Author Topic: Fitness training  (Read 463 times)

PatrickJ

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 28
Fitness training
« on: 11:28:58, 14/09/20 »
Do any of you do any specific fitness training for hiking, other than just doing lots of walks?

I picked up walking / hiking a few months ago to get fitter and address some health concerns I have with myself.   I completed a 13 mile walk yesterday but it was really tough for me.   It really shined a light on my lack of fitness and ability to get up hills; I mean a couple of ladies in there 70's left me for dust on the first climb.


I'd like to get more into hill walking and have found a couple of mini 3 peak walks in the south east I'd like to do.  These are both around 20 miles each and with a lot more climbing that I'm used too so I'm looking at ideas to improve my overall fitness, especially with limited time from Job and Family commitments.

ninthace

  • Veteran Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 7238
Re: Fitness training
« Reply #1 on: 12:06:34, 14/09/20 »
I find 5 hikes a week works for me  :)
Solvitur Ambulando

WhitstableDave

  • Veteran Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1051
Re: Fitness training
« Reply #2 on: 12:17:24, 14/09/20 »
Do any of you do any specific fitness training for hiking, other than just doing lots of walks?
...

I do.  :)

I took up walking as my main leisure activity 4 years ago, although I'd long been a keen cyclist and occasional walker prior to that.

At first, my main motivation came from a GPS watch. It got me walking further and further because I could see exactly how far I'd gone. Later, I became interested in beating my best times over certain distances (something I still enjoy doing!).

However, probably the biggest jump in my fitness came this year during lockdown. We bought a treadmill (NordicTrack T8.5S) at the beginning of April.

At first, I simply replaced my outdoor walks with indoor simulated ones - I completed several national trails, walked the length of the Outer Hebrides, and so on. I also did virtual hikes up a few mountains.

I still do lots of virtual hikes, but the big difference for me was getting into running. I was on the treadmill hiking up Mount Baldy with the ultrarunner Sally McRae leading the way and giving me her expert advice. I was happy with the slog up the mountain, but nearing the summit there was a decline and she began to jog. Because the treadmill sped up, I tried jogging too and although it only lasted about a minute, I was very relieved to stop! It got me thinking about trying to get into trail-running though...

I've always disliked running and I was convinced I wasn't made for it. However, the treadmill uses a fitness system called iFit and there are dozens of running programmes with professional trainers. I began at the beginning with easy intervals (short periods of running between long periods of walking) and progressed to endurance, tempo, VO2 and hilly runs. I also started going out on 10k trail runs with my wife at weekends (she's a runner!) and have been steadily increasing the proportion of time spent running.

My point is this... I believe that being coached by iFit trainers about technique, breathing, posture, etc., as well as training to become a runner, has made a big difference to my fitness and strength. For example, yesterday I walked a half-marathon faster than I'd done the distance before (2hr 52m) and I was definitely conscious of 'doing it right'.
« Last Edit: 12:22:46, 14/09/20 by WhitstableDave »

BrionyB

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 33
Re: Fitness training
« Reply #3 on: 12:38:43, 14/09/20 »
Those "stair machines" in gyms are very good for simulating walking up a steep hill (or treadmill on an incline, or elliptical trainer with the resistance turned up; basically anything that gets you out of breath and works your leg muscles is going to help). It is boring, but music or podcasts can help, as can imagining the 'real' walks you're going to do and how good it's going to feel to stride up the hills without being held back by lack of fitness.  :) 



Failing access to any such machines, when I had no gym membership or time to use one, but was working in an eighth-floor office, I got surprisingly "hill fit" by banning myself from using the lift and trotting up and down the stairs several times a day; also jogged up the escalators or stairs at the deep Tube stations and walked as much as I could as part of my commute.


BrionyB

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 33
Re: Fitness training
« Reply #4 on: 12:39:03, 14/09/20 »
.

gunwharfman

  • Veteran Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 5199
Re: Fitness training
« Reply #5 on: 12:56:06, 14/09/20 »
I think that when I started to hike the idea of training for it wasn't something that I read or heard about, so I never did. As to whether I would do this if I was starting afresh I think my answer would be no. I'm just too mean to ever consider 'buying' a gym membership. I'm not against the idea of training though, I would certainly do it was good for me, but only if it was free!

Mel

  • Veteran Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 9829
Re: Fitness training
« Reply #6 on: 13:05:57, 14/09/20 »
I also use stairs in preference to lifts.
 
Do wall squats – put your back against a wall and lower yourself down until you’re in a chair-shaped seated position – still with your back against the wall.  See how long you can stay like that and try to increase the time a second or two at a time – oh, and breath, as that helps increase your core strength (six pack)!
 
Stand on tiptoes then lower your heels ALMOST down to the floor, and back up onto tiptoes (feel those calf muscles!).  Do it slowly and deliberately, not up and down like a fiddler’s elbow!  And breathe.
 
Do your dog walks with a fully loaded rucksack – even if its just bottles of water.  It’s one thing doing short regular walks with nowt on your back and a whole other ball game donning a rucksack and heading up a hill – give your legs a head start.
 
If you have a hill reasonably local to you, try to get up it at least once a week.  All the better if you can squeeze it into a couple of hours short walk.  Be aware of how you feel, how often you needed to stop, how out of breath you are at the top, how jelly like your legs feel, did your muscles cramp.  Don’t try to improve on it.  Just be aware of it then one day you’ll realise that somebody flattened that hill as you strolled up it without any effort whereas once you was blowing out of your [censored] halfway.  I have a few hills within a half hour drive that I now look back down from the top of and think “well I wouldn’t have done that in one go a year ago”.


Embrace climbing over stiles!
 
If you have a bike, ride it – even if it’s 10 minutes at full pelt round the block.
 
It’s true though, there’s nothing better to improve hill fitness than getting out in the hills.  And little and often is probably better in the long term. 
 
I know what you mean though about jobs and families thwarting your plans for achieving and maintaining a god-like supreme hill fitness.  Bluddi inconsiderate, but I suspect it’s the bane of the majority of walkers’ lives.
 
As an aside, I'm on leave all week and I’m off out to do a 5 mile very uppy-downy walk that I’ve not done for over a year (when I was 3 stone heavier).  I’m just going for a walk, in the sunshine.  The comparison from then to now will be interesting, I think.  More of the same tomorrow, and the day after - because I've got the time to do it you see.  I bet, even in that short space of time I'll notice an improvement. 

Is the search over if you find nothing?
https://snailspacewalks.blogspot.com/

gunwharfman

  • Veteran Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 5199
Re: Fitness training
« Reply #7 on: 13:11:22, 14/09/20 »
Does a subject like this offer us the chance to ask ourselves have we lost the art of doing things for ourself? Is it inevitable that capitalism (everything that we do, or want to do, will have to be paid for?) will encroach into every aspect of our day to day lives? Are we losing that 'do it yourself' part of ourselves?

I have a friend who used to work for a big company and they were always thinking of what can we do next to encouge people to pay rather than learning for themselves. They were even thinking of coming out with a course to 'train' Mum in how to use a pushchair properly, and a Cerificate would have been offered. OK, they never got beyond the thinking stage but one day soon!!!!!

Perhaps one day we will have to 'train' to know how to walk down a pavement properly? Capitalism is very creative, so why not?

Islandplodder

  • Veteran Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 901
Re: Fitness training
« Reply #8 on: 13:11:56, 14/09/20 »
I don't do any fitness training either, I just go for walks and do a bit of leisurely cycling as a way of keeping reasonably fit. It does help to have a bit of uphill incorporated into walks, but going up and down stairs a lot helps if you live somewhere particularly flat. As Mel says, if you can get out regularly, even for short distances, you will soon find longer walks get easier.

BuzyG

  • Veteran Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1940
Re: Fitness training
« Reply #9 on: 13:33:47, 14/09/20 »
I most certainly do. O0  Though it mostly involves walking.  Another who has come back to walking having done other activities for years.  I thought I was in shape when i turned up for my first Ramblers meet and to be fair on myself, I was.  Just not the right in shape for walking.  Like you say on those first few meets the 70 and one 80+ year old folk simply walked away from me every time the ground went up hill. Lucky for me I have long legs, so quickly learned to be at the front when the hill started and drop back, then work my way to the front again ready for the next one.  All whilst enjoying the view and a chat. 


That was never going to be enough for me, so I started heading out lunch time at work and walking flat out for 30 mins most days. that helped with me catching up on the flat bits, but still the hills were hard.  So I eased off on the lunch time walks and made a point of completing two shorter evening walks each week. One around 2.5 miles with 450ft of climb and another of 4 miles with 800ft of climbing, both on rough tracks. Using these two known training routes as benchmarks, I was able to steadily improve my fitness with the instant gratification of being 5 seconds faster than last week working as a carrot to keep me motivated. Probably took around 3-4 months of that and I was keeping up with those pesky 70 year old ladies you mentioned.


There have been set backs. One injury in particular took almost 18 months to clear up properly. But 5 years on from the start, I now jog the very same routes, once or twice most weeks I am still improving. I also lost 2.5 stone quite early on without even trying too, that has stayed off.


The good news. Yesterday was our first group meeting since Covid hit and as well as enjoying the view and the chat, I am these days considerably more than able to keep up on the up hills.


If you enjoy it, you will get there. So be sure to keep smiling, even when it hurts a little :)
 


WhitstableDave

  • Veteran Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1051
Re: Fitness training
« Reply #10 on: 15:00:24, 14/09/20 »
Do any of you do any specific fitness training for hiking, other than just doing lots of walks?
...

A few more thoughts on the subject...

Not so much fitness training as preparation: Find out about the most important muscles used for walking (calves, quads, glutes, etc.) and come up with a routine for stretching them before and after a walk. Don't set off on a walk at your briskest pace - warm up at a more gentle pace before you get up to normal speed.

I can't be certain about this, but I think there's a benefit to using 'sweat replacer' drinks (I like SiS cola best!). It's claimed that these can help you avoid cramp and I always carry one bottle of the stuff on longer walks. I also find they're more refreshing than other drinks. Take snacks for energy - I usually have flapjacks.

Most hills aren't necessarily hard! (I'm not talking about very steep slopes here!) Going up hills can be made easier by taking shorter, but slightly quicker, steps. And if that becomes too tiring, then slow down! I find that breathing in time to my steps helps, as do occasional deep breaths and exhales. Also, it helps to remain upright with just a slight lean forwards. In other words... don't slouch, don't pant, don't over-stride - and all that fails, don't be afraid to stop and admire the view!

PatrickJ

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 28
Re: Fitness training
« Reply #11 on: 16:11:43, 14/09/20 »
Thanks for the ideas everyone!  I'm definitely more inclined to look at how to incorporate training into my walking rather than purchase treadmills or take up running (I've tried the latter multiple times before and never stuck with it, my body just doesn't seem to cope with running). 


I have a smallish woods very near to where I live.  It's not flat but the hills aren't steep or long, though there is an opportunity to do quite a lot of up and down.  I reckon I could come up with a few circular and figure of 8 walks that would work quite nicely.   As @mel and @buzyg suggest getting out there a few times a week is probably a good cadence, and the dogs will love it I'm sure.  The idea of a loaded back pack is a good one too - I definitely felt it yesterday with having a heavy pack due to the extra water and food than I would normally carry so adding some of that into training seems valuable.




tonyk

  • Veteran Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2434
Re: Fitness training
« Reply #12 on: 16:47:20, 14/09/20 »
 Hindu and squats and push ups.Build up to around 500  squats and 200 push ups a day.
 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tdraWNVARp8
 

ninthace

  • Veteran Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 7238
Re: Fitness training
« Reply #13 on: 16:49:52, 14/09/20 »

Thanks for the ideas everyone!  I'm definitely more inclined to look at how to incorporate training into my walking rather than purchase treadmills or take up running (I've tried the latter multiple times before and never stuck with it, my body just doesn't seem to cope with running). 


I have a smallish woods very near to where I live.  It's not flat but the hills aren't steep or long, though there is an opportunity to do quite a lot of up and down.  I reckon I could come up with a few circular and figure of 8 walks that would work quite nicely.   As @mel and @buzyg suggest getting out there a few times a week is probably a good cadence, and the dogs will love it I'm sure.  The idea of a loaded back pack is a good one too - I definitely felt it yesterday with having a heavy pack due to the extra water and food than I would normally carry so adding some of that into training seems valuable.




Sounds like a sensible approach.  Walking is supposed to be fun, not a chore.  I just walk.  If I have in mind a particularly challenging walk, I will work up to it progressively, walking more frequently, trying to work up to the distance and height gain I am expecting.  Basically, the more you walk, the fitter you will get but for most of us, it is not a competition.  We go as far as we want at the speed that suits us.


I would be wary of carrying heavy packs as part of your training regime.  A day walk, especially in the south of England requires very little specialist equipment, just something to protect you from the weather, a small first aid kit and your chosen means of navigation are about all you will need.  Snacks if it is going to be a long day and a something to drink are useful but don't over do it.  If I am doing a walk of up to 3 hours, I will only carry water if it going to be really hot and I would not bother with any food.  Indeed, if it is a walk through easy country and the weather forecast is set fair - I do not use a pack at all as I can fit everything I need in my pockets.  If I think I need a jacket, I either wear it or tie it round my middle.
Solvitur Ambulando

cornwallcoastpathdweller

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 91
Re: Fitness training
« Reply #14 on: 20:23:24, 14/09/20 »
Can confirm BuzyG's methods clearly work - he's like a supercharged gazzel, and i walk pretty quick.


Havent forgotton BG, still got to sort a coast path trip but been horrendously busy of late
one step then another then another then a bench - please?