WHY AND WHEN TO USE TRAIL-RUNNING POLES
If we manage to increase the time until we reach muscle fatigue, we will have resources available to run longer and with less risk (or later) in the appearance of discomfort or cramps.
Trail-running poles can be very useful for long races and trainings in mountain environment, and/or in short steep races and trainings.
They help us to maintain an efficient and healthy posture going uphill maintaining that important ALIGNMENT of the body (lower body-hip-back-cervical)
It has also been proven that they reduce the work on the ankle extensor muscles (calves and soleus) by up to 25%, muscles that are severely damaged during the big climbs while running in the mountains and the vastus lateralis by up to 15% … therefore to preserve this musculature for when we can run is undoubtedly a point to consider in long distance.
In relation to this MUSCULAR “SAVINGS”, it may be extra important for those athletes who already have limited ankle mobility that makes them have the entire posterior chain and especially calves, soleus, hamstrings and lower back very vulnerable and over-activated in the most desnivel sections.
For all these reasons, I encourage all trail runners in long and even on short distances to try poles, to train them… to become familiar with them…. and from there, they will dispose of one more tool than in some training or competition can be of great value!!!
How to choose your trail-running poles
Important thinking is how to transport your poles while running. You could put them in the back of your running west, in a belt or simply hold them in your hands.
Length: aproximately getting 90º between arm and forearm.
Material: Aluminium or carbon fibre (lighter but a little bit more expensive)
Folding type: Telescopies or folding. The telescopic ones have the advantage that you can adjust the length, but the folding ones are much more comfortable to take out and store while running and use to be lighter (we prefer the folding type of poles).
We hope this information was useful to you.
/Fernando Armisén, Arduua Head Coach