Two months out from the hike we decided we had better implement some sort of a exercise routine. Attempts to exercise seem to go two different ways. Way one involves a plan to exercise after Kyle gets off work, but then, when he gets home he’s pretty tired so instead we lounge in bed and work on this damn blog. Way two involves a surge of guilt about not exercising, leading to a huge over the top running-squatting-crunch-gut-busting-fest, resulting in extreme soreness and inability to move the next day. Despite these hurdles we found a great article in Backpackers Magazine that we have tried to adhere to. The article is by John Colver and he has some strategies for staying in great hiking shape at backpacker.com/motivate. Below is his basic training plan.
|Cardio Endurance: 30 mins of fast walking or running (at 50% of max HR)||Body-weight strength training: 30 mins||Cross-train: 30 mins of cardio (at 65% of max HR); stretch for 10 mins||Rest Day: Stay active (go on a leisurely walk), but don’t stress joints/muscles||Cardio endurance: 30 mins of fast walking or running (at 50% of max HR)||Overall endurance: One day, do a long hike; rest on the other day.|
Since we are busy, working people we can’t always keep to this schedule, so I walk with my mom and her walking women at least twice a week and Kyle often rides his bike to work or into town. Our favorite part of the week is the mandatory weekend hike. Since we are in the Northwest and its winter we have supplemented hiking with snowshoeing and these are some of our favorite day trips so far:
*Disclaimer: We are pretty sure that no matter how in shape we try to be by the start of the AT the first month or so is going to kick our asses.