To be a Skyrunner you’ll need a few bits and pieces that your average roadie doesn’t. The distances, toughness of the terrain and environmental conditions all come together to make the sport unique and challenging, which is why most of us do it. So below we’ve put together a list of stuff to get your hands on to make you more at home on the trails!
A quality race pack
Most Skyraces have a certain amount of mandatory gear, plus they are of a duration that means you’ll need to carry some hydration and nutrition around with you during the event. So it’s worth investing in a good race pack that is not only able to hold all your essentials, but also durable and above all else, comfortable. The size will depend on how far you will be running and the types of races you’re looking at. The longer the distance and more alpine the terrain, the more gear you’ll need and therefore the bigger the pack! We recommend checking out the CamelBak range. Apart from being a supporter of our series, they also make arguably the best you’ll find, with quality materials, as well as different storage capacities and fits to suit anyone.
These are not so much a must have, but are well worth adding to your arsenal. Hiking poles make a world of difference on the steep stuff and the longer you’re out there, the more handy they are. If you do invest in some, practice plenty with them prior to racing and be sure to have a place to stow them on your pack or waist when not in use. We like the Black Diamond Z pole Ultra Carbon poles as they are very lightweight and super easy to break down and re-extend as you need them.
Shoes with aggressive tread
Good kicks will not only save your feet from getting too beaten up, but they also help with giving you confidence on the trails. An aggressive tread is typically what you’ll need in a Skyrace as there’s going to be plenty of vertical gain and loss as well as technical trail. The specific footwear option will depend on the distances you plan on racing and terrain. The range from La Sportiva cover everything from the short and brutally steep stuff, to muddy tracks and long rocky grinds.
Doing a Skyrace is going to hurt….a lot! But hey, that’s half the attraction to doing them, right? Well to help get you back running again we recommend you get some post race compression. Hell, you might as well get some to wear in the race too. For racing in it’s hard to beat Compressport calf guards and short tights. The calves cop a flogging and wearing some sleeves help reduce fatigue while also protecting you from low lever sticks and things that scratch your pins. The tights are also good for the quads while also giving you grip when pushing down on your upper legs while power hiking. For after the race a set of full leg compression tights will help speed up the recovery process.
The right apparel
You need to look good pre and post race, and not in the inner-city fashion sense. We’re talking getting your trail style on! While most brands only make gear that’s for performance or recovery, the guys at The North Face do that and also make awesome apparel. A puffer jacket/vest, trucker cap, hoodie and beanie/buff are all standard trail runner attire and should be part of your wardrobe!
If the above brands don’t work for you, then get in contact with the team at Pace Athletic. They’ll be able to fit you in the right shoes and other gear to suit your specific needs. Apart from being really knowledgeable about the sport and what’s best for different types of runners, they’re also really friendly!