead the diet of professional athletes and, despite general good physical shape, are sure to have a few extra pounds. That is, we are already carrying dumbbells and weights! Therefore, I would not recommend additionally loading yourself with weight while running. And what I would do with handcuffs and barbells is OFP.

Having previously worked out all the complexes with your own weight, you can add weighting. Lunges, “steps”, “jumps”, squats with weights will make you stronger and faster. And performing balance exercises with a small load will help to withstand any severe fatigue, from which the technique breaks down when running, and it seems that there is no more strength for running.

I would also recommend exercises for statics and dynamics with resistance, ie using various elastic bands and harnesses: it can be running in place or running in a harness. Well, if you suddenly decide to prepare for a short sprint, you can run with a parachute and with a rear tire. But that’s a whole other story!

Weights have a negative effect on running technique

Sergey Sorokin, co-founder and head coach of the Jaxtor Marathon Club:

At the expense of weights for running, it is important to understand why? I have experience with weights. When I took them off and ran without them, I felt a special lightness in my legs. But she quickly disappeared. If your legs suddenly feel heavy during a competition, many people believe that weights will help. The problem is that they will not help, and the causes of severity are different:

  • lactic acid accumulated in the muscles (if the speed is high);
  • running on fat (when glycogen runs out and the body suddenly switches to fat);
  • central nervous system fatigue.

Weighting materials have a negative effect on running technique, because. introduce an imbalance in the biomechanics of movement. To strengthen the legs, running uphill is much more effective. During the summer at Jaxtor, we spend several months training on the hills. Weights are cool for Instagram photos for workout variety, but their effectiveness for running is questionable.

Increased load on the musculoskeletal system

Denis Vasiliev, coach of Runlab running club, St. Petersburg:

You can run with weights. The only question is why? If the goal is to prepare for an ultra trail, where you have to carry a backpack with equipment, then running with the same backpack behind you sometimes makes sense. In other cases, we simply significantly increase the load on the musculoskeletal system in an unnatural way.

Weights are not recommended

Yana Khmeleva, founder and head trainer of the Bestia.club running school:

Under no circumstances should you run with weights if you are preparing for a race. To lose weight, you can run with weights, but very slowly, because. the risk of injury increases.

Olga Zadorozhnaya, coach of the Zadorozhny running school:

Leg or arm weights during runs do not change running technique for the better. If you’re a classic runner, you don’t need weights.

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