Helvellyn Carbon Z Poles £69
WINNER IN THE WILD GINGER RUNNING BEST VALUE CATEGORY
"As a running gear tester of 10+ years for Trail Running magazine and then Wild Ginger Running YouTube channel I was really pleased to be able to help Kate design the Harrier Helvellyn Carbon Z poles. I've now tested what she has created and I'm delighted to say that they have won the Best Value award in the Wild Ginger Running poles test for their excellent features and low weight at a really fantastic price! I am looking forward to using them on my next multi-day running adventure." Claire Maxted, Wild Ginger Running
UPPING YOUR DISTANCE OR ELEVATION
Say Yes To Poles
Gary House, RunStrong
"Hi Kate, I just worked the new Helvellyn Poles hard on 2400m + of Welsh hills and found them strong, reliable and light...
I’d happily recommend them to any beginner or mid-pack runner looking for win sticks!"
Poles for Beginners
A Harrier quick start guide for people who have never used poles!
Our Helvellyn Carbon Z Poles are ideal for beginners and experienced runners alike. They are light, strong and simple to use.
Cheat sticks? More like win sticks!
Hilly and / or long distance trails
Improving walking and running efficiency
Reducing impact on leg joints
Improving upright posture for maximum lung capacity
Using poles spreads the muscular load from mostly legs to the whole body.
Top tip for beginners!
Invest in a lesson with a qualified pole instructor. It’s well worth it to get the technique right so you make the most of your poles and don’t pick up any injuries from incorrect use.
Setting the height
- Take poles out of their case, hold them up by the handle so the two connecting sections are loose
- At the end of the handle section, pull the silver ring downwards to extend the section and connect with the other two sections until you hear a distinctive ‘click’
- A silver button will pop out under the flip lock
- Open the flip lock to adjust the height
- Pull the pole to the length (in cm) estimated for you on the size chart*
*If you are viewing this chart on your phone, you can zoom in to see the information bigger.
NOTE - Don’t pull beyond the stop line or the handle section will become separated from the rest. You can slide it easily back on again, but you don’t want to risk dropping a section of pole if you’re doing this on the move.
- Flip the lock back into place. You can adjust the tension on the flip lock with the clear screw on the other side of it.
- The rubber tip is best on pavement or very hard surfaces like rocks
- The carbide spike tip (pull off the rubber end) is best for most trails and uneven terrain
- The mud basket is only needed when it is very wet and muddy
Put your hand under the strap and up through the loop from underneath
Feel the weight of your wrist sitting securely in the strap, it should feel comfortable and stable across the back of your hand and palm.
Wrap your hand around the handle. You can adjust the strap length depending on how high you would like to hold the handle, you might change this as you get going but set it for what feels comfortable for now.
The grip on the handle should not be tight.
The momentum of the poles comes from the strap, not from gripping on the handle.
Here is a great video on the basics from Chase Mountains. This is for trekking poles but the fundamentals are the same for correct carrying technique.
Pole planting is when your pole tip touches the floor
- To get the most from using poles they should be used opposite to your foot strike - plant the right pole a your left foot hits the ground, and vice versa
- Try not to lean forwards - plant your poles comfortably at your sides rather than feeling you have to plant them far ahead of your body
- Do not bear walk! It’s much less effective to use a same-pole-same-leg walk or run
Practice on a nice long stretch of flat ground so you can get into the flow of using your poles.
Loosely hold your poles and allow them to drag on the ground behind you as you walk.
Gradually increase your arm swings in time with your walking, you will find the poles naturally start to plant themselves with each opposing leg.
Notice the extra momentum and power they give you moving forwards!
Then you can do the same speeding up to a steady run.
When running you won’t have time to plant your pole with every footstep, so planting every third step works well to propel you along efficiently.
See this great video on a beginners exercise to practice the right technique. It is Nordic walking but the basic principle is the same.
On uphills you may want to shorten your pole slightly to take into account the raised gradient ahead of you.
You can use a single or double pole plant.
The single pole plant is the same as the basic technique above.
The double pole plant is great for steeper hills. This is where you plant both poles at the same time to propel yourself efficiently up the slope.
Going downhill on tricky, technical ground you may wish to pop your poles away, but if the path is smooth and wide enough, you gain even more momentum from a single pole plant every few steps.
You can even double pole plant to jump up, down or over rocks, and over puddles.
Double pole plant jumps with a run up are also fun to do when the path is clear to really get some momentum going!
Different race vests and running belts have different storage options. There are also quivers available as race vest attachments - a bit like arrows for a bow! The Harrier race vests have multiple built-in storage options:
- Horizontal on the back (pictured)
- Vertical on each side at the front
- Horizontal under each arm on the side
Top Tip for storage
Don’t try to eat or alter things on your race vest whilst holding both poles in both hands – you may leg yourself up, not to mention stab someone else in the eye! Pass them both into one hand, put them under an arm or stow them away first instead.