All their lives, hikers have carried a stick, to help them keep going at difficult points along the way. With the progressive technicalisation of sports equipment, hikers and mountaineers had access to "metal poles" that could be folded for convenient storage.
And the boom in technical folding mountain poles came when Nordic walking became fashionable. And also when people realised that walking with two poles increases your speed a lot.
Yes, it is a matter of physics and the distribution of your body weight when walking.
When you use the poles, thanks to them, you can walk safer, faster and carry the load of the backpack better. For two reasons:
- We have four points of support instead of two.
- Part of the weight that used to be on the legs is shifted to the chest and arms.
Trail running poles are more technical than normal trekking poles. And it is interesting to use them when you are facing steep slopes or very long races. However, a period of adaptation is necessary to achieve an efficient technique. And you also have to take into account that the faster the event, the more difficult it is to use the poles.
At Be Urban Running we have
Mountain poles Leki and Ferrino
Trail running poles Leki and Ferrino
The poles are great allies for trekking or hiking and trail running athletes, especially in medium and long distance routes.
Characteristics to take into account when choosing trekking poles
1.- The material it is made of. The lighter the better, but at the same time resistant, such as carbon and some types of aluminium.
2.- The material of the tip. Carbide tip is more resistant than steel and gives better grip.
3.- The weight of the pole. For longer routes, lighter poles are better. Normally aluminium is always a little heavier than carbon. On the other hand, they are more durable and cheaper.
4.- The grip should be ergonomic, non-slip and with a material such as cork or rubber that repels sweat.
When descending steep terrain, do not use the drag strap. This is the strap that you put around your wrist. Because if you fall, the poles will get in the way and hinder the use of your hands to protect you.
Length or height of the poles
a) With telescopic system (adjustable length) they have 2 or 3 segments to be stretched so that the athlete can adjust the baton to the correct size according to his height.
When ascending steeper slopes, the length of the poles is shortened and when descending they are lengthened.
b) Fixed-length poles. These are chosen by athletes who already know what length is most suitable for their body. They are usually divided into three parts to make them more comfortable to carry.
The rule for calculating the length is: Runner's height in cm x 0.67 = baton length.
Although it is recommended to "round up" this figure:
If you are less than 155cm tall: choose a pole length of 100cm.
If you are between 156cm and 172cm: choose a 110cm long pole.
If you are between 173cm and 182cm tall: 120cm pole length.
For runners taller than 183cm: 120cm pole length.