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The Pros and Cons of Using Running Poles during a Trail Run

De Voor- en Nadelen van Het Gebruik van Running Poles tijdens een Trailrun

Trail running is a challenging sport that allows you to experience the beauty of nature while pushing your physical limits. For some trail runners, running poles are an indispensable tool, while others prefer to run without them. Let's look at the pros and cons of taking poles on a trail run so you can decide if they're right for your next adventure.

Benefits of Running Poles:

1. Improved Stability: Running poles can provide you with extra stability during technical descents or when crossing muddy trails. They act as additional points of support and reduce the risk of slipping.

2. Reduction of Load: During climbs you can use your upper body and arms more actively to push yourself up with the poles. This distributes the load and reduces stress on your legs, which can reduce fatigue.

3. Faster Climbing: Running poles often allow you to make climbs faster, because you can push off and pull up with force. This can increase your average speed on technical terrain. We don't have a huge difference in height in the Netherlands, but poles are a bit more important during foreign runs in the mountains.

4. Less Muscle Fatigue: Using your arms can reduce the impact on your leg muscles, which can help reduce muscle fatigue and increase your endurance.

Disadvantages of Running Poles:

1. Extra Weight: Carrying running poles adds extra weight to your equipment, which can be a disadvantage if you're looking for a light and fast trail run. Carrying them for longer distances can also be more tiring.

2. Technical Challenges: Using running poles correctly requires some technique and practice. Improper use may cause tripping or discomfort.

3. Storage issues: When you are not using the poles, you need to store them somewhere. Some trail runners find this inconvenient, especially on narrow and rocky trails. Although we do of course sell handy running belts and racing vests to store them in.

4. Personal Preference: The use of poles is largely up to personal preference. Some people find them a great addition to their trail running gear, while others prefer to run without them.

In conclusion, using running poles during a trail run has both advantages and disadvantages. It can improve your stability, speed and endurance, but it also adds extra weight and requires some technical skill. The most important thing is to experiment and find what works best for you. Try them out on different types of terrain and distances to determine if running poles are a valuable addition to your trail running experience. Remember, there is no one-size-fits-all answer, and it's all about what suits your style best.

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