NOTE: Athletes Talk 3 will be in 3rd week of March.
From the Athletes Talk, I often hear the question about trail running shoes, hydration pack, protective gears, etc. So here are tips from a newbie’s point of view.
1. Is trail running dangerous?
Yes, just like some people die while sleeping.
2. Trail running shoes or not?!?
I think trail or road or anywhere, the shoes will probably a very big concern of any one. And, I guess every one has the right to be worried over it because we’re going to be on our foot for like hours and hours so we better have some thing that is just perfect for us.
In my case, I used Merrell Pace Glove and Altra Lone Peak for my trail runs. Merrell Pace Glove if the trail is barangay dirt road, and nothing so technical. Altra Lone Peak when the trail is technical especially on single tracks on mountain ridges / edges and downhills in which “grip / traction” can be a lot of help.
But do we really really need trail-specific shoes? Here are some rundown on different footwear that just works perfectly fine on trails.
Your minimalist footwear will do if you’re used to it, like Dennis Savellano in his Kai sandals enjoying the trails of Lilo-an, Cebu. Kai Running sandal is huarache-inspired footwear from Cebu, Philippines (To order and more info, check kairunning.com.). You can read on the Dennis Savellano’s story about his shoe switch here >>.
The “TRAIL SHOES”
But, there is also a nugget of wisdom from the Altra’s Ambassador UltraPedestrian Ras when he said something like if we use pot holder to protect our hands from hot pots, same can be applied to our feet. Being 80% of Philippines considered as trail, it’s not bad to invest on a pair of trail running shoes. If you are looking for a good pair of trail shoes, Altra Lone Peak is good to check especially if you need wide toe-box. You can read on the review of trail running shoes Altra Lone Peak review here >>. (For Altra shoes distributor in Philippines, check singphil.com / Blue-b Tradioandsons.)
Some of you might think that it can be a waste to invest on “pure” trail shoes when you will be rarely using it. Trail shoes are usually heavy compared to those for road running because it usually has thick soles as protection from the rough surfaces plus its grip so it can be awkward running in them in the paved smooth roads.
But there are fairly light trail shoes that can be all-terrain. Brooks and Saucony have good trail shoes that can also be used in road running. You can check A Running Circle – Cebu in Raintree Mall, Ramos Street as they carry these and other brands, and also other multi-sports products. (More info of ARC – Cebu here >>. Or contact them at (032) 254-9625.)
You can see below that Noel Tillor and Coach Sherwin Managil are using Brooks Pure Grit, the trail model of the Brooks Pure Project series, on the 1st I Shall Return Ultramarathon, which was a road race. The trail shoes pure grit probably just did well on roads as Noel was champ for Solo, and Sherwin & Alvirg Busa came 2nd in the relay category.
So, yes, you can put on the shoes that you are used to. (Though a bit of caution to your road running shoes, especially those very light ones, because the trail can be rough and rocky. You might not get injured from it, but the shoes might be so battered after. It’s sad to see your expensive shoes go to waste.)
At the end of the day, as the cliche goes, “It’s about how strong your legs are.”
Please watch out for more trail running tips, and the videos of the Athletes Talk 2: Trail Running 101 to be posted soon.
This post is in part of the Runnilla Eco Challenge, promoting the love for nature while raising funds to light a school: