Trail Running: 5 Essential Accessories

Trail Running: 5 Essential Accessories

Also available in: French

This is it! You’re ready to start trail running and wondering what you’ll need? Read Pamela Boucher’s suggestions for the 5 essential items you’ll need for trail running.

 

1. A good pair of running shoes suited for trail running

Every person has different needs when it comes to the right shoe. You’ve got to take morphology into consideration when making your selection (flat feet, supination, or pronation). To optimize your trail running performance in the woods, it’s important to choose the right shoe that suits your needs as well as provides the right amount of comfort. Here are my three simple and practical steps to maximize your success. First, go with a waterproof shoe. The trails are full of surprises and you’ll prefer to be running dry. The next thing is a feeling of freedom. To attain it, pick a light and comfortable shoe. I particularly like Salomon that often takes these two features into consideration when designing sneakers. Last, select an innovative lacing system. With these three tips, you’ll have happy feet!

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2. A measuring tool such as a smart watch

Analyzing your performance by way of a measuring tool is a key element. Whatever your goals are in terms of distance, duration or inclines, you’ll be able to track your progress and records. In this way, you’ll feel more motivated as you try and reach your goals. Another interesting point is that a smart watch may give you that extra little push you need. For example, it offers notifications or reminders about training and breathing properly. It puts the onus on you to hit your targets overall.

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3. The right pair of running pants or shorts

Running on a trail is a very technical and demanding sport. I recommend some specific things for selecting pants. First, go for shorts or pants made from stretch fabric. For example, lycra hugs the curves of your body but won’t limit your movement. In addition, loose, non-stretch fabrics are more likely to get caught in tree branches and become a problem on rockier paths. Next, choose pants that offer secure side and back pockets. Your car keys, identity cards, tissues and phone will be safe. Last, choose breathable fabric that wicks away moisture and sweat.

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4. A practical hydration pack

Several specific features are offered when purchasing a hydration pack, which can be an obstacle when making your choice to purchase one. Which is the right pack to choose? Here’s what you need to ask yourself. Knowing you’ll be trail running, start by selecting a pack that has enough capacity for the distance you intend to be covering. Poor hydration or the onset of dehydration is very dangerous for your health. The three symptoms of potential dehydration are: fast heartbeat, dizziness, and unusual nausea. Another good point to consider is how much the pack can be adjusted. Shoulder straps, for example, sometimes need to be adjusted to offer comfort to your shoulders and latissimus dorsi. I therefore recommend that you try out several bags when you visit the store. This will help you find the perfect pack to meet your comfort and hydration needs.

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5. A protective cap

Often overlooked, a cap is indispensable! That’s right, wearing a cap while trail running is good for the following reasons: it helps provide some sun protection (but, of course, isn’t to be used as a replacement for broad spectrum sunscreen). You may be underestimating the UV rays during a forest run, so be aware that trees do little to protect you from a potential sunburn. What’s more, if you have short or thinning hair, a cap is essential for protecting your skull. On the other side of the coin, if you have long hair, a cap will hold your hair and keep it secure thanks to the clip at the back of the cap. Finally, a cap protects your face from perspiration. Nothing is more annoying than tolerating the sweat that runs down your eyes or face. Be smart and opt for dry eyes that aren’t irritated by sweat by wearing a cap on your next outing.

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Article written in collaboration with Pamela Boucher, kinesiologist.

Also available in: French