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FatPom

Gimme your pole running tips

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and please, no jokes about Scott Jurek :lol:

Decided to order some poles and see if they help with the longer stuff. They should arrive today and due to my ultra in June being downgraded to 3pts for UTMB, I have to do another race on Oct 5th.  This one is 54km with 2330 mtrs of ascent and similar descent (point to point).

Do you think 3wks is long enough to practice with them for that race?

I'm getting these, they're carbon! 

https://www.leki.com/uk/product-area/trail-running/poles/3351/micro-trail-pro/

 

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FP, I haven't used poles in a race, but here's what I think anyway.

There's probably no better place to learn to use them than at your forthcoming race. This is a part what your qualifying races are for, learning what will and won't work for you at UTMB.

2330m over 54km? Assuming it's also a reasonably technical trail, there will probably be a few other runners also using poles. During the race you'll have opportunities to watch how other runners use and carry theirs, talk to them, get tips, etc.

 

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Most races have a pole-free zone (assuming they are allowed to start with) for the first xkms otherwise it's just too crowded and inuring someone else is likely. So you need to practice taking them out from where you have stored them and also putting them back - most packs have some kind of top and bottom loop to secure them, just don't stop to do it.

As for using them?  I find them a massive help going up hills but will depend on your upper body strength.  There's also a risk that by going faster you can strain a calf muscle (managed that!) so take it easy.  For descents I find they're more a positioning/balancing aid a bit like downhill skiing.  Overall, if you can use them then a definite help.  From what I can see, in Europe they're used extensively but over here it's rare - remember it's proper hard here 😂

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Cheers Truck, great tips.  My upcoming race is much more coastal path/gravel than the wilderness/marshland of last week. There won't be that many in the race and from what I could tell last week, folks were either carrying them in their hand or just walking and putting them away.  These local races are very very low key compared to UTMB, so getting in the way of others isn't so much of an issue  (finding some company sometimes is! :lol: ).  

 I went for a 12km easy run with the middle 3km on the flat playing fields trying the poles. At first I was too hung up on counting steps and placing them exactly, which didn’t go well.

Then I just ran with them, holding them high and just letting them swim, then I started to touch the ground with them.

In a way, the less I thought about the easier it was. I kicked them now and then and a couple of times, scraped the ground but got the hang of it. Concentrated on letting the pole do the swinging and just tightened my fingers a bit as they touched down, more of a press with the fingers than an actual grip.

Definitely didn’t go any faster but stayed upright :thumbsup:

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