Best Trail Running Gear for those considering starting trail running.
Are you struggling to work out the Best Trail Running gear to carry with you on your trail/fell run? Scared you’re too unequipped to start trail running?
How am I qualified to advise you on the best trail running gear for beginners?
If you are looking for advise on the best trail running gear for beginners the you are reading the right post :). From an early age my parents took my sisters and myself reluctantly up to the fells to walk/run with the whippet (dog). This knowledge will be lovingly passed on to you in this article. Taking the best trail running gear can give you peace of mind when first hitting the fells and trails, so read and learn.
Earlier in my life I would much rather be sat in front of the TV watching cartoons. As with many things in life our tastes change, and we begin to love the things that we once hated.
My goal is to get more beginner runners involved in trail running. To enjoy the feeling of being free, outside and in nature. There are so many mental health benefits from this simple sport that you should take advantage of. This article will help you feel equipped in the wild!
Best Trail Running Gear: The Kit
The trails and fells can be treacherous at times so I’d definitely advise bringing a small rucksack to bring some water, a snack, a camera, compass (depending how far you’re going), phone, and a light layer as it can be colder on the hills than you think!!
I love my Camelbak, my sister who is a keen cyclist bought the bag for my birthday. It has a water pack, and two small pockets that fit most of the key essentials. The bag is light and a middle body strap means that it doesn’t put any pressure on the back.
Before you head out then make sure you check the Weather.
Definitely check the weather before you set off.
Have you been struggling to find a reliable weather app? You will find some accurate data broken down hour by hour on the Windfinder app.
On a sunny day you may be OK dressed in a t-shirt, and shorts. Do be careful though! The weather on the fells can be unpredictable. Exposed hilltops can mean that even on a hot day you can catch a chill quick.
To prevent a chill you should always bring a light long sleeve top.
Have you been struggling to find a feminine fitting long sleeve top? If yes, you can find a brilliant light merino running top from Sweaty Betty. The Sweaty Betty long sleeve top is breathable and perfectly regulates the body’s temperature.
If you like the top below then read my article on Women’s Running Clothing you need NOW!
Compulsory equipment for long races!
If you are considering entering any fell/trail races then you may be asked to bring waterproof layers. Both a top and bottoms!
Even if you’re not racing then they are some of the most sensible items to carry. Weather can close in very quick for us in more temperate locations! If you’re injured or lost you need to know that you can keep you body heat!
If you have minimal storage then you need to find a light pair. Here are a couple of options that I have found that would more than do.
Leggings no chaffing is a must!
Sweaty Betty offer some great leggings and shorts for those who want to run in both comfort and style. The material is so soft, and because the garments are made for the female figure there is no chaffing either.
Best Trail Running Gear: Trail Shoes
Inov8 are relatively new entrants onto the well established sports shoe market but they have absolutely the best trail running gear suitable for both trails and fells.
“Whether you jog, run or race – on roads, trails or off−trail – enjoy the world’s toughest grip, award−winning innovative design and pioneering technology in our range of running footwear, clothing and equipment.”
Inov8 X-Talon the light, quick & grippy choice
The X-Talon are my preferred choice. They are both light and grippy. You can deal with both muddy and rocky in these shoes. Inov8’s X-Talon’s are light and quick but have limited cushioning. You might want to choose the Inov8 Mudclaw model if you need more cushioning.
Inov8 Mudclaw, super grippy, but more cushioning
The Inov8 is another grippy shoe which helps in some of the muddiest of conditions. Inov8’s Mudclaw has more cushioning than the X-Talon if you need more substance in the sole.
“Run with confidence through the muddiest of terrains with this men & women’s trail running shoe. The MUDCLAW 300 CLASSIC propels fell and mountain runners over the muddiest of terrains by delivering the ultimate grip in mud through an aggressive outsole. A unique stud design releases mud as quickly and efficiently as it grips to it. Perfect for running in the fells and mountains when the terrain is muddy and the ultimate in grip is needed. Weighs 300g and the full rand delivers increased protection.”
Salomon Women’s Supercross Shoes, great grip, extremely cushioned and supportive
My sister (@foodfitnessfells give her a follow ;)) says her best trail running gear includes her favourite Salomon Women’s Supercross Shoes.
The shoes are great for a simple trail running or more technical wet muddy fells. Such a versatile shoe!
“For running beyond the trail, the Salomon Women’s Supercross Shoes deliver enhanced off-road performance with a tough, rugged design. Wrapping your feet in supportive comfort while exceptional grip instils confidence on technical terrain.”
Best Trail Running Gear: Trail Running Food & Recovery
Depending on how fast or far you’re intending to run then consider bringing some food. If you enter certain fell/trail runs then bringing food/sweets is an essential requirement to race. Even if you are not racing it is good practice to at least bring a gel or some sugary sweets. The sugary hit can be a life saver if you get injured or lost.
If you’re taking your run seriously then just consider taking a trail nut bar (I really like the Eat Natural – Dark Chocolate and Cranberry), gel (I use SiS, and just buy a multi-pack box), or Kendal mint cake.
You may not be taking your run too seriously. Why not pack a picnic? Sit in the grass, and let the world go buy for a few hours.
Here are some handy post run recovery products
Best Trail Running Gear: Camera Recommendations
Most of the Instagram photos you see on my Instagram profile have been taken from my GoPro. For such a small camera the picture quality is amazing. The tiny camera can conveniently fit in your Camelbak along with the tripod.
Take a look at the photos in the instagram feed below. You may initially think that there is someone shooting me. No, this is not the case! The majority of the pictures have been taken by a GoPro on a Tripod. Tripods can be place on rocks or a wall while you run past. If you have the GoPro on the video or burst setting you’ll have a number of photos to choose from when you get back home.
Below is an example of a photo taken from a cleverly placed GoPro.
What watch should you use?
There can be a great deal of satisfaction felt from uploading a run to Strava.
If you need a bit of guidance on what watch to bring onto the fells then check out my article which on weight loss through running. The article gives a useful sum-up of the best fitness trackers for runners.
The Garmin 5/6S watch has some impressive trail running settings if you are looking to take things more seriously. The watch has a built in HR wrist monitor, compass, and it also tracks elevation.
“Hey, guess what? The Garmin Fenix 5S is a GPS multisport watch that’s neither massive nor ugly. You’d think that’s a weird thing to celebrate, but it’s quite the accomplishment in this category. In fact, launched alongside the flagship Fenix 5 and the map-tastic, fully-loaded Fenix 5X, the 5S is angled as those who like something a bit smaller on their wrist, with women in particular in mind.” Garmin Fenix 5S review By Hugh Langley @hughlangley
5 Essential things to BRING/DO before your trail run!
- DO YOUR ROUTE PLANNING BEFORE YOU LEAVE.
- Take a physical map, compass & whistle some *fell/trail races will make this compulsory*
- Pack some extra food/water provisions *fell/trail races will make this compulsory*
- Take along a spare hat & gloves *fell/trail races will make this compulsory*
- Bring a phone
- *If foggy* take some sort of light, or torch so you can see/be seen if necessary
There are some useful documents on the UK Fell Runner’s website for a more thorough list of useful safety equipment.
It’s ok to run slow, and walk
The uneven ground, hills and evil headwind can all take it out of you so throw your usual road splits out of the window. Just take the running easy, and walk if you need to. If you’re going to use your watch for anything then just check your heart rate to make sure you’re not working too hard/easy depending on your session goal.
Trail Running makes me Happy
For me Trail Running makes me happy and is vital for the maintenance of my mental health! I have created a fun little #runhappy trail journal for you to write what you see, do & feel. Download it now for free 🙂 x