Some people run with ankle weights to improve their overall fitness and hopefully improve their running speed and tolerance to different surfaces. Running weights benefit the heart.
GQ magazine examines this idea and looks at the science to see if it really works.
Placing ankle weights of 3-10 lbs. on your ankles is almost like gaining weight instantly. It forces you to work harder but it can also improve your overall cardiac fitness, improving cardiovascular efficiency.
While this is true in general, the weights also place extra stress on the body and the joints as you hit the ground. If you increase this weight too fast, you may experience pain so GQ advises that you add weight slowly.
Also, one idea they did not mention is that since we are all built differently, some of us may develop painful problems based on body mechanics while others will not.
Adding weight will not necessarily make you a faster runner or improve your pacing.
Read more about it here
Do Ankle Weights Make You a Stronger Runner?
BY JAY WILLIS
Assuming you’ve been reading carefully reading GQ of late, perhaps your enthusiastic embrace of running as your workout of choice has successfully turned what used to be a tough task into a more lackadaisical, going-through-the-motions exercise. You need to find a new way to challenge yourself, but—again—as a dedicated consumer of GQ fitness wisdom, you already know everything there is to know about step rate manipulation, too. Perhaps, my extremely fleet friend, it is time for you to take on a new challenge: training with ankle weights.
Ankle weights, which are widely available from sporting goods stores and rainforest-themed online retailers for less than $20, use Velcro to strap a few pounds of sand or metal securely around your ankle, where the entire contraption rests gently atop your running shoe. The idea, of course, is that forcing your legs to propel more weight through space during your run will cause you to work harder. (It is not unlike the rationale behind, say, squatting using weights instead of merely squatting using your body weight, although hopefully the number of squat reps you typically perform is considerably lower than the number of individual strides that comprise your morning jog.)