HomeGearThe Best Trail Running Poles Info and Pick

The Best Trail Running Poles Info and Pick

Trail running poles, whether they be adjustable trekking poles or specifically designed running poles, offer several advantages for trail runners:

  • Increased Stability: Poles provide additional points of contact with the ground, enhancing stability on uneven or technical terrain.
  • Aid in Ascents and Descents: They assist in both uphill climbs, where they provide leverage, and downhill descents, where they can help control speed and balance.
  • Reduced Impact on Joints: Poles can help distribute the workload, reducing strain on your legs, particularly during long or steep runs.
  • Enhanced Endurance: By engaging your upper body, poles can help conserve leg strength, allowing you to cover longer distances with less fatigue.

Choosing the Right Poles:

  • Adjustable Length: Opt for poles with adjustable length settings. This allows you to customize the height to match the terrain and your running style.
  • Material and Weight: Look for lightweight yet durable materials like carbon fiber or aluminum. Lighter poles are easier to carry over long distances.
  • Grip and Straps: Comfortable grips and adjustable straps are crucial for a secure and comfortable hold, especially during prolonged use.
  • Collapsed Size: Consider how compact the poles can be when collapsed. This affects how easily you can stow them during sections where poles may not be needed.

Using Poles Effectively:

  • Proper Grip: Hold the poles with a relaxed grip, allowing for a natural swing. Adjust the straps to support your wrists and alleviate strain.
  • Placement: On ascents, plant the poles slightly ahead and to the sides of your feet. On descents, place them slightly behind you to provide stability.
  • Rhythm and Coordination: Establish a steady rhythm that synchronizes with your steps. This ensures efficient use of the poles’ support.
  • Practice and Familiarity: Spend some time practicing with your poles on various terrains to get comfortable with their use.

Trail running poles can be a game-changer for many runners, especially on challenging or technical trails. With the right selection and technique, they can significantly enhance your performance and overall trail running experience.

Trail Running Poles Top Pick

Black Diamond Distance Carbon Z Foldable Poles

$233.66 at Amazon.com

When you are out on the trails you need a very lightweight set of poles and just like your triathlon bike carbon is best! I use the Black Diamond Carbon poles that are not only lightweight but also fold up so when you don’t need them you can put in your rucksack.

Trail Running Poles FAQ

How do trail running poles help with balance and stability?

Trail running poles provide additional points of contact with the ground, enhancing stability on uneven terrain, especially during ascents and descents.

Can I use trekking poles for trail running?

Yes, adjustable trekking poles can be used for trail running, especially on technical or challenging terrain. However, specifically designed running poles may offer added benefits for faster-paced runs, these will be lightweight (carbon) and usually foldable.

How do I adjust the length of trail running poles?

Most poles have adjustable sections. Loosen the locking mechanism, adjust the length, and secure it in place. The ideal length allows your elbows to be at a comfortable angle when holding the poles.

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Karen Parnell
Karen Parnellhttps://chilitri.com/one-to-one-coaching
Karen Parnell is a Level 3 British Triathlon and IRONMAN Certified Coach, WOWSA Level 3 open water swimming coach,  80/20 Endurance certified coach and NASM Personal Trainer and Sports Technology Writer. Need a training plan? I have plans on TrainingPeaks, FinalSurge and TrainingTilt: TrainingPeaks FinalSurge TrainingTilt I also coach a very small number of athletes one to one for all triathlon distances, open water swimming events and running races, email me for details and availability. Karen.parnell@chilitri.com

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