Posted: 09/08/2012 at 13:02
Having not posted in this section before I was unsure of the quality & quantity of responses I would get.
My initial thoughts are why did I bother? With the exception of a couple of posts, I believe that people need to look up the definition of the word 'Forum' - without appearing to critise anyone, a one word reply of 'No' is hardly a heated debate!!
Also I can not believe how negative or immature people are on here. All I am doing is looking at a different way of training - After all, several years ago people never considered compression clothing, now you can't move with athletes with little bands of tape all over them!!!
Anyhow, using the power of Google today I came up with the following information - although I've been a runner/triathlete for many years, entering events at all distances, this guy is apparently a scientist, so may know more than me!!!
(And if you think my tongue has been placed firmly in my cheek whilst writing this response, you'd be correct!!!)
A famed Finnish exercise scientist recently reported some fascinating new research results for runners, part good news, part merely strange. The good news is that you can boost your leg-muscle power and speed in just four weeks. The strange news is that no special workouts are needed. In fact, what you wear when you run is far more important than how you actually train.
This doesn't mean you need to slip into polypro pants, a paisley singlet or energy-return shoes, however. According to the new research, simply wearing a weighted vest will do the trick. If this sounds a little offbeat to you, perhaps it's because you're no rocket scientist. Those who are, the NASA experts, have long realized that weightless space travel weakens leg muscles, while jumping around on Jupiter (the planet with the most gravity) would build leg power.
Finnish Researcher Helkki Rusko didn't have a large enough budget for interplanetary travel, so he opted to test the gravity-leg-strength connection by strapping weighted vests onto his subjects, 12 well-trained athletes. Each vest weighed 10 percent of the subject's total body weight, forcing leg muscles to work harder, even during routine activities like standing and walking. Rusko's subjects wore their vests all day long for four weeks and during at least three of their eight weekly workouts.
The initial results were negative. After four weeks: the runners needed more oxygen to run at a given pace (that is, their running economy had deteriorated). Similarly, their leg muscles were producing more lactic acid, a possible sign of muscle fatigue.
Fortunately, Rusko didn't give up at this point. For the next two weeks, he asked his subjects to take off their vests and continue training as usual. A retest at the end of this two-week period produced far different results.
This time, lactate threshold was 2 percent higher (meaning that the runners produced less lactic acid), and max V02 had also increased by 2 percent. Two other important measures also improved: Endurance while sprinting soared by 25 percent, and stair running speed, a good indicator of leg-muscle power, increased by 3 percent.
These improvements in speed and power occurred because weighted-vest running altered the test subjects' basic running mechanics and activated the fast-twitch muscle fibers in their legs. Only the group's running economy remained slightly depressed.
The bottom line? Wearing a weighted vest has the potential to strengthen your leg muscles, make you faster, improve your kick and make you a better hill runner.
Awaits the fallout from the 'serious runners' !!!