Use of poles in trail running

Trail running is a discipline that challenges the physical and mental limits of runners on varied and demanding terrain. In this quest to excel, many runners turn to tools such as trail running poles to improve their performance and increase their safety in the mountains. These poles, initially associated with hiking, have become an integral part of the equipment of many trail runners.

In this article we explore the use of poles in trail running in depth, examining their benefits, usage techniques, specific considerations and much more. Find out how poles can offer greater stability on uneven terrain, ease the load on steep ascents and provide an extra boost on technical descents.

Whether you are a novice runner looking to improve your technique or an experienced trail runner looking for new strategies, this article will provide you with valuable information to take your trail running experience to the next level with the proper use of poles.

Corredor de montaña con bastones de trail running

Benefits of using poles for trail running

Trail running is a discipline that challenges both the physical and mental endurance of runners, especially in hilly and technical terrain. In this context, the use of poles has become an increasingly popular strategy among trail runners due to the various benefits it brings. Poles offer a number of significant advantages for trail runners:

  1. Improved stability: The poles provide additional support on uneven terrain, helping runners maintain balance and reducing the risk of falling.
  2. Reduced fatigue: By redistributing some of the effort to the arms, poles can help reduce the load on the legs, allowing runners to conserve energy during long, demanding runs.
  3. Increased climbing power: By using the poles to propel themselves upwards, runners can increase their power and efficiency when climbing steep slopes, making the ascent easier.
  4. Joint protection: Poles can help reduce the impact on leg joints, especially on steep descents, by absorbing some of the impact and providing additional support.

In summary, proper use of poles can significantly enhance the trail running experience by increasing stability, reducing fatigue and protecting joints, allowing runners to face challenges with greater confidence and enjoy their mountain running to the fullest.

How to choose the right Trail running poles?

When choosing a trail running pole it is important to consider several factors to ensure that it suits your individual needs and preferences. Here are some key aspects to consider:

  1. Material: Trail running poles can be made of aluminium, carbon fibre or a combination of both. Carbon fibre poles tend to be lighter and stiffer, while aluminium poles are more durable but a little heavier.
  2. Weight: Opt for a lightweight pole that will allow you to move easily over varied terrain and prolong your endurance during long runs.
  3. Adjustable length: Look for poles that are adjustable in length, allowing you to easily adapt them to different terrain and situations, such as steep ascents or technical descents.
  4. Folding system: Folding poles are ideal for convenient transport in your backpack when you are not using them. Make sure the folding system is easy to use and sturdy.
  5. Grips and straps: Ergonomic handles and adjustable straps are important to ensure a comfortable and secure grip while running.
  6. Tips and rosettes: Tungsten carbide tips offer better traction on rocky terrain, while interchangeable washers allow you to adapt the poles to different terrain conditions.

Technique and use of trail running poles

The proper technique of using trail running poles is essential to maximise their effectiveness and minimise effort during the run. Here are some key tips for mastering this technique:

  1. Proper length: Adjust the length of the poles so that your elbows form an angle of approximately 90 degrees when you hold them vertically to the ground. This will allow you to maintain an upright posture and use the poles efficiently.
  2. Correct grip: Hold the poles firmly, but without excessive tension, using the adjustable straps to secure them in place. Keep your hands relaxed and allow the poles to move naturally with your movements.
  1. Steady pace: Use the poles evenly and in coordination with your stride, swinging them back and forth in sync with your stride. Avoid sudden or fast movements that may interfere with your running pace.
  2. Propelling yourself uphill: When climbing steep hills, use the poles to propel yourself upwards, leaning hard on them to gain traction and stability. Be sure to maintain an upright posture and use your arms and legs in tandem to propel yourself upwards.
  3. Downhill support: On technical descents, use the poles to provide stability and control by placing them slightly behind you and using your body weight to steer downhill in a safe and controlled manner.

Mastering the technique of using trail running poles takes practice and patience, but once mastered, it will allow you to confidently tackle a variety of terrain and challenges on your mountain adventures.

Maintenance and care of Trail running poles

To keep your trail running poles in optimal condition and ensure their durability, it is essential to follow some care and maintenance tips. Here are a few key points:

  1. Regular cleaning: After each run, be sure to wipe your poles with a damp cloth to remove mud, dirt and moisture that may accumulate during the run.
  2. Tip check: Periodically check the condition of the tips of your poles. If they are worn or damaged, replace them to ensure optimal grip on difficult terrain.
  3. Adjusting locking systems: If your poles have adjustable locking systems, such as length locking systems, be sure to check them regularly to prevent them from loosening during your run.
  4. Handle maintenance: Pole handles can wear out over time. If you notice signs of wear, consider replacing them to maintain a comfortable and secure grip.
  5. Proper storage: Store your poles in a dry, well-ventilated place to avoid moisture build-up and corrosion. If they are collapsible, be sure to fold them properly to avoid damage to the locking systems.
  6. General inspection: Perform regular inspections of your poles for any signs of damage or wear. If you find any problems, such as cracks in the material or loose parts, fix or replace them immediately to avoid injury during the race.
Use of poles in trail running
Use of poles in trail running Trail running is a discipline that challenges the physical and mental limits of runners on varied and demanding terrain. In this quest to excel, many runners turn to tools such as trail running poles to imp …
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Use of poles in trail running

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