Thursday, July 18, 2013

The Journey: My Hiking Training Plan

As the handful of longtime readers may know, I started a "regular" feature called "The Journey". It was an attempt to share my triumphs and tribulations as I worked to lose weight and become a better hiker. Although I made several posts and lost some weight, I never kept up with it as regularly as I would have liked, particularly after I fell down walking in June of 2012.

After about a year of no real forward momentum in my efforts to lose weight and get in better shape, it was time for a change. Starting on June 17 of this year, I began a hiking training plan. The goal is within one year to be in good enough shape to tackle a multiday backpacking trip. In two years, the goal is to be good enough shape that I could hike a long-distance trail such as the Appalachian Trail.

There are two parts to my weekly plan, the weekday part and the weekend part. Because I have to work during the week, the weekday part is mainly built around hitting calorie goals and walking at least 60 minutes every day (sometimes fewer, if I'm taking a rest day after a weekend). I've been using to keep track of my calories and my exercise, and it has worked out pretty well. I have a clearer picture of the caloric cost of what I eat, and have made better decisions because of it. I don't always hit the goal, but I usually come pretty close, at least during the week.

On weekends, it becomes a different story, as I use most Saturdays and Sundays to get out on the trails. Starting with 10 miles in July, I am setting a mileage goal every month. Although that is a fairly low goal, it will accelerate sharply as I go through the next few months, until tailing back off during the winter.

In addition, I've also been camping to get used to sleeping in a tent. My goal for this is about one or two nights a month through October (maybe November if I find somewhere to the south a bit to camp). As of right now this is car camping, although I am hoping to spend at least one night this season on the trail. It hasn't gone that well so far, at least as far as getting myself to sleep. However, with enough time I am confident I'll get used to it.

Starting next week, I will make updates about my hiking training plan a regular weekly feature on here. So please come back every week, and feel free to leave comments.

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