The importance of good gear

My run tonight was mostly awesome.  Nine miles, on mostly trails, in the late evening.

It was warm enough that I wore shorts and just a Mountain Hardwear wicking long sleeve shirt over a Craft sleeveless shirt…Pro-zero, I think.

I also had a hat and lightweight gloves, although I would have probably been fine without them.

All of this gear functioned perfectly.  I was warm and dry, and able to move comfortably.

Two key prices of gear did not work so well.  My headlamp and my shoes.

The first was user error.  Me simply not checking that it had adequate light before heading out the door.  It also wasn’t a big deal.  I would have liked more light, but for the most part I was able to feel my way around with what light the lamp did give out.

The shoes on the other hand just suck.  They are too old, too heavy, and too structured for long trail runs.  By the end of the run I felt as though my feet were bound in cement.  Not only because they were so heavy but also because I couldn’t run with a midfoot strike.  Instead every single step ended with my landing on my heel and sending jolts of pain into my knees and IT bands.

Dustin is becoming a barefoot evangelist after reading Born to Run, and while in the past I have seen minimalist shoes as a great training tool, I have also not considered them any sort of magic bullet.

The feeling in my arches and my knees have me rethinking that.  The plan is to buy a new pair of trail shoes tomorrow and hopefully say goodbye to an old pair of kicks.

On race day you won’t be able to control whether it is raining, snowing, or sunny.  You can hope for a light breeze and sixty five degrees all you want, but you might as well not worry about that.  There are only two things you can control come raceday; the quality of your training and the quality of your gear.

Don’t be a dummy…get some good gear and put in lots of miles on it.  Your body will thank you after each training session and years down the road.


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