Gimmick workouts- any point? (Read 916 times)

    I have heard of or seen several unusual training techniques, some no doubt for specific types of running, and wonder if they have any merit.


    1) Pulling a car tire behind you on a rope (also done with big rubber bands attached to a fence.)

    2) Running with a backpack.

    3) Running with weights on ankles or in hands or both.

    4) Restricting breathing by using a snorkel or other device.


    Possibly there are several others designed to add difficulty or effort and to promote useful adaptations, but do they really do anything that speedwork, hills or a long run would not do?


    PBs since age 60:  5k- 24:36, 10k - 47:17. Half Marathon- 1:42:41.

                                        10 miles (unofficial) 1:16:44.


      1) Pulling a car tire behind you on a rope (also done with big rubber bands attached to a fence.)

      2) Running with a backpack.

      3) Running with weights on ankles or in hands or both.

      4) Restricting breathing by using a snorkel or other device.  


      would there be an exponential benefit from doing all four at once?

      My leg won't stop mooing.


      i think i've got a calf injury.

      A Saucy Wench

        Well, it depends.


        Are you going to be entering a race where you have to run with a snorkel and backpack and jane fonda ankle weights while pulling a car tire behind you on a rope?  If so, then you better freaking train for it.


        On of the firefighters in our town runs on the treadmill at the gym in full gear.  And I mean full gear, oxygen tanks and facemask.    It is really loud.

        I have become Death, the destroyer of electronic gadgets


        "When I got too tired to run anymore I just pretended I wasnt tired and kept running anyway" - dd, age 7


          would there be an exponential benefit from doing all four at once?


          Exponential Injury perhaps.


          I would argue that some folks can use those methods and gain some strength from it, but strength alone does not translate to running speed or endurance.    Maybe if you are a short-distance runner, you can get some muscle and sprint strength out of that.  But again, seems the little bit of advantage you might get from doing those types of training would be offset by a very likely increase in strains, pulls, and injuries that will ultimately have more dire effects on your ability to run at all.


          Some folks might get some benefit from it, but most would probably just injure themselves and be relegated to weeks off of training waiting for injuries to heal.  (I tried the "weights in a backpack" thing for a few runs a year ago, and I felt it screwing up my othherwise healthy back, so I quit that idea quick!)


          The Plan '15 →   ///    "Run Hard, Live Easy."   ∞


            my friends who have trained by pulling tires did that to get ready to pull or push sleds in iditarod or arrowhead.  backpacks for bataan. weights on ankles are bad news.


              I would not call them gimmicks if I do not understand what they are training for. I could see running with a pack and pulling weight beneficial for a mountaineering expedition. Say you were planning to climb Denali or other big Alaskan peak, where you knew you had to carry a 70lb pack , and pull a sled with expedition gear, and climb to 20K+' (very thin air) ? Sound like anything here ? That's just one example. Not everyone is training for organized races. (FWIW - I personally do not see the benefit of restricting air flow, one cannot train for high altitude, but I would guess that is the thought process for #4).




                Link above is about a crossfit guy running with a mask (to supposedly simulate altitude) and a weighted vest. people confused him with a terrorist when he dropped off a package wearing that outfit.

                  Sorry for my technical forum difficulties. I cannot see how to delete posts here, this extra post was an error.

                    Pulling a tire is good for strength, although I think hill work is better if you've got 'em. My winter ultra friends pull sleds with gear or weights while training for winter ultras. (I've not done a winter ultra) Actually, pulling a sled with gear is a good way to get equipment to where you're brushing a trail for a winter race. (snowmachine is easier if you've got one) (I haven't pulled a tire, but in our running xt class, we used to pull each other on a pulley system. The pullee also got a workout if they could resist the pulling. Some use parachutes for resistance. It's actually a fun change of routine when it's -20F and icy outside.)


                    Running with a backpack - yep. It's called carrying your food, fluid, and and extra gear (as in rain gear when the skies open up and it's several hours at least until you reach the trailhead) with you. One of our races has 38mi between trailheads, no aid in between. Some get by with waist belt if the weather's good. Most will use a pack. If you've ever gone exploring on trails and misplace it, it's nice to have a pack along. (yes, that's for a run) Ah, and the weather changes on long runs - esp. when running when sun comes up or goes down or a storm comes in. It's hard to do an 8-hr long run without a pack.


                    Weights on ankles or hands. Well, I guess snowshoe running could be considered running with weights on feet, and anybody who's carrying a handheld bottle is doing the same as running with a hand weight.


                    Haven't done anything with a snorkel, but it wouldn't surprise me if some firemen or divers use that.


                    These are all things that are used while doing hills on long runs.


                    MTA: If you're considering the above workouts to be gimmicks, then some folks might consider some plyometrics to be gimmicks, but again they have their purpose. Partly for developing power, and in our xt class, they were using the box jumps to simulate jumping from rocks in one of the more rugged races up here.


                    Principle of specificity is great.

                    "So many people get stuck in the routine of life that their dreams waste away. This is about living the dream." - Cave Dog

                    Old , Ugly and slow

                      I think kettlebells are gimmicks. Kettlebells have been around at least 150 years but


                      some people try to sell them as new. People quit using them when adjustable dumbells came along.


                      Plyometrics (jumping on and off boxes) is just asking to get hurt.

                      first race sept 1977 last race sept 2007


                      2014goals   1300  miles  , 190 pounds , deadlift 400 touch my toes

                        I went to OCS as a 165 lb. 21 yr. old. I basically ran 6-7 miles every day after graduation from college and before reporting in. During the first few weeks of OCS, we did tons of running, frequently where we were let out of formation and just told to run as fast as we could for whatever distance we were told to or where would run timed 3 mile PFT runs for scores. I generally finished as one of the fastest guys in my company. As OCS progressed, we did 2-4 mile runs in combat gear, obstacle courses, runs with gas masks on and all manner of things to test our strength and conditioning. Again, I generally finished at or near the fastest in my company. I never did any training to run in that gear or to do obstacle courses. If you are fit, you are fit and you will do well in any endurance test irrespective of any handicap you may be faced with. So, no, I see no benefit in any of the above mentioned gimmicks.


                        Of course, that was a long time ago. Things may have changed.

                          Running is tough enough, I don't have to make it any tougher.

                          "The drops of rain make a hole in the stone, not by violence, but by oft falling." - Lucretius


                             weights on ankles are bad news.



                            I did the ankle weight thing for a while. My knees were really unhappy. I was young enough to try something stupid and, happily, young enough to recover.


                            In the beginning, the universe was created.This has made a lot of people very angry and been widely regarded as a bad move.

                            --- Douglas Adams, in "The Restaurant at the End of the Universe"

                              1) Pulling a car tire behind you on a rope (also done with big rubber bands attached to a fence.)

                              2) Running with a backpack.

                              3) Running with weights on ankles or in hands or both.

                              4) Restricting breathing by using a snorkel or other device.


                              This stuff all looks really good in the movies when some one like ROCKY is doing them, but I'm not sure they really apply all that well to real people...and especially a mortal like me......

                              Champions are made when no one is watching

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                                2) Running with a backpack.

                                I had the impression that this was a training technique for Marathon Des Sables?

                                It's a 5k. It hurt like hell...then I tried to pick it up. The end.