Friday, July 25, 2014

How Does One Train for an Ultra Hike

This question - and many many variations of it - is one I've asked the Internet over the past few months. Compared to a search for "how to train for a marathon" - which produces more results than there are entrants in most major city marathons - the answers were few. Many searches brought up a lot of talk about training for thru-hikes on the Appalachian, Pacific Coast and Continental Divide trails and the best advice these gave was "go out and hike a lot" and "try to train on terrain similar to what you will find on the trail". While admittedly good advice, I did manage to figure this already.

I'm not sure what I'm looking for exactly. Vaguely I was hoping for some kind of "plan" to model my own plan after. My experience with marathon training taught me that there is no one size fits all plan. In fact there is a lot of contradicting advice even - and it can be overwhelming. So maybe it's a good thing that I have to make this up as I go along.

And then someone asked me, "How do you train for that?". I'm happy to share what I hope is going to work for me and let you know if it did.

Since May 24th, I've slowly but steadily (more or less) increased my time on my feet mostly on the trails.  My purpose is to build mental stamina as well as my legs' ability hold me up for the required time. So far so good and tomorrow I will go out for 5 hours. Halfway to my goal of ten hours by the end of October.

My ankle is almost all the way healed. There are only slight twinges at random movements. I'll be bringing along an ankle brace I have from a sprain a couple of years ago just in case. I'm hoping I won't need it but if I do it should provide the support I'll need.

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