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There are plenty of great ski area running events that take place all summer long, including the Discrete Cirque Series, the Under Armour Mountain Running Series, and the Aspen Snowmass Power of Four. They are a great way to stay in shape, visit your favorite winter destinations in the off-season, and have an excuse to drink more beer. SKImag.com’s Digital Content Editor is an avid mountain runner, and these are his favorite trail running gear items for training and racing. As you might notice, these brands also make fantastic gear for skiing, too.
Gear for Uphill Athletes
Suunto 9 Baro with HR Belt
A large part of “Training for the Uphill Athlete” involves monitoring your heart rate, and this is the best tool to do exactly that. In addition, the Suunto 9’s intelligent battery provides an estimate on how long the watch will last in sport mode before you begin, and can prolong battery use for especially long events—up to 120 hours fully charged. Add in a wrist heart-rate monitor, barometer, and location tracking system that combines GPS and motion sensors, and the 9 is a perfect companion for any sort of uphill endeavor. [$649, suunto.com]
Check out more smart watches: Time Machines
Dynafit Feline Up Pro
Having special shoes for races is a mental advantage, especially when they look as awesome as they perform. With a super grippy-yet-lightweight XS Grip Vibram sole, minimalist fit, and 4mm drop, the Feline UP Pro has the chops to get up and down a mountain in the name of speed. At the same time, the shoe’s eye-catching color scheme will turn heads on the trail every time you take them out. Just like Dynafit’s backcountry skiing footwear, these are lighter than you’d expect (230g), and provide top-tier performance in their class. [$170, dynafit.com]
Lululemon Metal Vent Tech Surge Shirt and Surge Short 7”
Lululemon makes a ton of great apparel that’s not at all yoga related. I love their baselayers for skiing, and I’ve been more than impressed with the high performance of their running gear. The Metal Vent Tech Surge Shirt has seamless construction that minimizes chafing, and Surge Shorts feature four-way stretch material and a rear zippered pocket for essentials. Both have long lasting stink-fighting tech built in, and dry quicker than it takes to recover from long runs. [Shirt: $78; Short: $68; lululemon.com]
Salomon S/Lab Sense Ultra 5 Vest
Yes, running vests are dorky and I definitely don’t wear them on every run. But when I’m 10 miles and 3,000 vertical feet into a long race and can’t remember where the next aid station is, having water and fuel handy helps me push through the worst parts of mountain running. I really like the versatile S/Lab Sense Ultra 5 vest from Salomon, a company that makes great stuff for exploring ski areas in the winter and summer. The minimalist design and four-way stretch Aerotech fabric is so comfy, you’ll probably forget you’re wearing it until you need it. [$155, salomon.com]
CEP Ultralight Short Socks
CEP has the compression market dialed, and I’m excited to get into an updated pair of their ultralight compression ski socks this winter. Until then, I’ve been running in their Ultralight Short Socks getting ready for the UA Mountain Running Series and Aspen Snowmass’ Power of Four, and it’s honestly been hard to run in anything else. Providing compression in the metatarsal and compatibility with CEP calf sleeves, these socks expedite recovery time and I don’t notice the compression while running. They are so much more than socks, and they are priced competitively with a lot of “fancy” brand running socks that lack compression. [$22.50, cepcompression.com]
GU Hydration Drink Tabs
Ever salt bonked? I don’t recommend it, but it happened recently while on a long training run. I had water and sugar, but I didn’t have anything for electrolyte replacement. I paid a price and suffered for miles. Afterwards I vowed never to run for more than 2 hours without bringing a tube of GU Hydration Drink tabs with me. The mildly effervescent tabs have delicious flavor options (my favorite is the strawberry lemonade), and they have minimal sugar content to prevent the ebbs and flows of unscheduled sugar intake during a race. Plus, they’re way healthier than the flat Coca-Cola found at aid stations. [$25 for a box of four tubes; guenergy.com]
Looking for some more great running gear? Check out a few perfect sunglass options here. You can also fine more running equipment reviews in our Used and Abused Gear Gallery, such as the Under Armour Horizon RTT Shoe, Skida Nordic Headbands and the SAXX Kinetic Boxers.