What is Resistance Running

When you’re training with weights, progress is relatively simple:  as soon as you master one level, you add a few more Kilos onto the bar, and the exercise becomes harder once more.  It is possible to do the same with running too.  If you’re running on a treadmill, then managing the effort used is quite simple.  By adjusting the incline, and increasing the speed, you make the run tougher, however if you need more control, you probably want to try resistance running.

While you can make changes to your speed outdoors and run faster, you have a lot less control over the environment and less direct feedback, which is where resistance running comes in.

There are a number of different ways of making your run harder.  Resistance running can be any one of them.

Parachute Running

Running parachutes are a popular choice for people wanting to increase their speed.  Quite simply, you attach a parachute to your ankles and back, and it catches the wind as you run.  The increase in wind resistance is quite high, although it can look a bit strange.  Resistance running parachutes aren’t that expensive – you can buy a basic one for around £10 on Ebay.

Weighted Running

The number of calories you burn in exercise is governed by weight.  Every kilogram that you carry in weight adds about 10 calories per kilometer to your workout.  In addition to this, exercise weights are usually positioned to increase the effort in certain areas – ankle and wrist weights are popular.  If you wear 2.5Kg on each wrist, and 5KG on each ankle, for a 5 KM run, you make the whole run a lot tougher, and you’ll burn an additional 75 calories just from the weight, and around an additional 100 from the increased range of movement and calisthenic impact of the weights being moved – you’ll also feel amazingly light the next time you run.  Use our Running Calorie Calculator to check how much additional energy you use when running with weights.

Running Up Hill

In most areas, you should be able to find a few good inclines that you can run up and down.  If you’re really lucky, there will be a good solid steady slope over 1KM long with an average incline of 10% – that’s pretty unlikely though :).

If you can find a 100m rise that is 1KM long, it can be an amazing training tool.  An average person will burn an additional 18Cal just on the increase in altitude.  This sounds low, but it equates to about a 25% increase on the effort level you get from running.  Running up hill burns more energy, but it also increases the effort that you’re putting in through all your major muscle groups, and increases your VO2 Max significantly over time, because the faster you run up hill, the more the power used by your body increases, and you need to increase aerobic capacity.