Increasing Running Stamina

I want to start increasing my fitness levels and in particular my running. If I were to start running with a weighted rucksack on my back, will this assist my overall progress? By this I mean, by training with a weight on my shoulders / back, will this assist in increasing the distance I can run and speed when having to complete, for example, the 2.4KM run?


Weight will add to your overall fitness.

Will it improve your 1.5 mile time? Debatable.

As Black2Blue says, throw in a few shortish sprints to your run. I wouldn't criticise you for using weights though.
In a word Fartlek

I used this method when road racing few years ago ten milers and half marathons. It is ideal for increased stamina training your recovery period is your normal pace or if you are adding hill work take the downhill section as your recovery period.

Here’s how a typical fartlek session would work. After a steady warm-up, simply pick a landmark – for example a tree, lamp-post, or phone box – and run to it hard, then jog until you’ve recovered. Then pick another landmark, run hard to that, recover and so on.

There doesn’t need to be a set structure to the run. For your first quick burst you might choose a target that’s just 100m away and sprint to it flat out. Then for the next hard run you’ll see something 800m away and stride towards it at your 5K race pace.

It’s entirely up to you how hard or easy you make the session. Unlike track intervals, fartlek doesn’t require you to set a distance to run, or a time to recover. A watch isn’t necessary (although in the absence of landmarks you can use one to pick different times for your hard sections), as you listen to your body to determine your recoveries. After a hard spurt, jog until you’ve got your breath back, the lactic acid has drained from your legs, and your heart’s stopped thumping. Then go again.

If you want to add a bit of specificity, short, fast bursts will help you sharpen your pure speed, which is most important for races like 5Ks and 10Ks. Longer periods of speed help to raise your anaerobic threshold, which improves your speed endurance – ideal for 10-milers and half-marathons. In reality, though, both of these components contribute to good race performances at any distance from the mile to the marathon, so it’s best to mix and match the length of the bursts.

If you want to add an unexpected element to fartlek training, run with a friend and take it in turns to call the next fast leg.
When I was a New Entry in the RNR I had to do a lot of work to pass the 2.4KM run. I was in my 30s, I had a desk job and I was a little over weight. I found that rather than doing what has been suggested (ie weights or periods of sprinting), that by far the best way of increasing stamina and ultimately speed was to find a speed that I could run/jog comfortably at (for me 10km/hr) and run for ever greater periods of time (I was using a tread mill). This worked really well, and by the time I was running for an hour at 10km/hr I could easily do 2.4km well within my pass time of 12mins 5 seconds. Before I adopted this tactic, I had tried doing the bursts of speed etc but it didn't work.
Ifyou are a complete novice and want to inprove you overall running ability then i suggest for the meantime you do not run with weight on your back it will definately be detrimental to your health. Just keep pounding the roads and it should'nt be a problem.
Leave the running with weight to Bootnecks and other fit Bastards.
Dont listen to some of the pie eaters round here.
Listen to Backpackers advice above, Ask anybody in the fitness world and they will all tell you that Fartleking is the dogs knackers way of improving your running if you are a novice.
Regardless of how fit you are running with weight seriously fecks your body up in the long term. Its awesome and very very manly but ask any Royal on here who has done 22 years service how his Back/knees/ankles are these days...


Lantern Swinger
Cheers for all the advice lads I'll defo be doing a few "fartlek sessions" soon they sound a little easyer on the body and if there are a couple of ya it could be quit fun. :w00t:
Any idea of what kind of weight the kit you're expected to run in at BRNC?

I run quiet regularly but have been a few times with my gf who goes a little slower (bless her) so I thought rather than sprinting off like a prick I'd whack 10kg in my rucksack. That evened the playing field!

Ruined my rucksack though!

EDIT: I've just read that Marines have a 10kg fighting order, plus the 5kg weapon, so looks like that was a unneccesary weight to go with. And yeah my knee was a bit delicate afterward!

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