Joe Beer running off-road
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The essential equipment you need for running off-road

We look at why running on rough surfaces can trigger many training gains for triathletes, and how to make the most of it

Now that's the benefits and technique of off-road running covered, there's one final element to look at – gear.

Here are the five key pieces of kit needed to keep you comfortable and quick on the trails:

Off-road shoes 

Look for shoes with good cushioning, an outsole that can deal with sharp and slippery surfaces, and that aren’t too expensive so you can get a second pair to use when the first pair is drying:

Off-road run shoes

Padded socks

When you’re running over rough terrain and steep inclines, your foot moves around more in your shoe (and gets wet more often). A good pair of socks means greater comfort and possibly fewer blisters:

Padded run socks

Long/short sleeve base layer

A base layer that wicks sweat and reflects some heat is a great buy. Staying drier and cooler for longer means you can spend more time running. Add a gilet or rain jacket as required:

Running base layer

Compression gear

Socks, calf guards and quad guards may help reduce fatigue during your runs or be useful to wear afterwards to help retain heat and encourage greater blood flow to hasten recovery:

Compression socks

LED Head torch 

Morning, or evening, runs on unlit lanes, footpaths, fields and woods opens up a totally new experience. The extra effort required to choose the correct route and react will make for a more intense session:

LED head torch

(Images: Jonny Gawler)

What's your must-have piece of kit for running off-road? Let us know in the comments!


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