May 20, 2022

Level Up Your Endurance Training – PART ONE: The Airport Mile

For some time, GameTime has worked with Yancy Culp to promote outdoor fitness and better health and wellness in communities across North America. Yancy is a trainer, a coach, and an elite athlete. What he’s not, is ordinary. 

Going on a jog through the park or pushing through some reps at the gym just isn’t Yancy’s style. We don’t want to call him extreme, but he absolutely pushes you to your limits. Pushing yourself, though, is key to building your endurance. 

Endurance training make it easier to exercise harder and for longer periods. With Yancy’s help, we are creating a three-part series that introduces “Yancy Extreme” endurance training challenges. In this first part, we’ll look at one of our favorite free running exercises – The Airport Mile!

Are You Ready to Run the Airport Mile?

To prepare for the task, you might want to watch Episode 5 of Yancy Culp is Always Ready. Here’s a quick recap:

  • Yancy runs a mile while wearing a 40-pound backpack and dragging a car tire fastened around his waist
  • As the run progresses, he adds 20 more pounds of weights to his backpack
  • Before he reaches the finish line, he adds 40 more pounds of weight around his neck

(Click to Watch Yancy Culp is Always Ready - Episode 5)


Again, we can’t stress enough that Yancy isn’t a typical mortal human being. He trains extreme to prepare him for extreme circumstances. But why make it harder to run a mile?

This extreme endurance training exercise simulates what might happen to you at an airport. 

Suppose it takes longer than expected to clear security. Now, you’re running through the airport to make your flight. Your children, already complaining about being late, begin to protest about the weight of their carry-on bags. You reflexively grab their bags and toss them over your shoulder. You’re running with a lot of weight you didn’t plan on.

When you perform The Airport Mile, you are preparing yourself for situations like this. You may not have a flight coming up, but you’ll likely face instances where making a mad dash isn’t what you planned. This type of exercise builds up the muscle endurance you need to take on anything else life throws at you–no matter your age.

Is Running With Weights Good for You? What Does Running with Weights Do?

A run with weights is great for building up endurance! When you build up endurance, your stamina increases and you can work out harder for longer. Now, you’re prepared for anything life throws at you!

You don’t even have to run with weighted backpack like Yancy did. Running with a weighted vest or other alternative works as well for power and endurance training. You could even do this challenge with on a treadmill or during a run-in place exercise.

How to Run with Weights

Running with weights is no different from running without them. You still put one foot in front of the other over and over until you get where you want to go. The only difference is the amount of weight you add during the run. 

There are many types of weights for running, such as:

  • Weighted backpack
  • Weighted vest
  • Wrist weights
  • Ankle weights
  • Hand weights/dumbbells 

You can score many of these products from fellow PlayCore company, Power Systems. If you're not ready to purchase more gear, you can get creative! Fill a backpack with textbooks, hold bags of rice, or even tape bags of beans to your wrists. 
The important thing to remember when running with weights is you must take these weights back with you. Don’t bite off more than you can chew and get stuck with heavy rice bags a mile in if you’re not ready yet! Measure and slowly increase your weights as time goes on.

Step Up to the Challenge

The Airport Mile Challengeor running with weights in general–is a great for extreme endurance training. When you engage in endurance training, you’ll build up your stamina to last longer in tougher workouts. That’s the true Yancy Culp way!

Stay tuned for future dispatches from GameTime and Yancy Culp. If you want to create outdoor fitness spaces where people can level up their fitness, get in touch with one of our outdoor fitness experts or download a copy of our outdoor fitness equipment catalog