WhiteBlaze Pages 2024
A Complete Appalachian Trail Guidebook.
AVAILABLE NOW. $4 for interactive PDF(smartphone version)
Read more here WhiteBlaze Pages Store

Page 2 of 3 FirstFirst 1 2 3 LastLast
Results 21 to 40 of 46
  1. #21
    Registered User
    Join Date
    04-28-2004
    Location
    New Brunswick
    Age
    61
    Posts
    11,116

    Default

    There were several factors that really effected me when I suffered on my first hike of the Fundy footpath 10 years ago, after not doing much for 10 years. My friend and I hiked in to Dustin Brook from the access road, and camped. That was tough enough, but nothing compared to the wake-up call that awaited me.

    1. Too much pack weight - I was at least 20 pounds over a good summer pack weight.
    2. Too much body weight - I was at least 20 pounds over a good hiking weight.
    3. Out of shape - Yeah, that too. Hadn't done much running in about 10 years.
    4. Fever - I caught a chill paddling a few days before and was running a fever first day.
    5. Hot - It was hot and muggy. I was drinking about a litre an hour first day.
    6. Cummulative Elevation Gain - Fundy Footpath is all up and down.

    First set of switchbacks leaving Little Salmon River is 300 feet straight up, and took me at least an hour, and that was just the start of the day. First day we covered about 11km in 11 hours finishing after dark. My hiking buddy was very patient. Second day 14km went better. Ditched some food, rather irresponsibly I might add but didn't know better at the time. Fever passed. Maybe a few less hills and less severe. Last half day was just a moderate trail and went much better, but was only 10km.

    I've done it several times since in considerably better shape and with considerably less weight carried. High pack weight combined with extra body weight, poor fitness, lots of steep hills, and hot muggy weather is a bad combination. If you can still manage 10 mile days than its not too bad. If you can only manage 6 mile days in 12 hours of hiking, if you can still call that hiking, then you should probably have done things a little differently.

  2. #22
    Fat Guy Lemni Skate's Avatar
    Join Date
    02-22-2008
    Location
    Orange, Virginia
    Age
    60
    Posts
    534
    Images
    2

    Default

    My daughter at age 12 runs 35+ miles per week, I am running about 9 miles per week. When we backpack she gets to the top of the mountain and dances around like a sprite or something while I collapse and look for an I.V. and oxygen. I carry more weight, obviously (the girl only weighs 80 pounds), but watching how easy it is for her and her mother(who also runs) verses how hard it is for me and her brother (who is more of a couch potato like his dad) is what convinced me it was time to get up every morning and run. I'm planning to be running 30+ miles by the time June gets here and I'm expecting to more than double my daily mileage on the trails during my section hikes.

    One vote here for getting in shape before you get out there.
    Lemni Skate away

    The trail will save my life

  3. #23

    Default

    Yikes, I don't think so! i want to know more about this
    staffing power
    Sentersoftech

  4. #24
    Sectional Hiker (I hope) bobg66's Avatar
    Join Date
    04-20-2010
    Location
    Middlefield, MA
    Age
    79
    Posts
    1

    Default

    HI....

    I am a 65 (soon to be 66) year old guy who has recently been bitten by the "AP Hiking" bug. I have done some light hiking in the White Mountains (under 3 hrs/ hike).
    I do have a heart condition which is well controlled via medication. I usually have no problem with level hikes but when going uphill fatigue easily....I can run for only a minute at a time..... Does anyone have any advice as to how I could increase my stamina??? I plan on doing the AT in sections a week or two weeks at a time during June or July each year.....

  5. #25
    Registered User Raul Perez's Avatar
    Join Date
    11-24-2009
    Location
    Long Island, NY
    Age
    45
    Posts
    590
    Images
    4

    Default

    I am also amazed that weight lifting was not mentioned as a supplement to your training in the gym. I currently incorporate super sets between each regular set to increase muscle mass, strength and endurance.

    Example - Squat 215lbs 5 times, leg press 180lbs 20 times. Repeat the cycle (adding weight to the regular set) for 5 sets. I do this for every major muscle group - Quads, Hams, Stomach, biceps, triceps, deltoids, back, and chest. I choose 2 muscle groups a work out.

    I also run about 9 miles a week and add 40 yard sprints at the end of the runs for anerobic exercise and to increase fat loss.

  6. #26
    Registered User Ribeye's Avatar
    Join Date
    06-19-2005
    Location
    Shippensburg, Pennsylvania
    Age
    42
    Posts
    4

    Default Weight Training

    I would seriously recommend regular weight training as a part of your pre-hike workout. Dead-lifts and knee-touches (Hold a dumbell in each hand and walk forward, touching your knee to the ground as you go) are two excellent ways to build up your body for hiking. These excercizes focus on the parts of your legs, back and buttox that get worked while hiking. Just as importantly these excercizes will really work the tendons used while hiking which is important to prevent injury.

    The argument that no preparation is needed is.......wishful thinking. Yes, you can arrive a bloated unworked slob and hike 6 miles a day for a month until you are up to 15 mile days, but in that time period you are much more likely to succumb to injury or mental/physical fatigue which will send you off the trail. A combination of running, walking, stair-climbers, and weights will have your heart, legs, tendons and joints at least somewhat prepared for the challenges you will face.

  7. #27
    Registered User
    Join Date
    02-17-2007
    Location
    Columbus, Ohio
    Age
    40
    Posts
    3

    Default

    P90X. I live in central Ohio; no comparable backpack trails around. I did a lot of running and weight training before my thru-hike. After my hike I did P90X to stay in shape. I wish I would have done it before my hike. It hits everything you need for the rigors of the trail. Legs and back, cardio, core strength, etc. I would highly recommend it to potential thru-hikers who don't have the opportunity to train on real mountains with a pack. Also beats signing up for a gym membership only to pay dues for 5-6 months while your gone.

  8. #28

    Default Preparations for Long Distance Hiking

    Motivation becomes harder with time. When I was younger, I had a lot of motivation to hike and exercise. I know a Mennonite fellow who gave me a mini-trampoline, a rebounder, it works for him when he has trouble walking down the street or taking a hike, etc.. I think that conflicts with people can sap our energy, and I don't know the solution to this except to know how to creatively sidestep debates and differences that do us no good, but can lead to anger, worry and trouble. I see many more women jogging than men, and believe that the genders can be a real motivator to one another through healthy relationships.

    Nutrition is a big help too, in promoting energy. Sometimes you just have to force yourself to do what you need to do and exercise.

  9. #29
    trailmovin trailmovin's Avatar
    Join Date
    12-31-2010
    Location
    Roanoke Va
    Posts
    9
    Journal Entries
    1
    Images
    41

    Default Training

    I've hiked thousands of miles, I can't imagine not training for a hike considering the elevation changes, especially if you're not in resonable shape to begin with. I've seen many hiker's stagger up the mountain out of shape with 70 Pds on their back....

  10. #30
    Registered User
    Join Date
    06-17-2011
    Location
    Shepherdstown, WV
    Posts
    1

    Default

    I would suggest that being physically fit is helpful in almost anything you do in life. So why not for hiking the AT? I have always done aerobic, strength and flexibility training and it makes all areas of my life better. I am planning a thru-hike for my 50th in March of 2012 and am definitely adding more hiking and backpacking to my schedule including an uphill 1 1/2 mile hike in the woods every other day with a pack. I agree that feeling fit makes being out there much more enjoyable. I plan on doing some regular yoga on the trail as well.

  11. #31

    Default

    Preparing physically for long distance hiking, planning on being on trail for 3 wks or more, sometimes up to 7 months, taking the approach that I will not totally rely on hiking myself into shape, rather hitting the trail already in decent shape, I do a few things.

    Something, often overlooked by some long distance long duration hikers, is not having a general physical check-up including having completed a recent dental check-up and major dental work completed! I've made the mistake of not having done this before which cost me dearly both financially and in terms of off trail waiting around time. The trail is NOT the most ideal place to have to deal with deep cavities, loose braces, ill fitting dentures, faulty bridges, absesses, gum disease, extractions, etc!

    Also, I make note of little things and attempt to rectify them pre-hike. I particularly take note of the condition of my feet, nails, and skin. Blisters, pimples(acne), sore(hot) spots, calluses, healing cuts, scabs, ingrown hairs or nails, etc

    Physically, I start by doing more gentle stretching(focusing on limbering up all of my lower body, but also stretching neck, shoulders, waist, and back too), spending more time consistently hitting the elliptical stair master/bicycle which engages my upper body too(I really focus on strengthening my feet, ankles, calves, quads, glutes and upping my cardio fitness using a low impact routine), doing more outside walking(not with a backpack!) in rain, snow, hot sun(I find this not only helps physically but mentally going forward into a long hike!), core strengthening(crunches, push-ups, etc), and doing a light upper body free wt workout based on the goals of toning/conditioning, NOT BODYBUILDING.

    I tend to approach pre-hike conditioning like my hikes though. I build up starting moderately! I don't allow myself to get WAY out of shape when not hiking so, barring any major physical injury, I'm NEVER very far from reaching my hiking condition. I will not allow it! The LAST THING I want when physically preparing for a hike is to injure myself overdoing it! That would suck!

    All of this might just seem like more "stuff" piled on pre-hike, but if you adopt some of these habits in everyday life and just crank it up a notch pre-hike it doesn't seem overwhelming! It can be part of a healthier overall lifestyle, on and off trail!

  12. #32

    Default

    "the only way to prepare the body for the rigors of hauling a heavy pack up and down mountains is to haul a heavy pack up and down mountains"I love it!
    Pink Bandit.

  13. #33
    Registered User njordan2's Avatar
    Join Date
    02-26-2007
    Location
    attica, indiana
    Age
    50
    Posts
    149

    Default

    Training is always helpful.

  14. #34

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Leah Packard Grams View Post
    "the only way to prepare the body for the rigors of hauling a heavy pack up and down mountains is to haul a heavy pack up and down mountains"I love it!
    I'm not sure it's the ONLY way but I'm living proof that it works. I started back packing later in life and most of my hiking partners were/are half my age. I Initially was always lagging behind on the hills. I was in pretty good overall shape but apparently not in hiking shape. Frankly I was a little embarrassed, so I started getting a little more serious and formulated a plan. I began hiking every day a minimum of five miles and gradually working up to fifteen + within a couple of weeks. The most important thing I did was incorporate steep hills in almost all my climbs. Within three to four weeks I lead the next backbacking trip and my three partners had a difficult time keeping up with me. My cardio capabilities increased dramatically. I was amazed at how much I progressed overall in a relatively short period of time. I started viewing hills as a very rewarding challenge. So yeah....it's true....you want to get in good hiking shape....start hiking....especially hills. It really doesn't take too long.

  15. #35
    Registered User
    Join Date
    05-03-2005
    Location
    Rockingham VT and Boston, MA
    Age
    75
    Posts
    1,220
    Images
    1

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Alligator View Post
    Many folks do not regard it as a sport. I don't.
    How can it be a sport? There's no ball !

  16. #36
    Registered User
    Join Date
    05-03-2005
    Location
    Rockingham VT and Boston, MA
    Age
    75
    Posts
    1,220
    Images
    1

    Default

    I've done one or two thousand miles a year for most of twelve years. So, yeah I don't do any formal kind of training, sort of look and see if my gut got too big and my toes are healed from the last trip, then I know it's time to go hike. BUT, my first trip on the AT I was worn out for a month and did ok eventually. No big deal really, but being in a least decent health helps. Many people get up early, hike slow and for long hours and camp with the people who sleep until nine, hike fast, go swimming and what not. So who's winning this "sport?"

  17. #37

    Default

    I generally agree that the only way to prepare for a hike is to hike. But the problem this approach is two-fold. 1. Many don't have the conditions to hike at home; hiking at home (for many of us) is not the same as hiking, with weight, on the AT. 2. This mindset insinuates that all one must do to stay in shape is hike.

  18. #38
    Registered User
    Join Date
    04-28-2004
    Location
    New Brunswick
    Age
    61
    Posts
    11,116

    Default

    I can see it being alot tougher to prepare if you live in flat land. Adding weight is not the same as adding hills. If you are overweight I don't think you should carry any additional weight during training, as you are already carrying extra weight. If you have more than 20 pounds to lose, most of your performance and endurance gains will come simply from the weight lost, even without any gains in muscular strength and endurance, or cardiovascular fitness. Still, it is imperitive to exercise while losing weight, so you will at least maintain the same strength and endurance as you reduce your daily workload.

    In flat land I think it is very important to include strength training. If you have hills, and hike or run them regularly, then weight training of the lower body is less important. So I would suggest lots of walking, plus weights, if you live in flat land. Of course it is important to have alot of variety, so do whatever activities you enjoy, and train the upper body also, even though it is less important for hiking.

  19. #39

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by JAK View Post
    In flat land I think it is very important to include strength training. If you have hills, and hike or run them regularly, then weight training of the lower body is less important. So I would suggest lots of walking, plus weights, if you live in flat land. Of course it is important to have alot of variety, so do whatever activities you enjoy, and train the upper body also, even though it is less important for hiking.
    Yes, variety, including strength training is important; being "in-shape" is not just a matter of doing a cardio exercise and bam...you're fit -- you're not.

    If it were that easy I'd just pick one exercise, i.e. cycling, hiking, running, weightlifting... and stick to it, but it's simply not that simple. Actually, I believe, being truly fit requires less time simply doing cardio and more time working on the "frame". I'm always throwing in variety to focus on the weak parts of my frame, my latest is working with the Jacobs Ladder. On first glace you'd think since I do a lot of stairclimbing and extreme elevation (50% incline) walking/running that the Jacobs Ladder wouldn't really offer much to me and it doesn't with respect to my legs, but damn, it really kills my lower back.

  20. #40

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by john gault View Post
    Yes, variety, including strength training is important; being "in-shape" is not just a matter of doing a cardio exercise and bam...you're fit -- you're not.

    If it were that easy I'd just pick one exercise, i.e. cycling, hiking, running, weightlifting... and stick to it, but it's simply not that simple. Actually, I believe, being truly fit requires less time simply doing cardio and more time working on the "frame". I'm always throwing in variety to focus on the weak parts of my frame, my latest is working with the Jacobs Ladder. On first glace you'd think since I do a lot of stairclimbing and extreme elevation (50% incline) walking/running that the Jacobs Ladder wouldn't really offer much to me and it doesn't with respect to my legs, but damn, it really kills my lower back.
    Wow $3700.00 to purchase one, to rich for my blood. I'm sure though the gym's have those.
    Don't Die Before You've Had A Chance To Live!

Page 2 of 3 FirstFirst 1 2 3 LastLast
++ New Posts ++

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •