If you've ran many trails, you've probably seen that cute older couple out taking a slow, scenic hike with hands firmly grasping their matching trekking poles. However, these handy support rods are not just for old couples or for slow, scenic hikes. More and more trail runners consider poles to be mandatory training and racing gear - especially when running ultra distances with considerable incline.
World champion trail runner, Luis Alberto, has us convinced that trekking poles can keep us moving faster longer when used correctly. They're helpful on steep climbs, but they can also lighten the impact on our way back down.
Still, the question how can we use poles without slowing our roll? For that, we turn to Salomon Global Outdoor Athlete Manager, Gregory Vollett.
Vollett encourages using the straps and insists synchronization is key. He also shows value in three different techniques. The Alternating Pole Plant is for occasional, limited assistance requiring very little thought. The Double Pole Plant calls for upper body assistance as you tackle the steepest inclines. Finally, the Offset Pole Plant (aka, Gallup) is the most efficient for long, continual use.
Before purchasing your first trekking poles, talk to an expert about differences in brands, functionality, and weight recommendations.