Coach Jenny Hadfield's Picks for Top Spring Training Tools

Black Diamond Endurance Trekking Poles

People used to laugh at me when I trained with a pack and poles along Chicago's lakefront path, but nobody is laughing now. Professional ultra runners like Scott Jurek who use poles to race efficiently in mountain ultra-marathons. They are the little black dress of  training tools. They multi-task, improve performance immediately upon use, and they go with everything. That is because trekking poles spread the impact over four legs instead of two which allows better use of your core and upper body (not just the legs), literally propel you up hills with little effort, reduce impact forces on the downhills and keep you running stronger for much longer.

More: Hill Running Made Easy

I wish I had these poles when I was racing Eco-Challenge as they are ultra lightweight, gender-specific and fold easily into three parts to fit in any small pack or travel bag. This is the first piece of gear I'm packing for my Rim to Rim Run and the Inca Trail Marathon. It's a versatile, must-have item that will take your training to a whole new place.

ElliptiGO – Making Running Faster Through Innovation

It's no secret that I love the ElliptiGO. I've used it to train for the TransRockies Ultra Run, ridden it from Chicago to Toronto, and it continues to be one of my core training ingredients. But I'm not the only one. There are a myriad of elite and Olympic level runners getting on the band-wagon and using it in a variety of ways to improve their performance. See who's using it and read exactly how they are training on the ElliptiGO. 

More: How Top Athletes Use the ElliptiGO

It takes passion and tenacity to push through your limits and an open, wise mind to train outside your comforts. The ElliptiGO delivers a non-impact workout at a high intensity in a running-like motion. Now that it's been out over a year, the racing stats are coming in and they are quite impressive. A U.S. Mountain Running Team member was able to return to competition and the podium after knee surgery gone wrong. A 5K World Champion faced with a career ending foot injury, rehabs with the ElliptiGO, then trains by reducing her running volume and filling in with the ElliptiGO and finishing 7th in the World Championships.  The stories go on and on and it is only a matter of time when the ElliptiGO goes from a new training device to an every day training tool for improved performance.  It's just that good (and quite fun to ride).

More: 3 Benefits of an ElliptiGO

*Disclosure:  I was given a sample of each of these products to test and evaluate.  I am a spokesperson and coach for PEAR Sports and ElliptiGO.

Active logo Sign up for your next race.

About the Author

Discuss This Article

Follow your passions

Connect with ACTIVE.COM