Are you an ultra runner looking to take part in races and other ultra events? Ultrarunning is a tremendously challenging sport, requiring physical hardiness and mental strength. Yet even with the right combination of attitude and training, without the right gear, it can be near impossible to complete any race course successfully.
As an aspiring or committed ultra-runner, preparation is key – good equipment comes first! In this feature we will lay out how to equip yourself with kit that will help you prepare for the toughest of runs so that you have everything necessary to make your running experience as smooth as possible.
Read on to learn how the right gear will help you when running an ultramarathon. Let’s make this your best race yet!
1. Proper Footwear
First and foremost, investing in a quality pair of running shoes is essential. Look for shoes that are specifically designed for ultra running (whether it’s for road or trail) and have adequate cushioning, support, and grip. As an ultra runner, you’ll be spending long hours on your feet, so it’s vital to choose shoes that fit well and are comfortable.
For lightweight endurance look at the Salomon S/Lab Ultra
For extra grip look at the adidas Terrex Agravic Ultra
For superior cushioning look at the Altra Mont Blanc BOA
For all weather support look at the Arc’teryx Norvan LD3 GTX
For excellent stability look at The North Face VECTIV™ 2.0
For on-the-road comfort look at On Running Cloudrunner
2. Hydration System
During an ultra marathon, proper hydration is crucial. You will need to carry enough water to last you through the race. Carrying a hydration pack or handheld bottle allows easy access to water while on the move. This also means you can save precious seconds that would otherwise be spent stopping to retrieve your water bottle from your kit bag. Investing in a hydration pack can be a game-changer, as it provides enough storage space for other essentials and keeps your hands free.
For compact and streamlined look at the Black Diamond 4 Litre Hydration Vest
For a lightweight fit look at the OMM MTNFIRE 15 Vest
For extra space look at the Montane Azote 6l Waist Pack
For super comfort look at the inov-8 Race Ultra Pro 2in1 Vest
3. Appropriate Clothing
Choosing the correct clothing for your race day is crucial. Look for lightweight, breathable, and quick-drying materials to help regulate your body temperature and wick moisture away from your skin. Plan your clothing for all weather conditions and consider carrying extra layers in your kit bag. Remember, running an ultra marathon can be unpredictable, so be prepared for the worst.
For a lightweight natural material look at the BAM Novea Crew Neck Base Layer
For foot padding look at the 1000 Mile Fusion Double Layer Anklet Sock
For a breathable running jacket look at the Montane Minimus Lite Waterproof
For changeable weather look at the OMM Core+ Hoodie
For warm weather socks look at Sealskinz socks
For gusty days look at the Black Diamond Distance Wind Shell
For bounce-free support look at the Maaree Empower Sports Bra
4. Useful Accessories
It’s important to get everything right and those little extras are what you need. One day you’ll be very happy to have them in your backpack. And they say it’s always better to be over-prepared than underprepared.
For easy-grip handles look at the Helvellyn PRO Carbon Z-Poles
For a robust headlight look at the Petzl NAO® RL headtorch
For super-secure eyewear look at the SunGod Ultras
For blister protection look at the Ultimate Blister Packs
For a super-lightweight headlamp look at SILVA Trail Runner Free Ultra Head torch
For an all-natural energy boost look at Protein Rebel Maple Ignite Gel
For soothing aches look at Ultimate Performance Heat Rub
Navigating an ultra marathon course can be challenging, with confusing trail paths and dense forests and hills to contend with. Printed maps can be a reliable source of information, but carrying them throughout the race is tedious. Using a running watch is an excellent alternative as they usually show information on the route you want to take, where you are at any given point and on race day they can give a lot of insights on the course layout – plus make sure you don’t get lost!
There you have it – the essential items that an ultra runner should carry to gear up for their next ultramarathons. Proper footwear, hydration system, lightweight clothing, and navigation are critical to your race day success. To get started, make a checklist of these essential items and start with gathering them.
The right kit can make all the difference between a successful race and a gruelling one. Remember, preparation is key to a successful ultra runner. Best of luck!