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The idea is to start very slowly to increase weight by only a pound or two of body weight and to increase weight in stages up to a maximum of 10% body weight gradually, but only when you have trained to equal the pace you were running initially. You only increase weight when comfortable to do so. That's not a vast weight. Successful UK ultra runner William Sichel has been using this technique for 30 odd years to great benefit. It specifically works muscles harder in the legs that increase push off power. I'll report at a later date whether it helped me or not! See: http://www.williamsichel.co.uk/ultra-resources/training-weight-vest/
It seems like quite a bad idea, not just increasing the shock from ground contact, but the unnecessary spine compression coupled with repeated shocks.There are other forms of training which can increase strength in a targeted way which may be more useful, for those who want that.
The "well, X does it" argument isn't really terribly helpful, outliers do all sorts of strange things, that doesn't make a course of action rational over a wider population.
I would say forget the weighted vest and go for a good hydration vest instead, it will do the same thing. Last year I invested in a hydration vest for longer runs instead of my usual bottle belt, I found that I was wearing this more and more on my shorter runs as well as the longer runs. This was because I was enjoying the increase of weight as it was making my shorter runs harder. So I felt I was getting more out of them. My training goal was London Marathon and to achieve a good for age. Once I started my Marathon tapper I stopped running with the vest. End result a 4min Marathon PB and a Good For age for this year so it worked for me but we are all different
Just eat fish n chips each week, and crash diet before your race, way easier
I bought a 4kg weighted vest a few weeks ago from a sports shop that was closing down.
It does help, as I'm pretty skinny and find a bit of weight really makes me work that much harder. Pays off as I've taken 17 secs off my park runs in a few weeks and feel fitter.
It's not too much that would stress my joints, but did use it this morning and wrist/ankle weights as well, and that was knackering!