Cross-country running for triathlon

Boost your triathlon speed and strength by taking to the trails this winter

by Jacqueline Wadsworth

trail shoes
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Kit essentials

So what kit do you need to run over the country? The most important item is a pair of shoes that give you good grip. Cross-country spikes are ideal for shorter races run entirely on soft ground, but they're not so good on stony stretches or asphalt. Studded running shoes are more versatile and, although they may not grip quite like spikes, they are more comfortable on hard stretches. Specialised shoes like this will keep you light on your feet and can save minutes in slippery conditions. However, be aware that they don't always offer much support or cushioning, so if you plan to enter longer off-road races it may be better to invest in some trail shoes.

As for clothes, if you're running in a league race you must wear a club vest to show whom you're representing. If it's cold, a thermal top underneath is a good idea, along with hat and gloves. Make sure that you've also got plenty of warm, dry clothes to change into afterwards.

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