How to run an Ultra marathon Part 8 – get the right equipment

My last long distance run was two months ago (about 20 miles) and I carried all my gear in a lightweight rucsac which has served me well over the years for day walls and long bike rides.

However, when running this translates to a lot of momentum on your back throwing you left and right whilst forcing you into extension.

This resulted in two or three inflamed facet joints and absolute agony for a few days – a new experience from running. I have since eases of and researched how I should be carrying equipment and it seems a running vest is the answer.

I chose a Silva one as it fitted best in the shop and had a goodly sized back pack – 8 litres. Also phone and spare battery pockets very accessible on the front.

The weight is more evenly distributed around the body meaning a more neutral spine. There is less “protruding” so less momentum. It’s more comfortable and things are where you need them like the water bottles on your chest. I’ve had to experiment a bit with the bottles, now I have these excellent curved ones from a “flip belt” system.

All in all, seems to work.

Not managed a long run yet but today’s 15 miles was fine.

Footwear choice is also crucial. I eschewed my Salomon Speedcross 4’s in favour of a road shoe despite it technically being a trail run. At least 50% of the run was on hard surfaces and it hasn’t rained for a long time. I’m glad I did.

I’ve just bought some On Running trainers and the for was excellent, 15 miles on first wear and no blisters. However, not quite enough protection underfoot as after 10 miles my first metatarsal-phalangeal joint started to feel it. I think a pair of Hoka Ones would have been better but the fit wasn’t as good.

Ah well.

So in balance, a generally good run.

Must remember Sport Shield and toilet paper – not nice

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