Thursday, June 7, 2012

Time for Training

Sometimes I can tend to be a very unmotivated person.  Therefore it usually takes a goal to start getting around to doing something.  In my last post, I revealed that my buddy Brandon and myself will be setting off into the Mt. Sneffels Wilderness of south western Colorado.  That means I have to get back into hiking shape.  

How do I do this?

Training.  I don't have the knees or the motivation to ever become a long distance runner, but there are other ways to get into good hiking shape.  Honestly, the only reason i've ever found myself running on a hike is because I came across something I wanted to get far far away from.  Before a big backpacking trip you really have to get comfortable with weight and uneven ground.  One of my favorite ways to train for this is what I call heavy hiking.  I got out to my local National Seashore Park and start turning laps on their "nature" trail while i'm wearing my weight vest.  

Small section of trail

I started doing this a few days ago and I typically always start out the same way using just the weight vest.  The vest is 25lbs and it's a good weight to get comfortable with.  As I start making easier work of the miles I will start adding weight in various ways.  The weight goes a long way for conditioning along with improving your footing.  Footing is one of my big problems.  I take tumbles just walking on normal ground, so the woods can be quite the challenge for me on occasion.  

Loaded down working up a good sweat.

I do have one HUGE problem though.  I am training at nearly sea level.  We will see altitudes of 12k+ when we are out west.  I could tell a huge difference at the 7k Grand Canyon.  My legs were with me, but my lungs weren't so much.  If you know anything I can do to prepare for the altitude please let me know!  

Until Next Time,

All tips are welcome!  


mcarver said...

Hey Kyle,
Wiki "Altitude Training," it seems there are specific tents and rooms that are available to create the barometric pressure change, and the oxygen changes. You can also train with less oxygen, through a mask. Otherwise, staying at an altitude for multiple days or weeks could increase a long needed vacay to acclimate to the necessary pressure and lack of oxygen. On the other hand, there are multiple drugs that are available that can alleviate or prepare a human coming from sea level for higher altitude elevations. There are even special teas available in some countries, although, not in the United States... like tea from the coca plant. It's a stimulant containing a quarter line of cocaine...naturally. It may be good to check out the "altitude sickness" thread. Yes, it's a wikipedia thread, but death above 10k feet for a sea level dweller is a little disconcerting. The acclimation time they describe, sheesh, do they work or do anything other than acclimate to the elevation? MC

mcarver said...

PS, if your coming over to Harrison County, or Hancock even... ill hit the trail with you for a ride or hike.