The Final Countdown: Training for a Challenging Hike
You can almost hear The Final Countdown playing in your mind, can't you? The adrenaline is pumping, your heart's racing and you're ready to take the world by storm. The thrill of conquering a challenging trail is unlike any other feeling in the world and any seasoned hiker will be able to tell you that.
But sometimes, even the most regular hikers, with superhuman fitness levels will tell you that you can’t take on difficult hikes without sufficient training. It’s dangerous and risky to venture out on a challenging terrain without preparation.
If you’ve planned your hike and have a few weeks before it, make use of that time to do the following:
Go for runs—outdoor and indoor
Running is an incredibly basic sport. It's primal and something that comes naturally to a lot of us. It's one of the simplest, most effective forms of cardio you can do. Prepare for a difficult hike by working on your cardiovascular strength; go running and jogging, and not just in the gym. If you have access to parks or trails, head out for a run that’ll get your blood pumping and your legs working.
Hop on the treadmill and work your speed up too. Monitor your heart rate and strength levels through this too!
Train with a maximum incline
When you’re working it out at the gym, push yourself to do more and add in a new challenge. Whether it’s the treadmill, the Stairmaster or the elliptical, work at a maximum incline to really challenge your body and adapt to a steeper surface. It’s going to prove useful when you’re trekking up steeper, more rugged surfaces.
Build endurance, build muscle
Hiking is a form of LISS, which requires prolonged periods of activity. Work on endurance through LISS training and build-up to this through longer cardio sessions, strength training and adding weights to your routine. Stronger muscles make for a healthier you, which means you can push yourself harder and take on the challenges coming your way.
Up your nutrition
Of course, no amount of training in the world can compensate for poor dietary habits. You need adequate nutrition and a balance of all your food groups. From carbs to fats, you need to have a diet that's inclusive of all these foods to fuel your body, build muscle and encourage cell repair. Even for the duration of your hike, you're going to need foods that will fuel your body.
Focus on training your mind too, not just your body, since hiking is a mental endeavor too. Prepare your mind and your body and get your hands on one of the best hiking daypacks and ultralight hiking gear at our store!