Hill training has started in earnest, and I’ve dusted off my poles and started bringing them on all my runs again. They served me so well in my Avalon 50 miler in January and I don’t think I would race again without them. I am by no means an experienced pole runner, but I have been training with them for about a year now, and absolutely love them.
So here is some basic information to trail running with poles:
- Ensure you get the right size and weight for your body type and running. They come in various sizes so check they are right for you.
- They also come in various materials, so if you think you are going to be using them excessively across rocks and gravel, check they can withstand the hard work that is going to be expected of them. Some poles are super light, but may not withstand climbing up a mountain.
- They without a doubt give me more power on a hill climb. I rely heavily on them to push up hill. I’m walking fast on a steep inclines so these help with a forward movement.
- Poles keep me standing up straight! I am so guilty of bending over on an uphill climb or just leaning on my thighs. My poles force me to stand up straighter opening up my diaphragm.
- Use them for balance on a down hill or cliff side trails, especially when you’ve got your speed up.
- River crossings! More balance and less slipping into the water!
- Try not to stab people around you when you are packing them away, or moving them around. I have stabbed a dear friend in the leg before and I felt terrible for the rest of the run!
The more you use poles the more you don't even notice you are running with poles. It is not as common to run with poles here in the US, but it definitely makes a difference to you upward mobility. I have only tried the Leki poles, so I cannot compare them to anything else. They are durable and light, and they have become my favorite gear on the trail.
These writings are the musings of a trail runner who has a lot of time to think while running. These words are personal opinion and are not representative of client work or brands. Please share the love and share the post!