Equipment advice

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.

Obligatory equipment UTMB®, CCC®, TDS®
Mandatory material for the OCC & MCC
Mandatory equipment YCC
FAQ obligatory equipment
Advices

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
A reinforced front section provides better protection of the toes against knocks. It is important that the tread continue to the very tip of the shoe to ensure the necessary traction during the last part of the thrust provided by the toes. This phase of movement is particularly crucial during steep climbs in unstable terrain. The tread arrangement shifts progressively with increasingly small and more tightly spaced lugs leading up to the toe bumper.


[B] METATARSUS SECTION - CONTACT ZONE

This is the most important part of a sole for mountain trail running. It must provide a number of complex, often contradictory, functional solutions, such as puncture withstand against rocks to avoid any pain in this very sensitive part of the foot and flexibility, a fundamental feature particularly when going uphill to avoid wasting any energy. These two characteristics must be accompanied by good cushioning, provided by special materials and inserts. Maximum comfort is required for the metatarsus during fast, steep descents. In addition, the sole and the upper of the shoe must function perfectly together in the metatarsus section to ensure good stability, notably in uneven terrain, and effective propulsion under all environmental and weather conditions.


[C] ARCH SECTION - ARCH

In some cases, this section remains fully in contact with the ground to enhance the roll of the foot, however it can also be raised to improve braking during descents on unstable, humid or grassy terrain.
More rigid inserts and a bracing "high-wall" design in this section reinforce the support of the arch. That is a clear advantage in rough terrain when it is difficult for the sole to remain in contact with the ground. This is a fundamental characteristic for long-distance running to avoid overloading the arch.


[D] HEEL SECTION - HEEL

During mountain races, particularly during descents in hard, rocky terrain, the impacts on the heels can represent three times the runner's weight. It is essential to provide better cushioning than that found in most standard running shoes, even if that means adding a few grams of additional weight.
Vibram® has developed a cushioning system in the heel section that improves both compression and the distribution of forces from the heel to the toe. The result is lower deceleration values, slower transfer of forces through the ankle and, consequently, much lower impact during descents on very steep slopes. The overall result is a much higher degree of comfort over long distances.

For more information on Team Vibram® and Vibram® trail-running soles, see testerteam.Vibram.com and www.Vibram.com

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 nix® 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 nix® 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 nix® 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 nix® 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 nix® 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: nix® 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. 
    • Alerts

    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). 
    • Compass

    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 nix® 6 and the Enduro™.

    2/ Navigation

    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.

    • Autonomy
      • 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.
      • Watchfaces
      • 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).

    For more information: Garmin, official supplier of the UTMB®Track, watchface, dedicated applications…

      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?

      How to run until the end of the night?

      Running by night is a special experience. Physically, sensorially and mentally, it is a different world. When you run by night, the difficulties you face during the day are amplified by the lack of ambient light. The perception of the environment is altered by the use of frontal lighting: at first it feels like running through a tunnel. Then the perception of the relief is reduced, you see the ground in two dimensions, which requires more attention because you see obstacles with more difficulty. Your eyes have to make more effort to analyse the ground. You also have to be more attentive at night to spot cairns, markers, etc. Running at night will quickly increase your tiredness without you noticing it. During a race like the UTMB®, this tiredness will be added to the one of the day and for many people, it is during 2 consecutive nights that they will have to run. To manage this tiredness as well as possible on D-day and remain at your best, three aspects are important: training to run at night, managing your lighting during the race and of course choosing your headlamp carefully.

      Quick access:

       

      Training to run by night

      Training by night is essential for a night race.It allows you to be more comfortable in the dark, to improve your ability to analyse ground changes and thus to anticipate better. Experienced trail runners train for night runs not only by running, but also by doing other complementary activities at night such as hiking, cycling, cross-country skiing... The more time you spend training at night, the more you will get used to the night conditions and the faster and more efficient you will be.
      To start, it is better to run on a full moon night and an easy ground. Gradually, you will move on to more technical tracks. Think to run in pairs or groups. This is extremely beneficial for motivation and safety. And of course, if you discover a new track, a compass or a GPS can be useful...

       

      Managing your lighting

      For long runs such as the UTMB®, knowing how to manage your autonomy and lighting power is essential. Some advices:

      • Think to run in a group: it's more light for everyone and that saves energy for everyone!
      • When you run uphill, put the headlamp in economy mode to conserve energy.
      • For a fast downhill, increase the headlamp's lighting intensity or even put it in maximum lighting mode to better appreciate the ground ahead of you and to spot the key crossings on the trail.
      • Bring spare batteries and don't forget the emergency lamp, which is mandatory on the UTMB®!

       

      Choose properly your headlamp

      The UTMB® regulations require all participants to carry two headlamps, one main and one spare. There are several types of headlamps, each with its own characteristics and benefits. Some headlamps are better suited to ultra-trails than others. Here are some things to keep in mind when choosing.

      Basic settings

      Generally, there are two types of headlamps:

      • All-in-one headlamps: compact headlamps with all the weight on the front, ideal for shorter rides. Make sure you choose a headlamp with a headband that will ensure optimal support throughout the race.
      • Headlamps with a battery behind the head: Generally speaking, these headlamps are more powerful because they incorporate either a larger battery, either a larger number of cells. Well balanced, they are a good choice for an ultra-trail.

      Power: an indispensable asset

      Generally speaking, the more powerful your headlamp the better. More power means less effort for the eyes to see the terrain, which allows you to relax and run faster. It also means less tiredness accumulation. A critical point for a race like the UTMB® when two nights may be coming up. Petzl's NAO® +, SWIFT® RL headlamps de Petzl are ideal for taking advatage of high power levels.

      Power vs autonomy

      Increased lighting power also means shorter burn time. REACTIVE LIGHTING technology continually adapts the beam and the brightness to the vision needs of the runner. That meansless manual operation, increased light when you need it, and therefore, longer burn time. REACTIVE LIGHTING technology is available with the NAO® + and SWIFT® RL headlamps.
      For even greater performance, the MyPetzl Light app for NAO® + headlamps allows you to predetermine lighting profiles and to manage burn time levels during the race.

      REACTIVE LIGHTING : power variation according to the user's needs

      Energy sources: cells or batteries?

      For occasional use of your headlamp, prefer cells-operated headlamps:

      • no self-discharge: the batteries work even after a long period of disuse.
      • very long storage time.

      For regular to frequent use (training sessions, etc.), choose a headlamp that runs on rechargeable batteries:

      • easy to recharge via the USB plug
      • economical solution in a long term
      • bLithium-Ion battery: low self-discharge and very good performance even at low temperatures.

      Whatever your choice for the UTMB®, don't forget to bring spare batteries or cells.

      Your emergency lamp

      During the UTMB®, it’s important to be prepared for potential risks you might experience on the trail. An emergency headlamp is one piece of safety gear you’ll want in your pack in case your primary headlamp fails.There are a few different options to consider. To get out of a difficult situation, ultra-compact and lightweight headlamps like the e+LITE® (26 g) provide sufficient lighting. In order to continue running at a normal pace, choose a TIKKA® or ACTIK® type compact headlamp, with new batteries or fully charged reusable battery at the start.

       

      Petzl and the UTMB®

      As a company that designs and manufactures headlamps, Petzl is an official partner of the UTMB®. Our headlamps will light up the most remote areas and aid stations throughout the race, as well as equip the onsite volunteers and rescue teams working to monitor safety at the event. Our headlamp assistance will be present at the Chapieux, Trient and Contamines Montjoie feeder points. They will help you in case of technical problems with your headlamp, whatever the model!

      For more information, go to our Night Trail section on www.petzl.com

      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.
      #NoFinishLineWithoutFootCar

      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

      So, what exactly is trail running? Similar to mountain and fell running, trail running mixes running with elements of hiking, usually with some steep gradients thrown in. In its purest form, it’s any run outside in nature that is carried out on an unpaved path. Now, how to start trail running? Well, the simplest way is to lace up your trainers and get outside, exploring your local area for wooded trails or paths. Even in a city, you’re likely to come across a wooded or grassy area with tracks and paths. “I really like trail running because of the incredible feeling of freedom you get,” she explains.
      Rather than focusing on distance, Freslon recommends deciding on a length of time for your trail run, which can be adjusted according to the terrain: " In the mountains, I would recommend 2-3 hours for a beginner [and] up to half a day for an experienced road runner."

      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.”
      “It’s been really freeing for us,” she says. “Everywhere we go, we can take everything with us. Being able to take our lives around with us is something we’ve always dreamed of and worked so hard for. We just want to see what it’s really like now.”

      CHOOSE THE RIGHT KIT

      The first piece of trail running kit to get sorted should be a pair of trail running shoes. Freslon advises checking the stability, protection and outsole grip when selecting a pair. Conditions can change quickly, especially if you’re out in the mountains. Freslon stresses keeping changing conditions in mind and anticipating this when packing kit, especially if you’re tackling mountains. Freslon’s go-to mountain trail running essentials include:
      • 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.

      LISTEN TO NATURE AND RESPECT IT

      A vital lesson to remember, especially for trail running beginners, is to listen to and respect nature. “I feel that as time goes by, the elements become increasingly humbling for me,” explains Freslon. When I take people out in the mountains, I have a duty. I try to anticipate all kinds of scenarios as much as possible.” Listening to signals from nature, such as weather changes, rock falls and wind as well as noting temperature and the technical aspects of the terrain are important, she stresses. “I understand how generous and also dangerous nature can be,” she explains, noting that it’s important to always keep that in mind.