Hey fellow runners!
Before I go into what gear I’d usually take on my run I’d love to give you a quick rundown of my peak training run. So after being a nervous wreck all last week, on Saturday morning I dragged myself out of bed bright and early (easier said than done – I LOVE sleeping) and made my way to the start of my 50km training run – the longest run scheduled on my 6-month training plan. Luckily for me, living in Auckland means that I can get out and run on the Hillary Trail on most weekends and last Saturday was no different. After all, there’s no better place to practice for this race than on the Hillary Trail itself now is there?!
While each leg of the trail certainly has its challenges, I feel relatively comfortable with the Arataki-Huia and Bethells-Muriwai legs, so the course of the day was what lay between: Huia to Bethells. These are, arguably, the most technical legs of the race, and I knew that if this run went according to plan then I would be in awesome form for the 25th of February. With the exception of a pretty sore knee – brought on due to some terrible advice/ pacing early on in the run – I smashed it!! My nutrition plan proved itself worthy of implementation on race-day, as did all of my gear…my two largest training objectives were ticked off at long last!! Woohoo!
Now, in my last post I promised that I would give you an insight in to what I carry with me when I’m out running. But before I give you that, a short disclaimer…
I’m extremely analytical by nature, so I research all of my potential purchases far, far more than most people. With that said, please understand that gear selection is a deeply personal thing; what works for one person may not work for another as our bodies, opinions and tastes are all very different. At the end of the day, it’s down to each individual to test and adjust equipment in order to find out what they do/ don’t like, so don’t just rely on what other people say – myself included. While others may provide you with things to consider/ look out for, use such information as a guide, as opposed to a ‘hard and fast’ rule; you’ll know when it feels right. Testing gear will always be a relatively expensive exercise, but you just have to do it; your health, wellbeing and comfort will forever be more important.
As mentioned in my last post, just before Christmas I received a package from Tim Farland from EveryRun that was filled with CEP Sports and Icebug gear…Christmas had come early!! There were two branded buffs, some CEP short running socks, CEP full length compression running socks, a CEP tee-shirt and some Icebug running shoes.
I apologise for the dot-point nature of what’s written below, but it keeps it short and sweet!
CEP/ Icebug Buffs – This was my first time using them…what great bits of kit! Perfect for everything and anything, including, but not limited to: stopping things rattling, preventing sunburn, wiping sweat from my face and keeping sunscreen out of my eyes!
Icebug Shoes – I had a few pairs to choose from and chose to go for the Icebug Zeal’s. They’re true mud-slingers, super responsive, and barely retain any moisture once they’re wet! In damp, muddy, crappy conditions they put every other shoe I own to shame; hands down! I’ve taken them in to the Waitakere Ranges following periods of torrential rain and LOVE how easy and enjoyable they make running in those conditions – Something that you’ll just have to experience!
CEP T-shirt – A lightweight running t-shirt. Lime green, so you’ll all see me coming on race day!
CEP short running sock – Awesome for medium length trail runs where complete compression isn’t required, but being a bit longer than an anklet sock, they tend to keep sand and debris from getting in at the top. Great moisture wicking ability!
CEP full length compression running socks – Exactly the same as the CEP short running socks, but with full calf compression. Super supportive! In fact, they fit me so well that it feels like I have to peel them off my legs post run.
So what else do I wear/ take with me? Well this changes a lot depending on the day, but it generally comprises of…
– Ultimate Direction Adventure 3.0 running vest (with 2L hydration bladder and 2x 500mL soft flasks).
– Food and drink.
– Garmin Fenix 3 watch (incl. HR Strap) – such an amazing bit of kit, worth every cent!
– Icebreaker merino undies – lightweight, moisture wicking and extremely breathable.
– ‘Drymax’ ‘lightweight’ running socks for short runs (<90mins).
– Plantronics Bluetooth headphones – which means that I can listen to the country music on my phone and can control it all using my Bluetooth watch…geeky aye?!
– Hi-viz belt and Ledlenser H7 headlamp – if I’m running at night. Petzl headlamps may weigh a little less, but the Ledlenser’s are a heap brighter!
– Lightweight polyester shorts and sunhat/ cap…nothing special.
– The compulsory equipment list as per ‘The Hillary’ website – also includes strapping tape, spare batteries, a little bit of cash and some toilet paper (just in case).
No doubt I have probably forgotten something! While the aim of the game is to keep any gear you carry as light as possible, you have to be prepared for the worst. In the sport of ultramarathon running, there are a lot of variables that are beyond our control and so much can change in a few hours, let alone in an 8-15 hour race such as ‘The Hillary’. My advice: Know your gear and know how to use every bit of it WELL. Only discovering how to use a first aid kit or survival blanket when it’s too late is a recipe for a disaster: you might as well leave it at home.
Anyway that’s enough from me! I hope everyone’s training for the big day is going according to plan…while we all go through highs and lows, keep at it; with less than a month to go until race day, it’s not long now!!