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It’s pretty straightforward. Parachute running involves running with a mini chute strapped to your torso. But no, this is not because you’re running off a cliff of some sort - for which only a real parachute comes between you and a fatal concussion. Actually, wearing a running chute creates an added resistance that your body has to overcome. This add-on is recommended for seasoned athletes who are looking for ways to break through their performance ceiling (basketball players, footballers, etc.) and who benefit from explosive speed.
How Does It Work?
Naturally, a running chute is significantly smaller than a parachute. I mean, how else are you going to fit into the lane? As for how it works, it’s pretty simple. The chute is attached via a harness across your torso and expands when you’ve reached a fast enough speed. Due to the area of the expanded chute, it creates resistance. It is this resistance that makes you exert more than your usual effort to keep running. In turn, it helps to build overall strength.
What Are the Advantages?
It is a typical practice for athletes to have both training on the court/track to hone their technique and the gym to build strength. However, when using a running chute, you actually can build your leg and body strength simultaneously while running. No more getting frustrated with gym crowds during peak days - just hit the tracks and don your running chute.
Up Your Sprinting Speed
Using a running chute can help to increase your sprinting speed. It does so by making various muscles such as the glutes, quadriceps, hamstrings and calves contract with more intensity and reactivity. By enhancing the boost you feel during the sprinting, you can take yourself closer to the finishing line.
Controlling the Resistance
The resistance that comes with running with a chute is progressive. This means that when you run faster, the drag created by the chute gets heavier. Thus, you can adjust your running speed based on the amount of resistance that you want to run with. As you read, you might be second-guessing the concept of this ‘resistance’ to add on to your training. But then again, it’s as natural as running against the wind, through beach waters, and uphill for resistance training!
You can also train your explosive speed by removing the harness from your body mid-run. Doing so, you get to enjoy the resulting burst of speed, like an arrow released from its bow. The immediate lightness and increase in speed will give you a ‘shiokness’ that you might just end up craving every training. This is indeed a “Let It Go” moment you want to relish.
As irresistible as a running chute sounds now, do bear in mind that it can potentially affect the developing technique of younger sprinters. Jeremy Sheppard from the Australian Institute of Sport noted that such tools for resisted sprinting should only be used by seasoned athletes.
This is because, during its use, your sprint technique might be slightly changed. When you run with a chute, it can influence how far you make yourself lean forward and affect the amount of time your feet are in contact with the ground. Thus, it is recommended that your sprinting technique is developed well before attempting running chute training.
“Just like maintaining a relationship, trying out new training methods can keep the passion alive.”
So if you are a matured sprinter who’s looking for some fresh training techniques, do consider getting your very own running chute. Cheers!
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