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  1. #1

    Default Physically Preparing For a Thru Hike

    i am Through Hiking 2013. and i was wondering how yall physically prepare. i go to the gym this and that. but nothing is like having a 30lb back pack on your back. the closest mtn to me is about 1 hr away and cost for gas everyday just isnt possible. any suggestions that might have worked for you?

    also the gym will not allow me to treadmill or step maching with my pack on.

  2. #2

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    Walk in morning and/or after supper with your pack as close to "trail weight" as possible.

    Find a stadium or tall office building and walk the stairs. May want to start without pack and slowly add weight.

    Deep squats and walking lunges with DBs

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    I work out at the YMCA, they dont like my pack on either.....A friend purchased a 15 lb lead vest at Golds Gym (i think). It's not quite 30 but it's helping.

    ive also started taking yoga and swimming laps...im not much of a swimmer but i can tell its helped on my hikes.

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    http://www.weightvest.com/

    this might be an idea too.....hell look at the guy on the ad...he's a thru hiker for sure!

  5. #5

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    I walk my dog around the neighborhood each morning with a hydration pack on. I removed the water bottle and tossed in a couple of weights, 15 pounds total. It's small enough that I can still wear a reflective vest overtop (we walk in the early morning). A daypack can also be used. On the weekends we go to one of many local parks with trails and I wear an alice pack (old style army pack) loaded down with bricks and dayhiking stuff, about 30 pounds total.

    I also enjoy weighlifting and am partial to a 20 rep squat routine. Google '20 rep squat' to find a similar program.

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by ATMountainTime View Post
    http://www.weightvest.com/

    this might be an idea too.....hell look at the guy on the ad...he's a thru hiker for sure!
    This guy looks like he's on a suicide mission for the Al-Qaeda. Wear this in a crowded area and I can assure you that you will soon have the place all to yourself!

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    lemon b's Avatar
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    My experience is only way to be in shape for hiking up and down everyday is to do so. What I'd do is hike local as much as is reasonable. Getting out to those Mountain whenever time and money allows. Nothing wrong with low miles at first either, hiking isn't a contest.

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    Go for a daily 3 mile jogs and do some pushups and sit ups. Getting in decent shape should be a life goal, not just something to be done before a thru hike.

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    Getting out as much as I can..which is never enough. :) Mags's Avatar
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    Some days, it's not worth chewing through the restraints.
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    Sure, hiking is great exercise to prepare for hiking, but if we had time to hike that much it wouldn't be an issue.

    Get out as much as you can, but throw in a hardcore exercise program like Body for Life, P90X, or Insanity. You'll get in great shape, especially your cardiovascular system, and you'll likely lose a few pounds.

    On the other hand, you're 24 - it's not going to take you very long to get in shape (unless you're in real crappy shape, in which case, see above).

  11. #11

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    If possible, park your car and walk or bike everywhere. It gets built into your routine, is fun, and saves money.
    "It's fun to have fun, but you have to know how." ---Dr. Seuss

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    Run. That'll do it.
    Lemni Skate away

    The trail will save my life

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    Default Physically Preparing For a Thru Hike

    I have a 60 lb vest I bought on eBay. No problems at any gym...I just told them the first couple of days then they just got use to it! Also the weights are removable at 4lbs a piece. No need to pay the big money on weightvest.com.

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    In the truck or in the saddle
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    I wore 5lb ankle weights to help build up the legs.
    If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. Romans 12:18

    Come to me, all you who are tired and burdened, and I will give you rest. Matthew 11:28

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    I spend a lot of time outside of walking & hiking to strengthen my ankles. Those are my weak spot.

    Compound leg exercises help give the strength for accents.

    Doing a lot of fast walking, even on flat pavement, gets my feet tough so I don't get blisters when I hit the trail. This also helps me adjust my biomechanics to walk quickly.

    I still do some hiking on a nearby mountain. It helps, but I think squats and the walks on flat land does more. Mostly because that mountain is steeper than climbs on the PCT, so it slows me down enough to alter my biomechanics. I notice that if I switch to doing a lot of time on that mountain, my first time will be the fastest and will progressively slow.

    I don't train with much weight. Mostly the weight I'd need for food and water for the day hike. My pace on flat land is roughly 3.3 mph with breaks. On the trail it's 2.7 mph with breaks. It's only a slight drop, and I think it's because my pack is fairly light.

    I haven't thru hiked though. My longest hikes in the past half year have ranged around 75 miles. I road walked a couple hundred miles earlier this year though. On those trips my body felt great.

    I'm still preparing my body. Making it more bulletproof. I'm also quite overweight. I'll lose most of the weight before I try to thru hike again, which should make it easier to keep my pace close to my training pace and reduce my risk of injury.

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    Registered User q-tip's Avatar
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    I have used the program in the book: Climbing, training for peak performance. Clyde Stoles I have been training for a colorado trail thru hike for four months. It is definitely worth it for me, not suffering to the max makes the trips much more enjoyable.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Josh Calhoun View Post
    i am Through Hiking 2013. and i was wondering how yall physically prepare. i go to the gym this and that. but nothing is like having a 30lb back pack on your back. the closest mtn to me is about 1 hr away and cost for gas everyday just isnt possible. any suggestions that might have worked for you?

    also the gym will not allow me to treadmill or step maching with my pack on.
    I'm preparing for a 500 mile hike this summer, I hike a pretty rough 8 mile trail 2-3 times per week with my pack fully loaded, about 20-22 lbs. In addition to this I do some interval run/walk routines on a treadmill, usually for about 3 miles or so...sprint for 2 minutes, walk for 4, jog for 10 minutes, walk for 5, etc....

    The best 'substitue' for actual hiking in my experience are stairs, NOT stair machines...but actual stairs. 20 minutes each morning of walking stairs with a full pack does wonders, especially if you can throw in some hiking and running. Also with stairs, I like to alternate, so walk every stair, then double step, etc...breaks it up a little, becomes more realistic.

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    Bad spelling...should read 'the best substitute'

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    Default Physically Preparing For a Thru Hike

    I was actually wondering the same thing...I've been doing crossfit for going on a year now and am in great shape, i know nothing compares to having a backpack for a best friend for 6 months but I'm sure regular gym time is crucial

  20. #20

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    Consider the first 150 to 250 miles of the trail your 'training' or 'getting in shape.' You don't have to bust out 20 miles a day from the beginning. Very few do. Its not unusual for people to do 5 to 10 mile days for the first couple hundred miles until they get into shape. It took me a month to get to Hot Springs and when I got there many of the hikers in town were people that I met within the first few days of my hike.

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