January Theme: Hiking Fitness
Our monthly theme for January is Hiking Fitness. How do you train for bigger hikes? Here’s my story.
When my girlfriend and I were training for a 3-week thru-hike of the 211-mile John Muir Trail, I knew that we needed a structured training plan. We had been hiking every Wednesday night after work on the ‘Roller Coaster Ridge’ near San Clemente, but 4.6 mile loop wouldn’t cut it alone.
We added a 6-mile hike every Monday after work, and then longer hikes on the weekends. On the JMT we would be averaging 12 miles/day and over 2k vertical feet. So we started increasing the distance and total vertical gain on our hikes, staying local. We loaded gallon jugs of water into the backpacks we would use and carried those on our day hikes. And when we had the the mileage and the vertical gain, we started hiking what would become the first-ever Six-Pack of Peaks Challenge.
Today, I continue to use the Six-Pack of Peaks Challenge as part of my training for other adventures, but also use other tools to help me keep on track between hikes. I’m using the activity rings on my Apple Watch (aiming for a perfect January). I use the Peloton Bike and the app for cardio, strength and flexibility training. And I use Strava for tracking activities across sports (biking, hiking, and soon… skiing).