Will Running With Weights Make Me Faster

As a runner, I’ve always been intrigued by the idea of running with weights to improve my speed and overall performance. Many athletes swear by this training method, but the question remains: will running with weights actually make me faster?

The Pros and Cons of Running with Weights

Running with weights, also known as resistance running, can have its benefits. The added resistance forces your muscles to work harder, which can lead to increased strength and power. This can potentially translate to faster running speeds. However, it’s essential to approach this training method with caution. Carrying extra weight while running can also increase the risk of injury, especially to the joints and tendons. It’s crucial to strike a balance between the benefits and risks associated with this type of training.

The Potential Benefits

Proponents of running with weights argue that the added resistance can help improve running economy and neuromuscular coordination. By carrying light weights, such as ankle or wrist weights, runners can potentially enhance their muscle recruitment patterns and develop a more efficient stride. Additionally, the increased load can simulate race conditions, making regular running feel easier by comparison. This type of training can also help develop mental toughness, as it requires additional effort to maintain speed and form.

The Potential Risks

On the other hand, running with weights can put extra stress on the body, particularly the joints and connective tissues. The added load can lead to muscle imbalances and altered running mechanics, increasing the risk of overuse injuries. Furthermore, improper use of weights or excessive load can lead to muscle strain, tendonitis, or even stress fractures. It’s crucial to approach this training method with caution and gradually increase the resistance to minimize the risk of injury.

Alternative Approaches

Instead of running with weights, focusing on strength training and plyometric exercises can provide similar benefits without the added risk. By incorporating exercises that target the muscles used in running, such as squats, lunges, and plyometric jumps, runners can improve their strength, power, and neuromuscular coordination without the added impact of running with weights.


Ultimately, the decision to run with weights should be approached with careful consideration of the potential benefits and risks. While it may offer some advantages in terms of strength and power development, the increased risk of injury should not be taken lightly. As a runner, I’ve found that focusing on proper form, strength training, and speed work has been instrumental in improving my performance without the need to run with weights. It’s essential to listen to your body and prioritize injury prevention while seeking ways to enhance your running abilities.