Trail Running Clothing
A Trail Runner is used to train with all weather conditions (rain, mud, snow). In the Mountains the weather conditions are unpredictable and often change. If your outdoor workout will be away from villages, you should check weather forecast and you must plan to take with you protective clothing against wind or rain: waterproof jacket, gloves, neck warmer and hat.
In any case, before venturing into long runs, in unfamiliar places and with low pressure conditions, make sure to wear technical clothing and equipment and, above all, items you have been able to test in previous situations of bad weather.
TRM Team tips:
- Trail Running Shoes: choose appropriate trail running shoes according to your level and profile, the type of terrain or path (land, snow, rock, sand, etc ..). The shoes should be replaced every 600 kilometers (rule that applies also to all running shoes) to avoid the risk of injuries. There are different models of Trail Running shoes on the market. The Trail Running shoes belong to category A5. After several years of trail running practice and experience our prefered models are the Sportiva Ultra Raptor, Salomon Ultra Trail or Salomon XT 6 S-Lab, Saucony Xodus, and in case you need a very cushioned shoe, we suggest the Tecnica Inferno x Lite 2.0 and the Tecnica Inferno Supreme Max 2.0. You must keep in mind that the choice of a shoe is very personal, so you may need to change several before finding the perfect one for you;
- Trail Running Jacket: Hooded waterproof jacket are designed to withstand the bad weather in the mountains. Among the light weight jackets, but in compliance with the mandatory requirements for the Ultra Trails, we outline the Raidlight models. For the tough weather situations, such as heavy snow or rain, we suggest you to opt for a more technic and powerful jacket such us Raidlight Top Extreme, Raidlight Top Ultralight or Salomon Bonatti, Salomon GTX or other brands of jackets Goretex fabric similar and light weight;
- Thermal jersey: choose breathable and with full-lenght arms. Short sleeves may be use during spring and summer season and with hot weather. We recommend you to carry running sleeves;
- Running Capri Pants: buy these type of pants and wear them with Booster (tubular compression that helps to improve circulation and recovery). Shorts pants for Ultra Trails in the Mountains are rarely used and only by elite athletes. The reasons are related to the fact that weather forecast is uncertain, they might be brambles along the way and you can easily fall. In addition, in the Mountains the temperature is subject to continuous changes and you rarely suffer from the heat;
- Socks designed for Trail Running: choose the good quality and quick-drying model. Avoid 100% cotton thread;
- Thermal and breathable hat and gloves: these items are a “must” during winter time and at night. During spring and summer, we recommend to wear a peaked cap or a bandana to prevent sunstrokes;
- Mobile phone: buy an extra light phone to carry with during long runs;
- Backpack or Pouch for water supply: having a Camel or a couple of Pouches is a very personal choice that becomes mandatory only for competitions over 42 km as the pouch has limited space availability
Trail Running Gear must respond to specific technical characteristics: keep the body temperature constant, be breathable, quick-drying and waterproof.
We do not recommend the use of fabrics 100% Cotton (even for stockings!). Cotton fabrics are not fast drying neither breathable and lead to the formation of blisters or abrasions.
During long training sessions and competitions it is preferable to provide to your upper body a layered clothing.
You will be able to interchange the layers depending on the weather conditions:
1st layer, breathable lightweight short-sleeved shirt to match with running sleeves or to substitute with full-lenght arms long if the temperature gets lower
2nd layer, mesh type Polar able to keep the heat and protect from the wind to be weared over the 1st layer in case of cold weather or at night
3rd layer, waterproof jacket designed to withstand bad weather in the mountains.
The waterproof rating is measured in Schember (The Founder), 1 Schember = 1 mm of liquid in a column of water. A Trail Running Jacket is considered impermiabile if it guarantees 10,000 Schembers (inside the jacket you find a label indicating Goretex, Powertex membrane or MP +).
If the weather is good and the temperature mild, you can expect to wear only a 1st layer and to carry a windproof jacket that you should always have with you.
TRM Team advices:
- All what you wear should fit you perfectly to ensure maximum comfort and technical performance;
- Try several times all the gear you intend to use during competition. An elastic positioned in a wrong place, a shirt of a size too small or too large can lead to the formation of painful abrasions after hours;
- Brands use fabrics and membranes that may have different names and different performances at the end;
- Buy only items designed for trail running and seek advices from specialized dealers;
- Before a long workout or a competition spread the inner thighs and nipples with petroleum jelly to prevent abrasion.
For more on clothing and textiles click on video or researches
Having to deal with cold hands is related to the operation of the temperature control system of the athlete. However, in certain climatic conditions and in long runs and Ultra Trails, it is indispensable to preserve body heat that is lost, primarily, through the head and the extremities.
For this reasons gloves and waterproof overgloves are listed in the compulsory equipment of some famous ultra trails including the Ultra Trail around Mont Blanc and the Tor des Geants.
Innovation makes progress continously but, to date, we believe that there is not yet on the market a brand producing overgloves for Trail Running simultaneously responding to the requirements of being impermiabile, highly breathable and able to retain heat.
TRM Team suggestions for Ultra competitions:
- Choose the overgloves designed for ski mountaineering, normally the technology in this field is far ahead;
- Opt for a measure slightly larger so that there is a space between the 1st layer gloves and the overgloves. This improves air circulation and better breathability;
- 1st layer gloves should be warm, soft and breathable. Plan to have a certain number available during your long run or a competition and change them frequently. Be aware to keep them stored until use in a plastic bag (if you carry them with you);
- In case of very adverse conditions (rain or heavy snow), wear ski gloves during the night.
For more details click on video or researches.