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How Do I Choose the Best Running Parachute?

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  • Written By: Micki Elizabeth
  • Edited By: Lauren Fritsky
  • Last Modified Date: 15 July 2014
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A running parachute can be harnessed onto the body during sprint and interval training runs. The wind resistance that is often created by the parachute may build muscle, endurance, and mental readiness that could help during races. There are a number of factors to consider when purchasing a running parachute: the size, type of harness, and accessories an individual needs, for instance. Customer reviews and personal trials can also help determine the best running parachute for each individual’s needs.

There is relatively little difference between running parachutes except when it comes to size. Generally, this equipment comes in small, medium, and large sizes. The size determines how much wind resistance can be applied.

A small parachute could offer roughly 15 pounds (6.8 kg) of added resistance. A typical medium-sized parachute can add about 20 pounds (9 kg), and a large size might create up to 30 pounds (13.6 kg) of extra resistance. Parachutes could even be used two at a time for an extra challenge.

Beginning runners of smaller stature, for instance, may find a small-sized running parachute the best choice for their needs. Intermediate runners may want to opt for the medium size. Advanced and elite athletes, as well as tall or heavy individuals, may need the benefits of a large running parachute.

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These parachutes are often designed to attach to one’s body via a harness. Some harnesses wrap around the chest, while others fit around the waist. The choice between harnesses is largely one of personal preference; whichever type a user finds more comfortable and less inhibiting during runs is the best choice. It may be helpful to look for a harness that is easy to attach and detach without help. The ability and ease of a harness to be adjusted might be another consideration.

Some parachutes come with various accessories that the user could find helpful. A handy carrying case could protect the parachute when it is not in use and may make transporting the equipment easier. Often times, an instructional booklet or digital video disc (DVD) could demonstrate safe practice and the best methods for using the equipment.

Before purchasing a running parachute, an individual may find it helpful to read customer reviews from people who have already used a particular piece of equipment. This could give a fairly clear idea of how beneficial or troublesome a parachute will be. Another option is to purchase a parachute with a return policy and try it out personally. If the parachute is not what a runner wanted, the return policy typically offers a money-back guarantee.

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Discuss this Article

anon958454
Post 4

These are excellent for those who intend to build their running power and foot drive. Much better on the knees than running stairs or up and down hills. And yes you will look stupid jogging around the streets with one - that's not what they are for!

Ana1234
Post 3

They aren't actually that expensive and it's easy to use them if you get the right one.

Yeah, they do look a bit silly, but if you get used to training with one on, you feel amazingly light when you're running without it.

I'd recommend it for sports people, particularly those in sports where they have to tackle someone or encounter some kind of resistance, because it helps to build those kinds of muscles as well as increasing your running speed.

indigomoth
Post 2

@irontoenail - I guess it's a similar concept to how baseball players try to play with heavier bats, so they get better at swinging.

Although it's not just the elite runners or people who are speed training who buy and use these. I knew a woman who would run with one in the local park, because she was hoping to lose more calories.

To be honest, she didn't keep it up for more than a week or so, but I imagine quite a few of them are purchased for this kind of reason.

irontoenail
Post 1

This seems like the kind of thing you aren't going to want to get unless you are an elite runner, or someone who really needs to train past a certain point for an event, like a marathon.

For one thing, unless you've got quite a wind going (which is difficult to run in anyway) you'd have to be going quite fast in order for this to even work. The average jogger is probably not going to be able to get it to open unless they run faster and keep that speed up.

For another thing, it would just look ridiculous. I mean, as a training tool on a track or something, that's one thing, but the average person running down the street wearing one of these is going to get some really strange looks.

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