Prepare and test your equipment
The choice of suitable equipment is a key factor in the success of your race. Ultra-endurance requires thorough preparation, including the choice of the equipment that you take with you.
The month of August in the Mont-Blanc area can be very hot (more than 30°C), but it can also be very cold (up to -10°C experienced above 2000m), with rain, hail or even snow. Your equipment must be suitable for confronting all types of conditions and enable you to spend one or two nights on the race route, according to the speed of your progression. In the case of an incident, your equipment must enable you to await help in sufficiently safe conditions.
The UTMB® imposes obligatory equipment which all runners must have with them permanently to avoid risk of penalty. Checks are carried out during the races. We can only encourage runners to also take with them the equipment which is highly recommended, as well as the equipment that we advise them to have.It is essential to be able to adapt your equipment to your reality, test it during training sessions in varying conditions and take everything that will be useful and necessary. Weight is a concern, but don't be too minimalist. Optimise your chances of success and your performance through judicious choice.
Running around Mont Blanc is above all an inner adventure, a unique experience where each participant will have to draw on his or her strengths and reserves and push back his or her mental and physical limits to cross the finish line at the Place du Triangle. This extraordinary journey in the heart of the massif will allow the trailers to cross valleys and passes in contact with the most beautiful summits, in a unique alpine setting.
Discover the selection of products from the Official Shop by i-Run, to run in the best conditions, as well as the mandatory equipment to ensure a good race. Good preparation, be #RUNSTOPPABLE!
VIBRAM : The ideal Trail-Running sole
A good trail-running sole offers light weight, grip and traction. An excellent trail-running sole offers the same features, but over all types of terrain and under all weather conditions.
Requisite features for each TYPES OF TERRAIN
|Uphill : flexibility and traction|
|Downhill : cushioning and grip|
|Flat terrain : easy "rolling" of the shoe with the foot|
Requisite features for each TYPES OF WEATHER
|Rain: grip and self-cleaning|
|Snow: traction and self-cleaning|
|Dry conditions : cushioning and flexibility|
Main characteristics of a shoe for mountain racing
- PERFORMANCE : thanks to effective transfer of the runner's propulsive force to the ground, with minimum energy loss during each stride.
- PROTECTION : through effective cushioning, both to protect the arch against the irregularities of the terrain and to reduce the detrimental effects of the constant impacts on the muscular and skeletal systems.
- CONFORT: thanks to precise distribution of the pressures impacting on the foot, achieved through a sole profile adapted to the terrain and the race.
In a trail-running shoe, 70% of the total value resides in the sole. In "long-distance" races, the priorities are protection and comfort. That is why Vibram soles comprise functional zones designed with human anatomy and the needs of active feet in mind. This approach ensures the best solutions for trail runners over all types of terrain and all distances.
The functional zones of a Vibram® trail-running sole
[A] FRONT SECTION - TIP OF THE SHOE
GARMIN : The GPS watch
What is a GPS watch used for? How to use it? When to use it?
A GPS watch is a key acquisition in your trail practice, which will enable you to set up training sessions, improve yourself, follow your progress, prepare and analyse your races. You will be able to know your limits, your strengths and work on your weaknesses. During the race, it permits you to situate yourself in time and space, and to keep an eye on your physiological shape (Cardio, VO2Max ...).
1/ Useful data
The Garmin GPS watches adapted to the trail will provide you a wide variety of useful data for training and during the race:
- Barometric Altitude (cumulative elevation gain or loss)
With your Garmin product equipped with a barometric altimeter, you can display the "Total Ascent" and "Total Descent" data to see where you are in terms of difficulty during the race.
- Cardio (belt or wrist)
Beware, the race is long, stay in your reserve zone, let your Garmin gauge you. Moreover, thanks to the fēnix® 6 and the Enduro™, you no longer need a heart belt, your heart is on your wrist.
- Running time and distance covered (on a configurable circuit, or at an instant T)
"How long have I been gone? How far have I run?" Apart from the obvious functions of a GPS watch, your fēnix® 6 or your Enduro™ can alert you to distances or times that can be set in advance (Auto Lap function).
- Physiological data
Feeling tired, aching muscles, being in better shape than the day before... With some Garmin models, you can use physiological data to understand your psychological feelings.
- Performance conditions: If you run with a heart rate belt, after about 20 minutes, your fēnix® 6 or your Enduro™ will indicate your level of recovery (good to poor) and/or your performance index for the day (from -20 to +20).
- A score of +5 indicates that you are rested, fresh and able to run or pedal well. You can add a fitness data field to one of your training screens to track your fitness throughout the activity.
- Fitness can also be an indicator of the level of tiredness, especially at the end of a long training session.
- Fitness: Your condition is assessed in real time after 6 to 20 minutes of activity on your fēnix® 6 or Enduro™. By adding it to your data fields, you can check your fitness during the rest of your activity. Your device compares your real-time fitness to your average physical level.
- Body Battery™: The Body Battery™ is a feature that uses a combination of Heart Rate Variability, Stress, and Activity to estimate a user’s energy reserves throughout the day. It records and displays a number from 1-100 that represents the individual’s energy level. The higher the number, the more energy the user should have to complete tasks and activities. A lower number may indicate it is time to conserve energy. The unique aspect of Body Battery is that it is a cumulative metric that builds a picture of a user’s energy over hours and days.
- VO2max: your fēnix® 6 and Enduro™ give you an estimate of VO2 max, which is the maximum amount of oxygen (in millilitres) that you can consume per minute per kilogram of your body during your best performance.
- Lactic threshold: fēnix® 6 and Enduro™ give you an estimate of your lactic threshold, which is the point (Cf/Pace) at which your muscles begin to tire rapidly. Your device measures your lactic threshold level based on your heart rate and speed.
Of course, thanks to the training you have got to know each other. But in the euphoria, fatigue, night, hunger ... the mind disconnects. As a good runner, the alarms are also there to help you, and sometimes save you.
- Cardio: to stay in your good zone.
- Speed & pace: to avoid rushing!
- Circuit pace: to be set according to the course.
- Personal alerts: the time of your compote, dry cake or the rhythm of your hydrating break... it is up to you to set them up:
- Drink every xx minutes …
- Eat every xx kilometres.
- Storm alerts (drop in atmospheric pressure): Don't just rely on the ringing in your ears before lightning strikes. The "Storm Alerts" function allows you to set an alert if a pressure drop (in mb) occurs over a certain period of time (Rate in mb/minute to be selected).
Even in the middle of the night on a single track, point yourself in the right direction with our watches and their 3-axis compass.
- Sunrise / sunset
"Will my forehead hold up before sunrise? Great, I can enter the time of sunrise and the current time in the data fields ". No more worries.
- Data fields
Set up to 4 data fields per screen, and up to 10 screens = 40 possible data visible on the fēnix® 6 and the Enduro™.
Download your track on your watch and use all the useful navigation functions during your race.
- Integration of waypoints
- Next point: distance to the next waypoint (e.g. next refuelling point)
- ETE / ETA: Estimated time to arrival (travel time) and/or estimated time of arrival
- Remaining distance
- Off-road or off-road: This feature makes your watch vibrate/sound as soon as you leave the track you have put in your watch
- Virtual Partner: It is as if you were facing a virtual opponent (set his cruising speed and try to get there before him)
- ClimbPro: It shows upcoming climbs on the race, at what distance they occur and what length and gradient they are.The best way to manage the efforts !
3/ Everyday use
Here are a few specifics of our very practical products for long distance trail and solo outings.
- Power Glass™: The fēnix 6 Solar and Enduro™ use a Power Glass™ watch lens to convert sunlight into battery power, extending your time between charges. A significant technological innovation which offers real added value for long distance races. The fēnix 6 offers 25 to 66 hours of battery life depending on the model and the Enduro up to 80 in every second GPS mode!
- Power Manager: Maximize battery life by creating your own profile by disabling features you don't need (music, GPS, phone, cardio, pulse oximeter, map, display, backlight, sensors).
- UltraTrac Mode: The UltraTrac mode is a GPS setting that record track points at longer intervals. Activating UltraTrac not only preserves battery life, but also reduces the quality of recorded activities. Use UltraTrac for activities that place greater demands on the battery.
- Garmin Mode: It permits you to charge your watch during the activity (on Fenix®1 to 6 & Enduro™) using the power clip on an external portable battery in the bag.
- Practical functions
- TrackBack: You are lost during your activity and you want to go back to your starting point, nothing simpler: Press stop -> select TrackBack and the watch will show you the way.
- LiveTrack: Let your fans follow you live during your race and/or reassure your friends and family about your health. Your watch paired in Bluetooth with a Smartphone via Garmin Connect™ Mobile allows you to broadcast your activity live on a specific URL that you can share with your friends and family and via social networks.
4/ Your GARMIN platforms
- Connect IQ is a store that will permit you to personalize your watch the way you want:
- Data fields.
- Informative and fun widgets.
- Set up your watch with specific applications
- Garmin Connect™ is a platform that will permit you to:
- Sift through your activities and track your progress towards your goals.
- Integrate tracks.
- Download and share essential data directly via a wireless connection (Garmin Connect™ app).
- Share your activities in real time, thanks to the LiveTrack function (Garmin Connect™ app).
- Receive current weather reports, forecasts and smart notifications directly to your compatible Garmin device (Garmin Connect™ app).
JULBO : How to porperly protect your eyes?
HOW TO CHOOSE YOUR SUNGLASSES FOR TRAIL RUNNING?
Trail running is a demanding, tough and technical discipline. So all of your equipment needs to live up to your demands! Often wrongly thought of as a mere fashion accessory, performance sunglasses, beyond their style, can be a real aid on mountain trails. We can help you to see more clearly with our trail running sunglasses guide below.
1. DESIGNED TO BE FORGOTTEN
One of the main criteria when choosing your sunglasses for trail running should be the weight. The lighter the frame, the sooner you forget about your glasses, meaning you can wear them comfortably from start to finish. But to keep them on your nose all race long or during training, your sunlenses mustn't alter your vision.
2. REACTIV LENSES: WHATEVER THE WEATHER
Photochromic, transitioning, adaptive, variable, changing lenses… Whatever you want to call them, they do the same thing: they allow you to take just one pair of sunglasses with you no matter how bright it is and whatever the weather (sunny, cloudy, overcast)! A photochromic lens reacts to and is activated on contact with UV radiation. The stronger the sun, the darker the lens and vice versa; all in the blink of an eye and above all without you having to do anything! There are several protection category ranges (cat. 1 to 3, cat. 2 to 4), all that's left for you to do is choose the one that suits you best.
On top of protecting you against sunlight, wearing sunglasses in all weather, whatever the conditions, also allows you to protect your eyes against dust, wind and any other external elements that could obstruct your vision.
3. A TECHNICAL FRAME: SLIM, NON-SLIP TEMPLES
What's technical about a frame? It's all the details that help to guarantee you comfort and hold. Whether in the choice of materials or the design of the temples, front or nose, the technical characteristics of the frame are important factors to take into account. Example: a pair of sunglasses with slim temples will sit comfortably on your ears and slip easily under a hat or cap. If the temples are also equipped with non-slip endtips, they won't fall off your head. And if the nose is adjustable, too, you're guaranteed very good hold.
4. ANTI-FOG COATING OR SUSPENDED LENSES.
Good sunglasses must let you stay focused on your objectives and guide your movements. So it's essential to avoid the appearance of any visual disruption, particularly due to perspiration. Our Reactiv Performance 2-4 (cat. 2 to 4) and Reactiv Performance 1-3 (cat. 1 to 3) photochromic lenses have an anti-fog coating on the inner surface. And if you combine them with suspended lenses, you're sure to never encounter this problem!
5. YOUR EYESIGHT MUST NOT STOP YOU
If you wear prescription glasses, you can also personalize our frames to meet your prescription needs. If you know your prescription, simply fill out the form to find out which sunglasses can be adapted to your vision. But you'll need to chat to your Julbo dealer optician to confirm the result.
In a few words, comfort is key to your choice of sunglasses to let you stay focused on your objectives, your stride pattern, and the inclines waiting be eaten up. Once you've made your choice, above all don't forget to try them on and check they don't slip off your face when you bend down and gently shake your head. All that's left for us to do is wish you a good race!
Our selection of sunglasses for trail running
PETZL : Running by night?
OVERSTIM'S : How to hydrate himself well on long-distance races
Physical exercise over long distances (or for long periods of time) imposes many constraints on the athlete and his body. In this article you will find OVERSTIM.s advices on how to better hydrate yourself on long outings of more than 3 hours.
How does good hydration protect your body?
Water plays many roles during physical effort, such as thermoregulation. The muscle releases heat when it is active, and water regulates the temperature of the muscle. Water also helps in the functioning of metabolic reactions, in the transport of glucose to the muscles, but also in the transport of vitamins and minerals.
A state of dehydration is often present during exertion injuries and can also lead to increased tiredness or the apparition of cramps.
Dehydration increases the risk of injury but also reduces your performance. If you feel thirsty during exercise, you are already dehydrated by at least 1% of your body weight and this reduces your performance by about 10%. But don't panic, this can be corrected quickly if you rehydrate regularly and with a suitable exercise drink.
What is the best drink for long-distance efforts?
When you sweat during long periods of time, you not only lose water, but also essential vitamins and minerals (also called electrolytes) such as sodium (salt), potassium, magnesium and calcium. You understand that water alone is not enough to ensure a good hydration.
The LONG DISTANCE HYDRIXIR drink is specially formulated in accordance with the latest scientific research in order to keep you well hydrated during long-lasting efforts. This drink can therefore be consumed for efforts lasting more than 3 hours.
It brings you:
- a combination of 4 sources of carbohydrates: maltodextrins, glucose, fructose and dextrose.
- proteins and BCAA's
- Sodium to compensate mineral losses and improve water absorption.
- magnesium, which contributes to the proper functioning of the muscles.
- Vitamins C and B6 to help to reduce tiredness.
- antioxidant vitamin E to help to protect cells from oxidative stress.
However, if you are practicing an even longer activity (4h, 6h, 10h or more) or in specific climatic conditions (high humidity or strong heat), it is possible to combine the LONG DISTANCE HYDRIXIR drink with the ELECTROLYTES DRINK. Pour 1 sachet of ELECTROLYTES DRINK into your 600-800ml can of LONG DISTANCE HYDRIXIR.
How to hydrate well on the long-distance, key points
- Drink 600ml up to 1.2L of exercise drink per hour depending on your sweating and weather conditions.
- Drink 1 to 2 full bites every 5 to 10 minutes.
- Drink before you get thirsty but...
- … do not drink too much as it can be counterproductive: see ou article on the risks of hyperhydration and hyponatremia
- Keep water for rinsing your mouth or spraying yourself.
- Learn how to drink during your training sessions.
SIDAS: How to avoid foot problems on the UTMB® Mont-Blanc.
FIGURES & A STATEMENT:
According to the results of studies by the UTMB® Mont-Blanc medical commission:
- 16 to 20% of dropouts are directly related to foot problems.
- 76% of foot pains contracted in ultra-trail result in the appearance of another pathology (knee, hip, Achilles’ tendon…), following the adaptation of the stride, which then loses its natural ability to limit the pain.
Feet are the natural base of a biped but above all the indestructible foundation of a successful UTMB® Mont-Blanc. It is an absolutely undeniable fact: care, protection and preparation that you give them will allow you to cross the finish line which makes you dreming ! #No Finish Line Without Foot Care
THREE EXPERTS FOR SOUND ADVICE:
In order to give you sound advice on the care of your feet for the UTMB® Mont-Blanc, we have combined the recommendations of three experts:
Marie MALIGORNE, head of the SIDAS podiatry centre, who has seen the feet of many champions pass through her hands, all endurance sports included. A team composed of Olivier GARCIN, podiatrist referent on the UTMB® Mont-Blanc, and his associate, Marie Charlotte ALEX, also a member of the Podoxygène association.
The 3 most common mistakes that should be avoided:
1/ Do not cut your fingernails, or worse, cut them the day before the races, as they have not had time to grow back slightly and are therefore very sharp.
2/ Put a hydro-colloid dressing from the outset, to prevent possible rubbing or blisters. For Olivier GARCIN, this bad habit is like “taking a Doliprane without a headache”. The same applies to abrasive straps stuck between the toes: “It is all very well to want to anticipate a pathology, but if it is only to generate another one, the usefulness is very limited”.
3/ For Marie-Charlotte ALEX, the golden rule is to “banish the new”. Too many runners venture out on the event with untested equipment.
Prepare your feet to run 170km and 10 000m of elevation.
You need to prepare your feet thoroughly, first a few weeks, then a few hours, before the big start.
A few weeks before the start:
1/ Pedicure, three weeks before the start.
2/ Tanning, two weeks before D-Day to build up “a robust and hydrated foot, ready to face the UTMB® Mont-Blanc”.
3/ Choosing the right shoe to run the UTMB® Mont-Blanc. To do so:
- Carry out as thorough an examination of your stride as possible beforehand and seek the expertise of an expert with real technical knowledge in this area.
- Focus on the benefits of comfort, durability and cushioning rather than dynamism and lightness in view f the length of the effort ahead of you.
- Avoid high drops. Why ? « Because they tend to favour the heel attack, which is much more traumatic because of the shock waves it generates on the whole body. However, be careful, if up to now you feel good in your trainers, don’t change anything!”
- Assume that your foot widens by 3 to 4 mm between the 50th and 80th kilometers, as a result of muscle tiredness and arch collapse.
4/ Equip yourself with insoles.
Instead of a basic insole, choose a pair of insoles that are perfectly adapted to your feet and your practice. The purpose of these insoles is threefold: increase comfort, maximise the precision and stability of your stance and to limit the risk of injury. Discover the guide "How to choose your running insoles here”
In case of pathology, it is recommended to consult a health professional (podiatrist) for an assessment and a tailor-made medical solution.
5/ Don’t neglect your socks!
Feeling good in your trainers is the result of a synergy between three elements: the shoe, the sole and the sock.
6/ Reinforce your foot.
There are many specific strengthening exercises that can be done once a week to make your feet a strong and confident base for your performance. Here are some exercices that we can recommend.
A few hours before the race:
1/ Put anti-friction cream.
Coating your feet with Anti-friction cream, especially on the arches and toes, is a big step towards reducing the risk of blisters. This cream can also prevent chafing on any other part of the body that is sensitive to repeated friction.
2/ Adjust your socks.
After putting on your socks, which you have already tested and approved many times, make sure that they do not wrinkle at all. This is where a problem can occur.
3/ Take care of your lacing.
Two fundamental principles must be respected for a good lacing ont the UTMB® Mont-Blanc: “First, lace up evenly from the toes to the top of the instep to avoid a bottleneck on the upper part ; and do not tighten your laces too much risking to create tenosynovitis, meaning the inflammation of the extensor tendons that allow the foot to be lifted on the climb.”
4/ Insert the Safety Kit into your race bag.
In order to prevent or at least slow down the appearance of a blister or a black nail while waiting to get to the care base where a professional can help you to solve the problem (we strongly advise against any form of self-medication), we have developed with the medical commission of the UTMB® Mont-Blanc, a Safety Kit particularly practical and light (115 gr) which will allow you to react with calm and discernment until you reach the dedicated medical teams. The Safety Kit consists of:
- 1 pocket size tube of 15ml of anti-chafing cream
- 1 pocket size tube of 15ml of Cryo effect cream to relieve muscles
- 1 survival blanket with the required dimensions 1.40m x 2m
- 2 elastic bands pre-cut to the required measurements for the UTMB® Mont-Blanc
Beacuse taking care of his feet is esssential for allowing you to cross the finish line, discover all our dedicated solutions to trail-running.
COLUMBIA : How to trail run ?
Caroline Freslon, 41, is a true inspiration: having never run further than 12km, a friend entered her into the Saintélyon - a 68km race - which not only did she complete, she came third. “No one had expected this kind of result,” she remembers. “My body ached for two weeks after that but I was stoked.” Freslon was hooked and began running trail races, before eventually starting her own agency, Fifth Element organising mountain trail running courses.
Fast forward 11 years and it’s become a really successful business, she says. “Trail running wasn’t as big as it is now and a lot of people didn’t understand what I did,” she shares. “I’m so glad I never gave up.” In fact, she compares the story of her life to running an ultratrail: “It’s tough, you go through all kinds of stages - from feeling euphoric to feeling super low - but you push through because of the incredible moments you experience and the wonderful people you meet. When all of this is met by success at the end, there’s nothing more gratifying.” With years of experience and a huge passion for trail running, there’s no-one better placed to share their trail running tips. Here’s Freslon’s key pieces of advice:
EXPLORE YOUR LOCAL AREA AND TAKE IN YOUR SURROUNDINGS
Formerly a professional rower, Freslon now enjoys a more relaxed approach to her training: “I make a conscious effort to really take the time to enjoy my surroundings. I still really like pushing my limits but I get to choose how I do it.”
CHOOSE THE RIGHT KIT
- Warm and waterproof clothes: one long-sleeve base layer and mid-layer fleece, plus a windproof, waterproof and breathable shell.
- Hydration and nutrition: a minimum of one litre of water and food such as energy bars and dry fruit.
- Phone, ID, money: make sure your phone is fully charged and working. Remember ID and a small amount of cash in case you need to buy anything en route.
- Safety kit: should include an emergency foil blanket, elastic bandage, plasters, disinfectant spray and a head torch.