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The X Factor

By Racer X

The X Factor


Trail running is now a sport in its own right rather than just trail practice by marathon masochists. Mountains and forests have become the preferred training grounds for many athletes instead of pounding concrete and sucking exhaust fumes in the city.

Function is Beauty

Mont Bell seems to have an army of elves working on new fabrics and paying attention to what its customers want. The Ultra Light jackets are all about being light, functional and offering wind stopping protection. There is a vest version and a model with stretch fabric offering a closer fit. Wear it as an inner layer in winter or an outer layer in warmer weather when trail running, cycling or hiking.

Good enough for Ichiro, good enough for you

ASICS has raised the bar when it comes to performance footwear. The Gel Trabuco will keep you firmly on the trail even in wet and slippery conditions. With GEL cushioning systems, DUOMAX support and reversed lugs providing more traction on the bottom of the sole, these shoes will get you up and down the steepest terrain quickly and with confidence.

The GT 2140 combines the performance and fit of road race footwear in an entry level trail running shoe. It is made for any terrain including asphalt and concrete, with a highly water resistant outer sole. One of the industry’s most popular road shoes has been tweaked and improved for the dirt. Check out the gusset construction that helps prevent debris from entering the shoe and the impact guidance system which helps keep ankles from twisting when the going gets rough.

Making it to the finish line

You have the gear and have been training hard for the upcoming race, but have you thought about how to keep your motor running for the long haul while burning all those calories? After the lactic acid burn sets in, it may be too late with dry mouth and muscle cramps coming soon after.Many trail runners swear by gel packs and energy bars to keep them going. I prefer Pocari Sweat powder mix diluted to suit my taste, VAAM gel drinks with bee pollen and old school granola bars that don’t taste like cardboard. Racer X says take small sips, small bites and chew it up good for easy digestion.

Hydration packs that really work

I’ve never been a fan of hydration packs after a leaky tube filled my jacket on a backcountry snowboard trip. Fortunately, Camelbak has been working overtime to get the packs and hydration system working well, getting you the fluids you need when in the middle of a training run or adventure race. The Octane XC pack is streamlined with two liters of hydration and multiple storage areas for your gear and food. For longer distances when trail running, cycling or hiking, try the Octane 8+ and Octane 14+ for more storage.