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When did you start using poles?

Brand Partners

July 6th, 2022

2 min read

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We all remember our first race or favorite adventure, but what about the first time you added poles into the mix? Below, LEKI athlete Sabrina Stanley shares her story of when she started running and training with poles and why it has been a game changer for her.

Have a story of your own? Share your experience in the comments section and be automatically entered for a chance to win a new pair of LEKI Ultratrail FX One Superlite Poles. One random winner will be selected and notified.

When did you start using poles when running?

I started running with poles consistently when I began training for a mountainous 100-miler in the summer of 2018. I knew I would be using poles for the entirety of the race, so I ran with poles during all my training miles. This helped get my upper body familiar with the additional load it would be taking on while climbing and descending. It also taught me how to use the poles efficiently. 

Was there an “Ah-Ha” moment when you knew running with poles was a game-changer?

My “Ah-Ha” moment came when I was studying the most competitive runners in the world at races that piqued my interest. These runners were all using poles. To be competitive I knew I had to learn how to use poles to assist in my running if I wanted to run at the same level as the top athletes.

In a sentence or two, how would you describe the benefits of running with poles?

Poles take some of the load off a runner’s legs while going up and downhill. This transfer of power to the upper body allows a runner to conserve their legs for a longer period.

Don’t forget! Comment below about your first experience running or training with poles and you could win a free pair of LEKI Ultratrail FX One Superlite Poles. [the contest period for commenting is now closed]

348 responses to “When did you start using poles?”

  1. Susan Speidel says:

    The first time I used poles was in the Grand Canyon with friends on an R2R2R trip. We trained a little with them before, but mainly used them in the big ditch. What a fun day!

  2. Patty says:

    Been using poles for years for hiking, it was a natural progression to include it with trail running! Extremely helpful here in Colorado with the elevation changes.

  3. Don Mueller says:

    As an older mountain runner (69) poles benefit me in several ways. First, I can climb and decent fast because poles give me increased balance and stability! I never leave home without them. I use Leki carbon poles for XC skiing and love them especially the quick release straps. Leki is number 1 in my book ok. As I transitioned from road to trails I came to love poles.

  4. Josh Billups says:

    I have not EVER used poles but I needed them on the Frozen Sasquatch 25k last year because it had 6-8 inches of snow. I am now planning to run the Cabin Fever 50k next year with even more elevation change and more dramatic climbs and descents. I NEED poles.

  5. Becki Lynn Bauer says:

    I started training with poles in preparation for the Inaugural Cocodona250 in 2021. They were my best friends from Mile 14 all the way to the finish line that ended up being 257 miles. I am grateful that I had my poles to pair with me along my journey thru Arizona! I really loved checking out other runners that had the Leki poles and would love the chance to own a pink pair of Leki poles! 😉

  6. Jules says:

    I have never tried running with poles but I’ve heard wonderful things and would love to try.

  7. Nathan Helming says:

    My first time running with poles was in a nighttime snow shoe race up Sugarloaf mountain on a frigid 5 degree night. I was blown away how they powered me up and kept me sure footed and speedy on the way down.

  8. Ludo Leprizé says:

    What is nice about trail running is that you can find new challenges at any age: distance, elevation gain, altitude… I am 45 years old and I am just starting to run with poles to prepare a 50km trail with 2300m of ascent in the Canadian Rockies.