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Thread: Trail fitness

  1. #11
    Dos's Avatar
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    wow! what great responses!

    I read the trail journal of Sunshine and Balls on the PCT this year.
    So I am implementing one of his simple techniques:

    Not tying my shoes so tight and walking with a bag of tools (or in his recommendation tire chains) at the local dog park.
    The park has a trail with the borders in varying rocks sizes.
    So I trail walk some, then walk over the rocks whenever possible.
    There are some small hills as well on the perimeter, so I make those a game
    whenever possible.

  2. #12
    Senior Member Triggerhpy's Avatar
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    This kinda sums it up for me:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eahmcBn0QLY
    Tortoise never for a moment stopped, but went on with a slow but steady pace straight to the end of the course.
    Translated by George Fyler Townsend. Aesop's Fables (p. 18). Amazon Digital Services, Inc..

  3. #13
    Member pdizzle's Avatar
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    there's a principle in exercise training that states "a specific exercise in a specific individual elicits a specific response," meaning, if you want to get stronger at hiking, go hiking. Other exercises may help, but general consensus is what will help the most is trail time.

    I think its a good idea to start slowly, and don't increase too much at any one time. If injuries arise give them time to heal. Listen to your body and do what you feel.

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    Regular intense cardio work at least 3 times a week, stretching/yoga to build core strength, a consistent diet with a healthy breakfast and get out for hikes as often as possible. I'd go backpacking weekends a couple times every month if it wasn't for that cold white stuff that blesses the Great White North for a good chunk of the year (yes, I'm a Canadian who doesn't like the cold).

    I'm still under 40 but got into one of those ruts that took some serious effort to get out of and it was wanting to go on a serious solo trip that helped convince me to get my butt into shape.

  5. #15
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    I must be the only one that eats powdered donuts. I sit on my butt all day 5 days a week in a 5x5 cubicle. I've tried "gearing up" for hikes but I never really do. I just curse a lot when I start the hike and by the time I'm done I'm ok.
    JaxHiker aka Kudzu - WFA
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    Trail Issues? Please let me know.
    Blazing Trails with Kudzu @ www.idratherbehiking.com
    Follow me @idratherbhiking

  6. #16
    Needs more Hang time Catavarie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pdizzle View Post
    there's a principle in exercise training that states "a specific exercise in a specific individual elicits a specific response," meaning, if you want to get stronger at hiking, go hiking. Other exercises may help, but general consensus is what will help the most is trail time.

    I think its a good idea to start slowly, and don't increase too much at any one time. If injuries arise give them time to heal. Listen to your body and do what you feel.
    +1 If you want to improve your performance in a physical activity, more time spent performing that activity will be the most beneficial.

    For me I try to get in at least 15-20 miles a week of hiking at my local parks and forestry lands. Beyond that Interval training is my prefered method as it gives me the best results for minimum time. YMMV

    Push Ups are one of the best overall exercise that I have found for me. Properly done they work my arms, chest, abs, back, glutes, and even legs. Work out with my DIY Medicine Ball and dumb bells for strength training, Tai Chi for strength and flexability. Have an elipitical machine in the home for cardio and endurance training. And if I don't have time for a proper hike I will go for a 3 mile interval run (1 to 2 minute sprints followed by equal amount of time jogging) around my neighborhood.
    *Heaven best have trees, because I plan to lounge for eternity.

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  7. #17
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    I'm in the 50+ club too. Some of these responses are pretty hard core, but I like the simpler ones.

    After 50, weight training becomes important 'cause us old folks need to maintain our muscle mass. A couple of years ago, I was in such pain that I was considering surgery on both shoulders, my elbow and my knee, all in one shot. I joined the YMCA and started lifting weights to get ready (surgeons always tell you to rehab BEFORE surgery so you are as strong as possible and minimize atrophy). Well, all my joint pain went away after a few months of weight lifting. Screw the surgeons.

    After years of downhill skiing out of shape, I could not believe how weightlifting increased my endurance and stamina. Even with a rebuilt knee I found myself going down double black diamond slopes and leaving younger folks behind. Amazing what a little weight lifting can do for your quality of life.

    Yoga is a god-send, and I agree with all who said that the best way to get in trail shape is to hit the trails. I've been chucking two or three gallons of water in a backpack and hitting the trails lately. Personally, I find treadmills, stairmasters, and stationary bikes just too boring (though I have tried one of these new-fangled IPods, and they seem to reduce boredom so that I can last a little longer).

    I try to avoid running on asphalt or concrete because it irritates my knee, but I started slowly on the treadmill and can now pound out about three miles once or twice a week. I've even started doing 5 and 10K runs for charity, but running bores me to tears.

    I also try to do a lot of cross-training, to maintain some variety. I play pickup basketball at the Y, jump in the canoe and paddle for a few miles, or just play frisbee with the son.

    I'm seriously considering buying a trampoline, even if it's a mini, because they are incredible fitness tools. They take the "old" out of old man. I am jealous because you have a SkyZone opening near you in Torrance (http://skyzonesports.com). You will be hard pressed to find a workout better than a couple of hours at a SkyZone. It works your calves, glutes, hammies, quads and core like nothing else. And you'll discover agility you lost years ago. Don't forget to try the trampoline dodgeball so you can pop a couple of pimply kids in the head!

  8. #18
    ^shane^'s Avatar
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    I guess I got scared and started early... I'm only 44. I made three resolutions on Jan 1, 2011 - get down to 195#, no alcohol in 2011, and no ice cream in 2011.

    On Jan 1, 2011, I weighed in at 251#. Nice and plump. Today I weigh in at 201#. I'm not at my goal yet, but a 50# drop is nice. I can backpack all day without tiring, and my wife thinks I'm cute.

    Back in July someone asked me how I did it. I answered "I've taken more showers at the gym than at home this year." Until last month, that statement was probably still true (business travel this fall has kept me from my daily gym visits - now down to ~4 times per week when not in town).

    I just started hitting the gym DAILY in January - 30 minutes of cardio daily (rotating between cycling, eliptical, and a real stair machine) plus 45 minutes to an hour of weights - upping the intensity as I got in better shape. I don't run. It just hurts my knees too much, and I'd rather be able to hike whenever I want than whenever my knees feel good enough for it.

    I also started the year on a strict diet, somewhere between Atkins and the Southbeach Diet - LOTS of protien, NO carbs, as low in fats as I could get, lots of veggies. I never ate fish before. I LOVE fish now. I cheat more often than I should now (too many carbs), but I don't miss the sweets.

    Sometimes I think this is the most selfish thing I've ever done. I've put off other things in order to get to the gym. I've missed lots of pleasent evenings on the patio having a drink with my wife. But... This is the best I've ever felt. I'd encourage everyone reading this to be a little selfish. Spend some time on yourself. It doesn't happen fast, it doesn't even happen slowly. It happens at a glacial pace, but it does happen. Be patient and put in the hard work. Enjoy the sweat and the soreness and the clothes that are too big and the looks others give you when they see the difference. It's all worth it.
    "One of the best things you can do in this world is take a nap in the woods." ~ Jayber Crow by Wendell Berry

    "While it may be a lot of work, the view is best from the summit." ~ an anonymous staff member of Philmont Scout Ranch

    Enjoy the day
    Shane

  9. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by ^shane^ View Post
    I also started the year on a strict diet, somewhere between Atkins and the Southbeach Diet - LOTS of protien, NO carbs, as low in fats as I could get, lots of veggies. I never ate fish before. I LOVE fish now.
    +1 on the diet thing. I've adapted a diet very similar to yours, Shane. My Italian wife LOVES carbs and can't understand why I no longer eat a 1/4 lb. of pasta for dinner. I also lost 50 lbs., but not in such a short time limit.

    However, since I don't eat desserts or sugar (just don't enjoy them), I pretty much allow myself unlimited fats as long as they're of the monounsaturated variety (olive or peanut oil). If I don't get enough monounsaturated fat in a day, I'll just drink a tablespoon of olive oil.

    An extra twenty or 50 lbs. can really slow you down on the trail. If you lose that weight, you can also reduce your pack weight: you no longer have to carry a jar of Vaseline to keep your thighs from chafing!

  10. #20
    Senior Member Triggerhpy's Avatar
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    I stay off the treed mills. And I don't run. Running is very bad for me(knees). Walking (street, bike path) hiking on the trail is much better.
    I'm trying to get through the mental stuff just to get out there again.
    Went trough the gear closet yesterday and reorganized it. Found some 10# weights and a few other bits.
    Tortoise never for a moment stopped, but went on with a slow but steady pace straight to the end of the course.
    Translated by George Fyler Townsend. Aesop's Fables (p. 18). Amazon Digital Services, Inc..

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