Our Guide To Wearing A Weighted Vest To Help When Running

Is running a core element of your training?

If it isn’t - it should be.

A simple and effective form of cardio, most athletes incorporate running into their routine. It’s easy to begin, is free and can be done anywhere. With the world currently remote, running has more than ever become a go-to form of exercise. Both for training without the gyms open, as well as being used as a welcome release during these trying times.

In fact, 2020 saw 45,000 take on the London Marathon remotely. Running is fast becoming the go-to exercise and shows no signs of slowing down (literally).

But do you want to take your running that step further?

If so, weighted vests may be the perfect way to take your running to the next level and push yourself to the extremes. This isn't a completely new tactic, as a vital part of boot camp training has long been to run loaded with heavy items.

Designed to simulate combat training, weighted vests are a simple and effective way to up your running game.

Why Use A Weighted Vest For Running?

Improved posture, increased load on bones, hands-free, convenient and comfortable. Not to mention, studies that have shown the increase of speed provided, weighted vests come with many benefits for people of all levels. Add a weighted vest to your running workouts and you’ll take things to a whole new level, improving your fitness and burning more calories. But would running with a weighted vest be good for you?

If you're into functional fitness, CrossFit or even just completing a run as part of your WOD then you're probably thinking what are the benefits of running in one of our vests. Read on to find out if adding a weighted vest to your run will help you meet your goals.

The Benefits of Running With a Weighted Vest Explained

Running With A Weighted Vest

There’s no denying the vast array of benefits weighted vests can have on your body. If you're yet to discover all the benefits then don't worry, we’ve put together the key benefits of weighted vests here.

Running with a weighted vest can bring its own set of particular benefits:

  • - Improve Running Posture

Running with a weighted vest can be advantageous for your running posture. It also encourages you to focus on and be mindful of your posture, like when carrying any weighted item.

  • - Increase Speed

Does running with a weighted vest make you faster? Whilst wearing a weighted vest may not give you superpowers (although sometimes it can feel like it has), it can have a drastic impact on your pace.

Studies have found that wearing a weighted vest when running can indeed increase your speed. A weighted vest adds resistance to the body when training, meaning that when it's removed, the body is used to the weighted mass and then, as a result, finds exercise easier than before. So when the runner is no longer wearing the weighted vest, the body still exerts the same amount of force. Hence why so many runners use weighted vests to improve their pace over time.

  • - Better Than Hand and Ankle Weights

Unlike hand and ankle weights, weighted vests can distribute the weight more evenly across the body. Also for sprints, you may find ankle weights more likely to cause an injury as the addition of extra weight to the knees can cause hyperextension. Weighted vests are a lot more beneficial for cardio, as the extra weight kicks your metabolism into overdrive.

It also means that you can train hands-free which is a plus!

  • - Train With Those Less Advanced Than You

If you ever find yourself in a situation where you want to run with somebody else but find their level to be holding you back slightly, a weighted vest can ensure a more level playing field and ensure you’re still able to push yourself.

  • - Variety Of Run Types

One of the greatest aspects of running is the variety. Each day when going for a run you are open to many opportunities of how you want your workout to shape up. Adding a weighted vest into the mix only opens this further. Have you tried running in a weighted vest up hills? Or opting for sprints? Or maybe it's time you gave Fartlek training a go in a weighted vest?

Just by adding a weighted vest, you can open yourself up to a myriad of potential running workouts.

How To Wear A Weighted Vest When Running

Before you start, it's important to get to the basics.

  • - Is this your first run?
  • - Have you never trained with weights before?
  • - Are you injured?

If you answered yes to any of the above, it’s probably wise to not go straight in for a run with a weighted vest. As much as we want you to reap the benefits of running with a weighted vest - your safety is more important to us. Instead, why not build up your strength by opting for a walk or a hike?

However, if you're ready to take your training to the next level and looking for an exciting way to mix up your training programme - you’re in the right place!

Running with a weighted vest increases the stress on your body. To begin with, we’d recommend running at first wearing the vest without the weights inside to get used to the feel. From there, you can increase the weight and distance at a pace that suits you.

Simply make sure the vest is attached properly… and you’re off! You want your weighted vest to fit snugly around your body - luckily all weighted vests at Force Fitness are adjustable.

Will Running With A Weighted Vest Grow Muscle?

Whilst weighted vests won’t have the same effect on your muscles as weight lifting, they will definitely help to make your muscles stronger. The more weight added, the more the muscle will have to adapt. The increased load helps build strength and muscle as heavier load means that your muscles have to work harder in order to adapt.

Simply adding a weighted vest to your running regime can be an easy way to increase the difficulty and build muscle mass in return.

Is Distance Running With A Weighted Vest Good For You?

If you're training for a long-distance event, like a marathon, a weighted vest can be an enormous help in improving your pace and boosting your endurance.

How many miles you should run with a weighted vest is down to personal preference and your level of fitness. However, do remember that a weighted vest is an increased strain on your body so it’s important to build up your distance gradually to avoid injury.

Of course, you can still go the distance without leaving your home, as weighted vests are beneficial when training on a treadmill.

Weighted vests can be of particular use for runners who do not have hills and varying inclines to train on. Introducing a weighted vest to the workout means resistance is added that will replicate the toughness of sharp inclines.

Does Running With A Weighted Vest Help Weight Loss?

Adding weight to your run will help you on your quest for weight loss. However, this will also be affected by a range of factors such as nutrition, body composition and other lifestyle choices.

Overall, as part of other concentrated efforts, running with a weighted vest can be a great tool for weight loss. Whilst it can help accelerate your weight loss efforts, it should be combined with adequate nutrition and other exercise.

How Often To Run With A Weighted Vest?

We often get asked how often to run with a weighted vest, and the truth is - it's all down to personal preference. It all depends on your personal goals and lifestyle.

As a rule of thumb, start slow and steady. Even though it can seem a good idea getting straight out there, this can actually do you more damage than good as you can overwhelm yourself. Instead, start comfortable and build it up! Your fitness goals aren’t a race (not this time anyway). Start small and when you feel comfortable ramp it up a bit. You can even train the first time wearing the vest without weights, in order to get used to it. Then either start with a smaller weight, or shorter workout, and watch as you build up your strength and stamina over the course of a few runs.

Overall, you can’t go wrong with running with a weighted vest a couple of times a week, but of course, it's down to you if you want to increase or decrease this. This will mainly depend upon what you're training for.

What Is The Best Weighted Vest For Running?

Buying a weighted vest is an investment in your training regime, as well as yourself and finding a weighted vest to run with couldn’t be simpler. When looking for a weighted vest for running, there are a few factors to consider.

  • - What Weight?

The age-old question! By rule of thumb, your weighted vest shouldn’t be any more than 10% of your body weight. However, we understand that everyone is different, as are their training goals. We offer a range of weights to choose from starting at 7kg going all the way up to 40kg. If you are stuck between two weights, we’d recommend opting for the smaller and working your way up to the larger weight.

  • - Does It Have An Adjustable Strap?

An adjustable strap is key to ensure that the weighted vest fits snugly on you, ensuring that not only are you comfortable, but you are getting the full potential out of your vest which is why all Force Fitness vests are completely adjustable.

  • - Does It Look Good?

A weighted vest can last you a lifetime - so you’re going to want to be sure that it is aesthetically pleasing.

Call us biased, but we think it's impossible to go wrong with a Force Fitness weighted vest. You can choose from a range of colours to really personalise your training. Each vest comes with adjustable straps to ensure it is the right fit for you and doesn’t look too tight or loose. Black Weighted Vest

What To Watch Out For

Be wary of running downhill. Running without your weighted vest at the main event, you will want to be careful when tackling the descent of hills. Wearing a heavier weighted vest means that you’ll be hitting the floor with more force. With the added weight, you will have even more mass accelerating due to gravity.

Although a weighted vest isn't intended to be the most comfortable of workouts, it shouldn't feel too uncomfortable or painful. Whilst we’re big believers in pushing yourself, listen to your body. If it feels too much then remove the vest and work your way up.

So not only do you get the benefits of cardiovascular/ endurance, you also get weight training thrown in too. To see the benefits of running with a weighted vest for yourself, explore our range of vests and join the training revolution today.

Got any further questions? We’re always happy to help! Simply send us an email to help@force-fit.co.uk and we’ll be back in touch as soon as we can.

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