Frank Mikulka's Weekly Fitness Tip
How Can I Increase My Running Intensity? (February 28, 2006)

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I do a lot of cross-training and always look for ways to increase the intensity. I jog every other day and want to ask what you think about me wearing ankle weights while I run? (Jamie, Babylon)

When you want to progress in your training, it is important to change you routine and vary the intensity. So according to this kind of reasoning - wearing ankle weights while you run could provide an overload to the limbs, good muscle and bone stimulus and increase your exercise intensity. However, there are many risks.

The downside is the increase in joint stress. Also, upon impact a lot of compression occurs. Wearing a weight on your ankle could cause pulling at the knee and hip which is not a good thing. Many find that ankle weights donít adhere well to the ankle, loosen and slide around. In addition, carrying or wearing weighted objects could cause an increase in blood pressure and blood pressure creeps up silently.

You have other options to increase the intensity of your run like; vary the terrain, time and speed. Assess your goals and weigh the benefit versus risk factor.

Listen to Frank Mikulka’s Weekly Fitness Tips every week on Debbie Mandel’s Turn On Your Inner Light Show every Tuesday evening from 7:00 to 7:30 pm on WGBB 1240AM. Also available on