Mountain equipment for your safety
21 April 2020

Mountain equipment for your safety

Skyrunning is nothing like street running and the equipment that you need to bring is very important for your safety.

In this blog post you can read more about Snezana’s experiences of the mountains and which type of equipment you need to bring for training and for racing…

Blog by Snezana Djuric, Arduua Frontrunner

and a continuation of the story…

Uphill and downhill training

What do we need when we are on a mountain?

I know, many would say – well, we do not need anything! All we have to do is enjoy the nature and the mountain itself :).

I agree, the mountains are for enjoyment. But what I have learned so far is that the mountains should be respected first and foremost.

I would like to talk about what we need out of equipment when we are on the mountain, especially racing. It must have happened to you at the beginning to wear both what you need and what you do not need. What is the weather like, is it warm, cold, is it raining or is the sun warming, what do I need in this many miles, and what if the wind blows at the top? So, then the questions are, how much water should I take, do I need some food, something sweet?

These are all questions we initially asked, I believe …

In the beginning I went to hiking, and that is a little different. It goes slower, does not run, and the equipment must be different. It depends on the weather, of course. I just know that I always have a jacket in my backpack for the wind, because in the mountains it can often be a strong wind at any time of the year. At that time, I certainly consulted hiking guides and people who are often on the mountain, what to take and how much.

When it came to the race, that of course had to be different. As we all know, when we run, we get a lot warmer than when we walk, and therefore we dress differently. My first trail race was in April. It is a month in Serbia when it is neither cold nor hot, something in between. But there can still be snow and cold in the mountains. And it can also be raining, or it may be steamy, warm after rain: D. It depends on which mountain you are in, what part of Serbia and what height you are going to.

Sure, that first race of mine looked like this: Should I put on a long sleeve shirt and T-shirt? Or should I wear long shorts and a T-shirt? Or maybe I should bring something else if it starts to rain? of course, I sought advice from people who were already experienced in this, but again, what if … :)))))). I also wore tights, and up the long sleeve T-shirt as an active weight and over another T-shirt. I had a trail backpack with a rustler inside, of course water and a chocolate bar. Of course – I was boiling from the heat! It was clear to me that I had dressed too much.

And so, the race after race went on and I learned a little about each … Now there is a lot of running equipment, a lot of mountain equipment, less quality, higher quality … but as we know, not everyone can afford expensive equipment.

What I have learned so far from the start of my competition is that running shoes must be age, comfortable, non-slip. Again, it depends on the terrain, of course, but there are different terrains in trail racing. Sneakers should guard your joints and feet. Always try different models before choosing. You will then know, and it will be easier to go with. As far as clothes are concerned, it is important to wear clothes that dry quickly because we sweat as we run. Which brand will be – totally irrelevant. The important thing is to be comfortable, to be able to run in it and not hold the sweat on you. Of course, we carry backpacks all for trail, and we all look to be easy to carry. It depends on how many miles you run, so wear what you need. Do not rush your backpack if you go the short distance.

The important thing I learned from racing is that you should have water, some sweets, electrolytes, a whistle in your backpack. Mountains are both good and dangerous, the weather often changes, you do not know what can happen. In addition to your running training, you should read some texts about mountains, watch documentaries, talk to people who have much more experience than you. It is very good if you can wear a sports watch, so you have an indicator of how much you have crossed, how much is left, track your pulse and your heart :). In most races, the phone is required as a mandatory race equipment.

I think everyone has to go through this story from the beginning of the blog, because it is best when you feel what you need :). Of course, always consult with someone about the equipment, but you have to learn some things yourself. This makes you better and more confident in yourself every time.

For example, I never wear shoes with gtx. Not for running. I’m going through the snow, through the ponds, across the river … my feet are wet, so what? Nothing is going to happen as I run. As soon as I’m done, I take them off and that’s it! Only once did I wear gtx shoes and they made me such blisters, and were uncomfortable with the race that I never wanted to wear them again, except for walking: D. That was my experience, they did not suit me, maybe they fit someone else. So, I say, you have to try and learn some things yourself. As time goes by, so I carry less and less things with me :). Not because I am as fast and resourceful now, but because I’ve learned what it takes to run so many miles.

I almost started to use running poles, more specifically to practice with them in training. I have not used them in the race yet, I believe I will. But what I noticed was that you stretch your back and legs a lot on long climbs. But it is another piece of equipment that you have to carry with you, so it must be practiced too :).

There are also those trail races that are about 15 kilometres away and I don’t carry anything with me. These are the races where you mostly know the trail, you know how far you can cross it, you have a control point where you can take water, so you don’t carry anything with you. But on races that are longer, you do not know the terrain, you go to great heights, there are plenty of climbs … equipment is a must! For your safety.

All in all, this is another big difference between mountain and road racing. In racing on the road all around you have people, you can take water, it is the same terrain, and you do not have to think about equipment. So, if you are a street racer and want to try mountain racing, you need to take care of the equipment.

What is the same, you need to have good and proper running shoes :)? And you have to train of course! D

Listen to the mountains, listen to your body, and enjoy yourself, but take care of yourself.

I would love to hear from others too. What do we need from the equipment on the mountain races?

For example, this is my grandmother’s shoes! She does not run, but she has travelled many miles on the mountain in woollen socks and rubber pads. I am just saying…

If you are not sure which type equipment to bring on the mountain, have a look at the list of mandatory equipment that most races in Europe have.

Even if it’s nice weather in the morning, wheater can easily change on the top of the mountain, and you always have to be well prepared.

Mandatory equipment for most mountain races in Europe

In any mountain race in Europe there is always a list of mandatory equiplement that you will bring for your safety. This is the mandatory equipment that is valid for most of races in Europe:

  • Waterproof jacket (minimum 10,000 Schmerber, with integrated hood, long, breathable sleeves).
  • Survival thermal blanket (minimum 140cm by 200cm).
  • Cap or tubular and thermal gloves with fingers.
  • Waterproof pants and gloves.
  • Whistle.
  • Reusable glass 150ml minimum. There are no glasses at the aid stations.
  • Food reserve according to the race.
  • Hydration system (minimum 1.5 litre).
  • Mobile phone with the organization number saved and switched on throughout the race.
  • Front light.
  • Long pants or tights and technical long-sleeved shirt. Running with them is not mandatory, they can be loaded if desired.
  • Adhesive bandage for functional bandage (minimum one meter).

If there is anything you like to ask me about this please send me an e-mail to Snezana Djuric

/Snezana Djuric, Arduua Frontrunner

Like and share this blog post