INOV-8 Roclite 305 Review

True, strong designed, multi-terrain trailrunning shoe

The INOV-8 Roclite 305 – a genuine multi-terrain trailrunning shoe

DSC_0191After a 1000 kilometres of trailrunning on the INOV-8 Roclite 305 I feel ready to share my experiences. You may notice in the pictures that I have two pairs, I made 800 kilometres on the red and 200 kilometres on the blue.

The trails I enjoyed where very much what I would call multi-terrain: ranging from easy going dry forest, wet grassland, muddy fields, scree slopes to challenging large boulder fields. So besides distance I can also say something about the best terrain for these shoes.

In the INOV-8 Roclite family you will also find a a little lighter version: the Roclite 290 (4mm drop),  a version with Gore-Tex: the Roclite 305 GTX and a boot-design (both with or without Gore-Tex: the Roclite 325 (GTX)  I have no experience with these other versions.

First the numbers and data – from the brochure.

  • The Upper:
    • Strengthened rubber toe-cap shields the toes from obstructive debris.
    • Integrated tongue gusset keeps all debris at bay.
    • Standard fit ensuring the shoe allows for toe splay while lifting (and a good option for those with a normal to wide forefoot).
    • ADAPTERWEB lacing system adapts to the movement and swelling of the foot in motion.
    • X-LOCK system supports and holds the heel in place.
  • Midsole:
    • PowerFlow cushioned mid-sole together with a molded, 6mm footbed creates light underfoot comfort.
  • Outsole:
    • Tri-C rubber compound and multi-directional claw-shaped cleats, each with a wide contact area, providing an good grip over unpredictable terrain and the quick release of debris.
    • Stone protection utilising the Second-generation META-SHANK.
  • Numbers:
    • DSC_0238Weight: 305gm. I measured 336gm for UK size 9.5.
    • Stack: Heel 22.5mm / Forefoot 14.5mm.
    • Drop: 8mm (INOV-8 two Arrow indication).
    • Lug depth: 6mm (how deep are the ‘rubber points’ of the outsole).
    • Footbed: 6mm

My experiences

I will divide my experiences in positive or negative and make where applicable a comparison with other shoes, especially the new INOV-8 Trailroc 285 which I was able to experience also for many kilometres already this season. Obviously this is very much runner dependent. I will describe why I think a feature is + or –  but in the end, as always …

‘The proof of the pudding is in the eating’ –

Choose your own treat after running on these shoes yourself!

(Maybe Ice-cream)!

Positive features

Sturdy – Stand like a rock. The Roclite 305 is for INOV-8 a relative sturdy shoe which I liked when running trails in the Spanish Pyrenees this summer, for example during a two day trailrun following the Carres de Foc. But also during the ‘horizontal rain and hard wind‘ day three of the Ring Of Fire multi-day trail on the Isle of Anglesey I appreciated the grip and sturdiness on the small paths along the cliffs.

You basically ‘stand like a rock’ and feel more supported from all sides.

This I would like to compare with the new Trailroc 285 (see my review elsewhere) which is much more flexible in the forefoot, becoming more stiff from the middle to the back of the shoe due to the stone protection ‘plate’.

True multi-terrain. The rocky, sharp stoned trails in the Spanish Pyrenees felt all right, just as much as running through the Chilterns near my hometown Northwood.

I agree with the advise from INOV-8 that this is a true multi-terrain shoe.

Good rock protection for feet and toes whilst also enough lug depth and size of cleats for grip in mud or scree. I would say that the Roclite 305 is more multi-terrain than the Trailroc 285.

Lacing system and integrated tongue. I am a bit of a fan of shoes with integrated tongues (which Salamon is known for) so I was happy that INOV-8 applied this for the Roclite 305. It gives me the comfortable feeling that the shoe is ‘wrapped’ around my feet, leaving no room to glide or cause friction when zigzagging through the forest or running down a scree slope. Also the lacing system I liked. It may not be designed for this purpose but the ADAPTER Web gave me the option to tie the laces quiet tight around my feet

whilst keeping it a bit more loose above the last ‘ADAPTER web’.

DSC_0239Wear and tear. After a 1000 kilometres the shoes are still in good condition with only superficial wear of the upper front mesh.

Negative features

Not really. To be honest I do not have real negative issues with these shoes. They perform as promoted by INOV-8 and what I expected when using them. If anything, they are a bit more sturdy than you may expect when you have been running on INOV-8 shoes before. But that is more a difference than a negative.

Summary

The INOV-8 Roclite 305 is true, strong designed, multi-terrain trailrunning shoe with a very comfortable ‘wrap around your foot’ feeling. A bit sturdy but you really stand ‘like a rock’. For me I will use these when going into more demanding rocky or unknown terrain, leaving for example the INOV-8 Trailroc 285 or the even flexible INOV-8 X-Talon 212 for the faster trails.

DSC_0835

What are your experiences, please let me know!

 

INOV-8 AT/C Stormshell and Racepant Review

Keep Calm … Carry On … Wear the Stormshell and Racepant!

Sometimes you get what you do not hope for …

Horizontal rain for eight hours, from all 360 degrees, 54km long, 1000m+

However, no way better than to test raingear!

IMG_0432I felt very lucky when I received the INOV-8 AT/C Stormshell (Full zip) and matching AT/C Racepant just before I headed out to the Isle of Anglesey for the Ring of Fire three day trailrun covering 216km and 4000m+ . The trail follows the coastline via the stunningly beautiful Isle of Anglesey Coastal Path (see my running experiences on my weblog).

I felt very lucky because I always like to new trailrunning gear, it makes me smile like a ice-cream-aholic (which I am also!) in a all free ice-cream shop.

But the proof of the ice-cream is in the eating and for rain-gear you need

… indeed rain!

IMG_0433Who wants rain when running around Anglesey? Nobody I think. And for two days we were treated with great sunny weather but the last day was different! Horizontal rain from the west with no shelter for in total 54km to go along the northwest part of the Island including a climb of Holyhead mountain, it could not be better test weather.

To be honest to all you who are reading. I received the clothes from INOV-8 UK when I asked them if they wanted to support me in this trailrun. Their response was extremely generous and I really appreciate that, but it does not withhold me to be critical. I do not think INOV-8 UK expects anything else when they promote themselves as the ‘World leaders in trailrunning gear’.

So here we go … what are my thoughts after 8 hours of rain?

First the numbers and data – from the brochure.

  • 20170909_120254.jpg
    Small, light weight (171 gr)

    The AT/C Stormshell Full zip:

    • Designed for lightweight racing and intense training runs in wet conditions – and it was wet!
    • Roll away hood with wired peak and single multi directional adjustment.
    • Packs away small into its own pocket.
    • Lycra bond cuffs with integrated thumb holes for when it is really cold.
    • Pertex Shield: a 2.5-layer waterproof fabric with 20,000 HH creates breathability.
    • Taped seams, full length zip opening and internal stormflap, aquaguard chest zip pocket.
    • 175 grams (I measured 171 grams, size M).
    • Fulfils all the criteria when race organisers rule a waterproof jacket must be carried as part of mandatory kit.
    • Provides 360° reflectivity.
  • 20170909_120119.jpg
    Small, light weight     (175 gr)

    The AT/C Racepant:

    • The two layer waterproof fabric creates the same breathability as the Stormshell.
    • Stretches to all sides.
    • Soft inner for warmth and comfort.
    • Rolls up to a small pack using an integrated loop on the waistband.
    • Knee high zips for easy put on/take off.
    • 176 grams (I measured 175 grams, size M).

My experiences

I will divide my experiences in positive, negative and where I think INOV-8 could improve the product even more. As always, these observations are very much runner dependent but I hope I can describe clearly enough why I think a feature is + or -.

BLUF (Bottom Line Up front)

It does it job very well!!

It does not let rain in, lets sweat go out, light weight, small package, feels really comfortable even on bare skin and the Stormshell has a great hood.

Improvements could be an even more athletic cut and adjustable waistband of the Racepant and securing the hood cord to avoid ‘wind flapping’ of the Stormshell.

Positive features

 

Does not let rain come in and lets sweat get out . It does what it states on the package! Maybe not a surprise but always good to know. During the day it was relatively warm, approx 13 degrees Celsius, which is not the best temperature for breathable clothing whilst you create more sweat the warmer it is. Underneath I had a long sleeve INOV-8 merino wool shirt, short tights and tubes on my calves. I also wore a buff. Enough to keep me warm and due to the breathability not got wet inside.  After the whole trail I still felt warm and dry. The softness of the Racepants ensured indeed that I did not even realise I was wearing rain trousers.

Versatile design.

The hood is really good!

With just one draw-cord at the back you adjust the whole hood easily around your head.

When needed you can fully secure your face when running head-on into the wind and horizontal rain. The full zip can be opened and secured just below the chin with a button, good when running with the wind in your back or uphill when you tend to sweat more.

The design of the Racepant is straight forward, basic and does the job. The zips are indeed long enough to easily put them on and off with your shoes on. There are no zip pockets or anything else.

Both Stormshell and Racepant indeed pack very small and fit easily with all your other stuff in your trailvest.

Negative features

Not really. To be honest I do not have negative issues with both Stormshell and Racepants. They perform as promoted by INOV-8 and what I ‘hoped’ when, unfortunately, I needed to use them fora whole day.

Possible improvements

No negative features but I have some possible improvements to make the Stormshell and Racepant even better, or if you wish to balance your decision what you may like to wear yourself in the end.

  • The AT/C Stormshell Full zip:
    • The single draw-cord at the back of the hood works really well. However, when running into the wind the cord itself begins to ‘tick’ on your head. Not very hard, but like a metronome following your running pace. This can become annoying after a while. I think it is not that difficult to add a small securing ‘band’ which stop this.
    • Inform the customer that when the jacket gets wet it turns from the original colour (for me green) into a greenish / black. It is as if the jackets opens it pours to let the sweat out but at the same time showing the colour of your shirt underneath (in my case black). It does not inflict the utility of the jacket at all but when I noticed it at first I was a bit surprised.
  • The AT/C Racepant:
    • With my length of 1.81m size MEDIUM was good for the length of my legs. However the waist was too wide. Although there is stretch in the waistband for me I needed to fold the top of the Racepant into the top of my short tight in order not to have it slowly ‘sink’ down. I think it would be easy to add a small draw-cord to make the size of the waistband adjustable, especially with most runners probably have a smaller than usual waist size.
    • Although the cut is already ‘athletic’ I would prefer an even more tighter cut. When I was running full in the wind I still felt as if the pants ‘flapped’ around a bit more than needed.

I hope this review helps you to decide if the AT/C Stormshell and Racepant are what you are looking for. I am completely satisfied and will take them with me whenever I think the weather may turn sour or when it is part of the mandatory kit list during an organised trailrun.

What are your experiences, please let me know!

 

Compressport Trailrun clothing

Born in Switzerland
– Compressport Trailrunning Review –

I felt really lucky and privileged this year in April to dress myself in a new set of Compressport Trailrunning clothes. I always really enjoy new trailrunning clothes as others may be thrilled buying a new dress, or the latest jeans. And just as with new jeans, you start to appreciate them more and more when time progresses. It is now August and some 2000 trailkilometers later, time for a review …

Are the ”Born in Switzerland” compression clothes as good as Compressport states?

The most trailrun kilometers I wore a set of:

P.S. The links will bring you to the Compressport website to find out more technical details. My review focuses on my practical experiences of these technical details, did they work for me, do they actually add positively to my trailrunning?

During the longer trails and especially the six days multi-stage PirineosFIT 2017 Jaca Trailweek I used the 140 gram Ultrun Trailrunvest. During shorter runs, or runs were I knew I did not need that much to carry I used the FreeBelt. These two products I will review separately in comparison with some other trailrun vests that I have. The running gloves I will test during fall  /winter 2017-2018.

My Experiences – Summary

If you are looking for Trailrunning compression clothing I think you will not find any better than from Compressport.

It is not cheap but you get your money’s worth of very high quality clothing packed with a lot of technology and nice features.

As always the proof is in the wearing, and that is what I did for many trail kilometres. I hope my experiences will support your decision what to obtain to enjoy the trails …they are there to enjoy and explore.

My Experiences – Detailed

GREAT LOOKS

To start with the most important (not really):

the gear just looks great, has a soft touch and makes you want to keep running!!

IMG-20170703-WA0004To be honest, it is not important at all for the actual running how the clothes look like but for the psychological part of running it sure is! I think most of us, at least I do, will scan how other runners are dressed when in a race or just when passing during a training. For what reason? Partly to check the competition, assuming ‘well dressed’ runners are serious runners, i.e. FAST! Partly to see if there are new ‘goodies’ around.

TECHNOLOGY

The compression technology for which Compressport is well known I found most useful in the short and tubes.

DSC_0129This performance enhancement technology works well for me. Especially the Tubes give me good calve stability and Achilles support. Both are important for me, whilst I had some Achilles heel issues over the years and also the tendency that my calves were the first limiters during a long (marathon) race getting cramps. This is now very much reduced – for the Achilles heel also with custom-made orthotics.

The compression running short provides compression of your thighs: does it help? For this I am less sure than the tubes but it feels good and my own experience and mental proof is that I did not suffer any cramps in either calves or thighs during the strenuous six days PirineosFIT 2017 Trailweek where I ran a mountain marathon every day. The compression is stronger than for example the Raidlight Ultralight short.

The fabrics are a nice combination of:

  • softness, it feels pleasant to the body and does not create any irritation or chafing even after running eight hours in warm weather, sweating a lot whilst wearing a trailrunvest;
  • quick drying from sweat, rain or after a stream crossing – the Tubes are for example much more quickly dry than the Herzog Tubes;
  • breathable, especially the lower part of the shirt, the groin part of the short and the back of the Hurricane Jacket through the ‘compression mesh’. The mess width is large enough for pleasant cooling but luckily small enough not to become ‘see through’ which would be a little embarrassing for especially the short.
  • rubber frictions patches on the short to provide support for your sweaty hands when pushing you upwards to the mountain tops. These I used extensively during the World Championship Trailrunning 2017 in Italy.
  • rubber frictions patches on the the shoulders of the shirt providing support to the trailvest;
  • the sweatband of the visor cap is pleasant, keeps it in place even when in stronger winds and I like the ‘additional’ cooling for my head when compared with a normal cap;
  • lightness, especially the Hurricane Jacket of only 110 grams! The jacket is designed with a stretch mesh back for breath-ability and stretch so you can use it both directly over the shirt but also easily over the trailrunvest when wearing one.

Pockets:

  • The shirt has six pockets all around at the lower part. These are useful for light weight stuff like energy bars / gels but not so much for more heavy things like a mobile phone or a soft flask. The stretching mesh is just not strong enough to keep such heavier items in place when running.
  • The short unfortunately does not have any pockets on the sides or back although I think that would be a good place for mesh pockets for mobile phones for example (compared with for example the Raidlight Ultralight short).

Wear and Tear:

Overall the clothes still look great after several hundred of trail kilometres including several ‘stumbles’ on the rocks and interaction with bramble bushes and dozens of machine / shower washing. Only wear I experienced was loosening of the inner Compressport print in the short, maybe a wrong use of glue? However, this is not what you expect of a primary brand like Compressport.

SIZING

I had some issues with the size advice from Compressport.

Based on their advice I first ordered Tubes size two because I ended up just between size one and two and followed the rule to use the larger size when in doubt. When using these size two Tubes I felt too little compression so I changed them (without any costs) to size one which fitted much better.

The size advice for the shirt also troubled me. I started with size SMALL based upon the advice of Compressport. Although this size gave me a good fit around my chest it had the tendency to creep up around my waist when running, creating a split between the short and the shirt. Although maybe good for the suntan on my stomach it did not feel very pleasant. Unfortunately also MEDIUM had the same issue so I ended up with size LARGE (without any costs). This size was long enough to stay around my waist without creating a bare skin opening with the short. Downside of this is that the upper body compression is less and more importantly that the pockets and the lower part are not stretched enough to keep heavier items in place. Something to consider when acquiring this shirt.

THE OVERSHORT?

I think that Compressport has designed the Trail Underwear Short to be worn in combination with the Overshort. At least that is what is shown on the website. However, I found the Overshort of no added benefit to for example more quick drying of the short or to protect the groin area for any ‘see-through’. Also the Overshort had the tendency to creep up to my waist, above the waistband of the short. That did not feel very pleasant and also ‘looked’ a bit strange. I ended up not wearing the Overshort at all after the first few runs.

Other brands also offer two-layer trailrun short (like the INOV-8 Twin Short) but these are completely integrated as one piece complete with pockets etc. I am not sure why Compressport choose to split the two items.

Your Experiences?

I am really interested in your experiences of the Compressport trailrun clothing and also how it compares in your opinion with other high end trailrunning brands like INOV-8, RAIDLIGHT or for example SALAMON. Just drop an e-mail, 🙂 , CHEERS!

INOV-8 Trailroc 285 Review

Flexible and versatile within limits

Lucky me!!

I was challenged by INOV-8 Benelux to test the new INOV-8 Trailroc 285

during the PirineosFIT2017 Jaca Trailweek.

Six days, six mountain marathons through the rocky Spanish Pyrenees are certainly a good testing ground for trailrun shoes called Trailroc not for nothing!

IMG-20170703-WA0007
Plenty rocky uphills …
19620925_1549645378443508_5039699591564347773_o
… and scree down hills

The new Trailroc do not resemble in the slightest the older Trailroc models, so it is more useful to assess these shoes as a new branch on the INOV-8 trailrun tree.

 

 

First the numbers and data – from the brochure.

  • The Upper:
    • Glued TPU overlays for extra protection on high wear zones.
    • Padded tongue and collar for added comfort.
    • Very breathable mesh lining, good in warm weather.
    • Medium fit ensuring the shoe allows for toe splay while lifting (and a good option for those with a normal to wide forefoot).
  • Midsole:
    • PowerFlow+ EVA cushioned mid-sole together with a molded, 6mm footbed creates light underfoot comfort.
  • Outsole:
    • Combination of three rubber compounds for maximum durability and grip on all hard rocky terrain.
    • Stone protection utilising the new 5th Gen Metashank.
  • Numbers:
    • Weight: 285gm (strangely enough my size UK 9.5 right shoe weighs 319gm and the left shoe 303gm – unsure where the difference comes from).
    • Stack: Heel 21.5mm / Forefoot 13.5mm.
    • Drop: 8mm (INOV-8 two Arrow indication)
    • Lug depth: 4mm (how deep are the ‘rubber points’ of the outsole).
    • Footbed: 6mm

My experiences

I divide my experiences in positive or negative. Obviously this is very much runner dependent. I will describe why I think a feature is + or –  but in the end

‘The proof of the pudding is in the eating’ –

Choose your own treat after running on these shoes yourself!

(Maybe Ice-cream)!

Positive features

DSC_0012
Stone protection plate

Flexible forefoot. The Trailroc 285 is a surprisingly flexible in the forefoot, becoming more stiff from the middle to the back of the shoe due to the stone protection ‘plate’. I like that very much and would place the Trailroc in between the very flexible INOV-8 X-Talon 212 and the stiffer Roclite 305.

DSC_0011
Three compound rubber sole with 4mm lug depth

Grip on dry stones, grass, forest ground. The trails around Jaca gave me every Comfortable fit, cushioning and ventilation. The comfort in the warm Spanish climate of 30+ degrees Celsius was the feature I was most pleased with. Enough room for your toes whilst I did not slip during steep up- or downhill and without the need to tie your shoes very tightly.

The 8mm heeldrop combined with the relative heavy cushioning gave me the comfort I needed for the daily 40+ kilometres: it is a long / ultra trail shoe.

DSC_0004
Toe protection

Toe protection. The rubber toe protection saved my toes on more than one occasion during the mountain marathons, a nice feature which does fortunately not degrades the flexible forefoot.

Negative features

Protection and grip on larger sharp rocks and scree. I found the protection on the limits for steep downhills on scree with sharp stones of with large sharp rocks. These sort of underground I found difficult to navigate on (realising I was still more a sturdy mountain cow than an elegant mountain goat) but was relatively common during the six days in the Pyrenees. For these sort of trails I would prefer a little stronger designed shoe, and was in my opinion passed the limits for the Trailroc 285. Maybe the Roclite 305 would have done better – there were some other runners using these shoes.

Wear and tear.

DSC_0005My shoes showed, not surprisingly, a relative large amount of wear and tear after 360 kilometres of tough terrain trail running, mainly on the sides of the shoes. This may be a result of my use of the shoes in a very harsh ‘shoe’ environment versus INOV-8 balancing sturdiness with flexibility and light weight.

Summary

The INOV-8 Trailroc 285 is an surprisingly flexible trailrun shoe with a comfortable fit and good cushioning even during steep ascents / descents and with good grip on smaller stone trails. For me I will put it between the very flexible INOV-8 X-Talon 212 and the more stiffer INOV-8 Roclite 305.

However, when running through more rough and sharp rocky terrain I found that I was at the limits of the (stone) protection given by these shoes. Also the grip on muddy paths (due to the 4mm lug depth) and wet stones is limited. These are all features that are runner and terrain dependent.

The amount of wear and tear after 360 kilometres of demanding mountain trailrunning was substantial for INOV-8 shoes. Maybe it has to do with my running style but something to consider before purchase.

What are your experiences, please let me know!

 

Ready or not … here I come …

Pirineosfit International Trail Festival, 1-8 July, Jaca, Spain

Six days, six mountain marathons, 234 km, 15.000 meters height

grafica-web-1Ready or not … I do not really know? Joining a six day multistage Pirineosfit trailrun in the Spanish Pyrenees is a new step in my trailrunning experience. I am used to run every day, and did a few longer multiday trailruns, but never six days, and never in the high mountains … we will see 🙂

At least I am mentally, physically and materially prepared … at least I think I am!

Mentally: When you ask me: “Do you want to come to Spain and run for six days?”, it is like asking me: “Do you want a big pack of Ben & Jerry’s Ice-cream”. I am a bit of an Ice-cream-aholic so the answer will be: “Yes!!!”. And I think I will treat my self with a nice, big ice-cream after every mountain marathon next week … good for moral … keep calm and carry on as they say here in England.

Physically: We are now half way the year and I ran 3080km these last six months, i.e. almost 17km per day. I think that must be enough to complete this challenge. If not … I could not really have done more kilometres, maybe different training but I like the way I run … enjoy … no fixed plan … we will see. The six days are called ‘Endurance’ and that is what I enjoy to do. And if all goes peer-shape I can change to a half marathon a day. Still a challenge but I will not be part of the final results … does that matter … physically no, mentally (see above) yes.

Materially: My (trail)run closet is almost bursting so there must be enough gear to get me over the mountains! Six days to test all kind of goodies, that is what I like!

DSC_0001Shoes: I will use these six days to test the new INOV-8 Trailroc 285. I posted my first experiences already on Facebook but this will be a great test!

For assurance I also pack my favourite INOV-8 Trail Talon 275 and Roclite 305.

DSC_0006Clothing: The weather forecast looks … warm! … 24 – 30 degrees Celsius … that means I can surely test my new Compressport railrunning outfit. I have used before during the Sacred Forests World Championship trailrunning in Italy and really enjoyed the compression for both the calves and upper legs. Also the rubber buttons on the short helped during the steep ascends, creating grip of you hands when you push your self upwards. I am struggling a bit with the shirt which has the tendency to wiggle itself up my waist although I am wearing now a larger size. Ventilation is great and I think I will need it.

DSC_0005Trailvest: Pending a bit on the amount of mandatory gear and water refreshment along the route I will use the lightweight (140 grams only) Compressport Trailrunvest. But just to make sure I will also take my well worn INOV-8 Race Ultra 5 with me which has just a little bit more space for clothing, drinks and energy.

Trailpoles: I was lucky enough to get a pair of Black Diamond Trailpoles from the MudSweatTrail Store just in time for the the Sacred Forests Trail. As ‘low lander’ I am not used to run with poles but during the almost 3000 meter height gain within 55km of trail I was very happy to use them, after some ‘gundrill training’ with them the weeks before.

DSC_0004Energy: Maybe the most important part of all. Make sure I keep taking in enough energy and fluids during and after the trails. The six days are called ‘Endurance’ for a reason. It is not about going fast, but making sure you recover quickly enough to enjoy the next day as you did the previous one. I think I have reasonable experience in this subject. I use a mixture of products, mainly of TrisportPharma which for me works well, especially with respect to not have any stomach issues when pushing your body to the limits.

Ready or not?

As I wrote myself on the opening page of my weblog, Trailrunning … I just love it …, I think I should add … and enjoy it! I will keep you posted.

Sacred Forest WK Trail

Wat een fantastische ervaring!

Trailrunning door de bergen

is gelijk aan

bergwandelen voor ongeduldige mensen

Zeker als het een trail betreft van 48km met 2800 hoogtemeters door de prachtige Italiaanse Apennijnen. Want met een gemiddelde snelheid van 8 km / uur komt dat toch redelijk in de buurt van een lekker bergwandeltempo. Al moet ik bekennen dat het niet zonder moeite ging.

Logo_color_TSF+CMP_completoVoor mij persoonlijk was het WK Trail weer een stap verder in mijn trailrunning ervaring door de combinatie van een flinke afstand, behoorlijk wat hoogtemeters, lange klim- en daalstukken over losse stenen, het gebruik van trailstokken en een temperatuur die opliep tot 30 graden ( zie ook mijn ‘persoonlijke – ahum – video’).

Samenvatting vooraf:

Het was afzien, afvragen waar ik aan  begonnen was, maar ook genieten tijdens de wedstrijd van de prachtige natuur, de sfeer en festiviteiten.

DSC_0880Met een gezellig Nederlands team van zes heren, vijf dames en een vijf persoons begeleidingsteam waren we donderdagavond voor de race neergedaald in het dorpje Badia Prataglia, middenin de Apennijnen, in een eenvoudig maar zeer gezellig hotel Floresta vlak bij de start. Het anders redelijk slaperig plaatsje was compleet in de ban van de Trail de Sacred Forests. Aan het WK deden 38 landen mee met ruim 239 startende atleten van over de gehele wereld, Uruguay, Australië, Japan, Iau, Nepal … wel bijzonder dat al die atleten naar Italië komen voor het WK. Er was trouwens niet alleen het WK Trail maar ook andere wedstrijden tot aan 80km (oef!).

DSC_0871Vrijdagavond was openingsceremonie op de kasteelgronden van Poppi. Op zich is dat altijd wel leuk met een vlaggenparade van alle teams maar helaas duurt het ook meestal erg lang, zeker als alle landen met applaus worden voorgesteld en vervolgens de lokale notabelen mooie speeches in het Italiaans geven gevolgd  door kakofonie van wereldwijde atletenorganisaties. Dit WK ultra Trail werd georganiseerd de International Association of Ultrarunners (IAU) namens de International Trailrunning Association (ITRA). Klinkt logisch, maar het lijkt wel de wereld van drie boksbonden, want je hebt ook de World Mountain Running Association (WMRA) of de International Sky running Association (ISF), of de Silly Walk Department (mijn favoriet!). Uiteindelijk leuke avond om in de wedstrijdsfeer te komen, met alle teams samen en een heerlijk (pasta) buffet ’s avonds.

Zaterdag 10 juni was om 0800 de start … 0400 ontbijt … even weer liggen … 0600 twee heerlijke Italiaanse Espresso doppio … gereed!

DSC_0882Het parcours gaat meteen hard omhoog de bossen in, eerst nog een breed pad maar dan smaller en meer losse stenen. Mijn wedstrijdstrategie was om de eerste helft relatief rustig aan te doen, kijken hoe het gaat met het klimmen en dalen en de hitte en dan op mijn duurvermogen de tweede helft doorlopen. Bij de start nog bewolkt, breekt de zon toch al snel door en stijgt de temperatuur richting de 30 graden Celsius. Prettig is dat een groot gedeelte van het parcours door de prachtige bossen gaat, dat is genieten van de natuur en minder warm! Toch zijn er ook enkele open stukken over steengraden naar uiteindelijk drie ‘toppen’ in de route, en dan is het erg warm!

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Tijdens de trail stop ik soms even voor een foto / video / energy gel / genieten

Op de helft is de eerste post waar begeleiding spullen mag aan-/afgeven. Hier neem ik de trailstokken mee voor twee relatief steile stukken. Het oefenen afgelopen week met in-/uitklappen van de driedelige Black Diamond Trailpoles (vriendelijk gekregen als testexemplaar van de MudSweatTrails Store , dank!) heeft geholpen en ik merk echt profijt bij het klimmen. Wat mij betreft zijn deze trailpoles nu onderdeel van mijn uitrusting als ik in de bergen ga trailrunnen. Afhankelijk van hoe sterk je bent in het klimmen leveren trailstokken zeker meerwaarde op,

Simpelweg: Trailstokken hoe minder berggeit – hoe meer voordeel

IMG-20170610-WA0002Onderweg wordt er veel water aangeboden, dat is fijn met de hitte maar toch blijkt achteraf dat niet iedereen zich misschien realiseert dat alleen water drinken niet voldoende is als je zoveel zweet (mijn trailvest en broek waren wit uitgeslagen door het zweet), maar dat zouten / mineralen moet toevoegen. Veel mensen met kramp, ook binnen het Nederlandse team – dusdanig dat onze beste Nederlander Zac Freudenburg kortstondig aan het infuus moet na de finish (hij trekt gelukkig snel bij!).

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De knokkelige knieën van het NLD INOV-8 team, beide op INOV-8 Roclite 305
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Mijn GARMIN gaf 47,5 km en 2800m

 

 

 

 

 

Onderweg heb ik tussen 30 – 40 km toch ook wat last van kramp in mijn voeten en kuiten. Nadat ik de veters van mijn INOV-8 Roclite 305 na de tweede teambevoorradingspost wat losser maak is dat opgelost, gelukkig maar. Een prachtig ‘horizontaal’ pad door een bos met mooie hoge bomen, de gedacht dat het daarna nog alleen maar afdalen is en dat ik nog kans heb om een plaatsje op te schuiven in de Nederlandse teamranking geven mij een tweede leven. Enkele kilometers voor het einde haal ik Dominique Pankow in die helaas veel last van kramp heeft.

Mijn voedingsplan voor onderweg verloopt gelukkig goed, ik vertrek met een 0.5 liter softflask met water en een mineralen bruistablet. Bij de twee verversingsposten ruil ik die in voor een nieuw exemplaar. Samen met een extra stop drink ik onderweg twee liter samen met in totaal zeven energy gels. Hier had ik op meer gerekend – drie per uur – maar dat voelde onderweg als te veel, mogelijk door de hitte. Geen hongerklap of lichtheid in het hoofd dus blijkbaar voldoende. Na de finish meteen veel eiwitrijke RECUPRO shakes gedronken (voor mij bevalt TriSportPharma maar je moet zelf proberen / testen en dan kiezen).

Wat heerlijk was onderweg: een blokje Parmezaanse kaas – zout, pittig, MJAM!

received_1520911964648913Ik finish net binnen de zes uur, 5.56.43, super blij (96e overall en 82e man (van de 138) – een hoop snelle dames dus! Dan is bij de mannen de Spaanse winnaar Luis Alberto Hernando (net als vorig jaar) al 1,5 uur binnen, en ook de eerste vrouw, de Française Adeline Roche, heeft al een uur gedoucht.

Nederland doet het als ‘vlak landers’ goed. Ragna Debats wordt super knap vierde (vorig jaar derde, en maar 3 minuten achter Zac) en bij de mannen zijn Zac, Tim en Peter ook al een half uurtje binnen voor mijn finish (waarna Dominique snel eindigt). Kim, Leonie, Karin en Mirthe volgen dan al snel. Helaas moest Erwin onderweg uitstappen met maagklachten. Het herenteam wordt 15e en het damesteam knap 11e , niet slecht toch!

We komen er als team niet helemaal ongeschonden uit. Naast al beschreven kramp en maagklachten maken drie nog een behoorlijk smak op de harde stenen. Zoals naar het nu lijkt zonder al te grote schade maar wel redelijk bont, blauw en beurs.

s’ Avonds is de prijsuitreiking in het dorp, lekker naast ons hotel, met veel muziek en een spectaculair vuurwerk ik de Italiaanse kleuren: groen, rood en wit. Nog even een ijsje eten, en dan gaat toch langzaam bij mij het licht uit.

Volgend jaar, 12 mei 2018, is het WK in het Penyagolosa Park nabij Valencia in Spanje met ruim 80km met veel (!) hoogtemeters,

wie weet … nu eerst even bijkomen.

Het Nederlandse team bestond dit jaar uit de volgende atleten:

Dominique Pankow, Peter van der Zon, Tim Pleijte, Erwin Adan, Geordie Klein, Zac Freudenburg, Ragna Debats, Mirthe Overkamp, Leonie Ton, Kim Mulder en Karin Sloove.

Een super gezellig begeleidingsteam hielp ons optimaal te presteren:

Laurens Groenendijk dank voor je continue, aanstekelijke enthousiasme samen met Guy Otten. En de ondersteuning tijdens de loop door Pere Aurell Bove, Menno Mulder en Onno. Bart van Driel speciaal dank voor de mooie teamsponsoring van super prettige Julbo Eyewear zonnebrillen en het regelen van teamtrainingspakken via Outdoor XL in Barendrecht. En Monique Derksen heel veel dank voor de goede massage en advies over mijn linker Achilles / voet irritatie.

Voor een algemeen wedstrijdverslag verwijs ik graag naar MudSweatTrails.

Oefening baart kunst

Vallen en opstaan met trailrunning poles

Oefenen totdat je er bij neer valt,

in het donker, achterstevoren, vermoeid, nat en koud…

… klinkt bekend? Misschien uit de film Master and Commander (zet je volume meteen hoog!) waar via ‘gundrills’ men twee keer zo snel kan schieten dan de gevreesde tegenstander en daarmee een beslissend competitief voordeel bereikt. Of uit je diensttijd (als je oud genoeg bent) of zoals ikzelf omdat je bij defensie werkt en in de praktijk hebt geleerd dat ‘gundrills’ soms het verschil maken tussen leven en dood.

MOV_0838_000032Ho, ho, … wacht eens even, maar dit weblog gaat toch over trailrunning, niet leven en dood. Inderdaad niemand die er wakker van ligt of ik nu snel of langzaam, lopend of staand, met een hoofdlamp of op gevoel mijn gloednieuwe trailrunning poles ga gebruiken … behalve ikzelf dan.

Voor mijn deelname aan het WK Trail 2017 10 juni a.s. in Badia Prataglia (Italië) denk ik dat ik met trailrunning poles beter ga presteren op de 50km inclusief 3000+ hoogtemeters. En gedurende het zesdaagse International Trail Festival in Jaca (Spaanse Pyreneeën) ga ik ze zeker gebruiken tijdens de in totaal 234km met 15.000+ hoogtemeters.

MOV_0838_000041Maar … ik had nog nooit met poles een trailrun gedaan! Gelukkig is er veel informatie te vinden op internet en ben ik zowel in Italië als in de Spaanse Pyreneeën omgeven door allerlei zeer ervaren berg trailrunners.

Tom Maessen en Marc Weening van MudSweatTrail (Store) waren zo vriendelijk om mij een paar Black Diamond Distance carbon FLZ aan te bieden ter (letterlijke) ondersteuning van mijn aankomende trailactiviteiten … ik kan niet anders zeggen dan top, bedankt!

Echter, het WK Trail is nu niet het moment

om de poles uit de verpakking te halen 🙂

Dus dit weekend, tijdens een reis voor mijn werk in Szczecin, Polen, trok ik de ‘stoute stokken’ uit de verpakking en ging op pad in het nabijgelegen park, op zoek naar reliëf. DSC_0827Nu was dat er niet al te veel maar de basisvaardigheden, in- en uitklappen, opbergen in mijn Compressport UltRun 140 pac, en links van rechts onderscheiden (de polsbanden zitten links en rechts tegengesteld ingevlochten, aangegeven door R en L – ik dacht eerst dat L voor large stond, totdat ik de R zag!) zitten er al redelijk in een week voor Italië … maar maak u eigen oordeel op en kom zeker met tips na het zien van mijn vorderingen via YouTube – Vallen en opstaan –.

Verdere ervaringen volgen …

… nu genieten van het goede leven na een trailrun … de herstellende eiwitten volgen later wel.

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