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Re: Fitness!

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Fitness!
January 15, 2011 05:49PM
One more from our blog:

This time of year, we spend a lot of time thinking about summer, and the trips we'll take. But we also try to stay in shape, despite the obvious temptations of holiday food and drink. Those temptations are even stronger in our house, since M is a chef and P works in the wine business. You can imagine how that works. Well, maybe you can't.

But we do spend some time getting fit, or trying to maintain our conditioning. M goes to the gym three or four times a week, for a variety of workout classes. That seems to work pretty well for her, especially when she adds an evening walk to the mix.

P is a litte more hard-core. He loves to ride his road bike--and will do that over 5,000 miles every year. This year he did over 6500. That means lots of rides longer than two hours--and quite a few over 50 miles. His cardio seems pretty darn good these days.

We seems to notice a difference once we hit the trail. M starts out strong, but seems to lose steam after an hour. P, maybe because of his longer workouts, seems to be able to keep up the pace much longer...maybe because he's used to those long bike rides?

But we're curious. Do you do any endurance training or similar sports? How much, and how long? Jogging or swimming fit the bill...are we missing some others? And how do you think that affects your backpacking?



Balzaccom

follow our adventures, read our blog, or just to come hang out at our website: http://www.backpackthesierra.com/
avatar Re: Fitness!
January 15, 2011 08:30PM
I think there's a whole lot more than simply being in shape. The two killers when it comes to hiking are altitude and joint pain. Sometimes I'm hurting at the knees, other times it's mostly the hips, and on rare occasions its both hurting equally.

I live in a place where it's not all that cold and if I'm thinking of getting in shape I'll actually just go out hiking. I just kept on hiking on a 3+ week trip at altitude a few years back and I found that I was progressively getting stronger when I thought that I'd feel worn out by the end.
Re: Fitness!
January 16, 2011 12:06PM
Of course, some joint pain can be related to weight. The heavier we are, the more stress we put on our joints!

I know I am always amused at some of my fellow cyclists, who spend literally hundreds of dollars to buy the latest bike stuff...because it drops five ounces off their bike weight. Meanwhile, they are certainly a few pounds overweight themselves...grin. If I want to improve my climbing on the bike, the first thing I could do would be to lose five pounds!
avatar Re: Fitness!
January 16, 2011 12:21PM
Quote
balzaccom
Of course, some joint pain can be related to weight. The heavier we are, the more stress we put on our joints!

I know I am always amused at some of my fellow cyclists, who spend literally hundreds of dollars to buy the latest bike stuff...because it drops five ounces off their bike weight. Meanwhile, they are certainly a few pounds overweight themselves...grin. If I want to improve my climbing on the bike, the first thing I could do would be to lose five pounds!

I'm actually pretty light, although still 20 lbs heavier than I was 20 years ago.

I haven't been big on bicycling in years. I do remember seeing and hearing about some of the extreme stuff people did to shave grams off their bikes. I guess things like titanium rail saddles are easy. Then there were those who drilled holes in cranks/derailleurs and who removed the dustcaps off of hubs to save weight.

Still - there is a definite performance benefit to shaving the weight off of wheels due to the inertia of a rotating object. The tires/rims/tubes/tape make a difference, and the spokes less so. Still - I remember building my own front wheel with 15/14/15 (I think that was it) double-butted spokes to try and shave some grams. I guess these days the super serious riders use complete built wheels that come in non-standard configurations. Maybe the day of the 3-cross spoke pattern is over for the serious rider.
avatar Re: Fitness!
January 16, 2011 01:43PM
Quote
balzaccom
But we're curious. Do you do any endurance training or similar sports? How much, and how long? Jogging or swimming fit the bill...are we missing some others? And how do you think that affects your backpacking?


Not really endurance training as much as a device to keep a check on weight, I try to do 4 to 6 miles every morning (although, in reality, it usually turns out to be only about 5 days out of each week). The outbound (downcanyon, approx. 0.3k elevation change) portion is 75% fast jogging interleaved with 25% walking. Inbound is generally all walking, but may comprise 25% jogging depending on my mood. Perceived effect on backpacking: greater endurance as the result of lower body weight and tone of muscle groups used in locomotion.

Outside of helping to keep one's weight in check, I seriously doubt that swimming is of any use in preparing for backpacking since the water is bouying one's body and different mucles are being used than those one needs for packing. Over the years, I've taken several people out on easy trips who, prior to the hike, boasted about what good shape that they were in because of all the swimming that they do. Invariably, these people crumbled under the experience of carrying a pack in addition to supporting their own body weight.
Re: Fitness!
January 16, 2011 05:31PM
I do hour long brutality sessions on the treadmill (4.5+mph, 10 deg incline) I also will do long day hikes here in ga most in the 30-50mpd (oops) range and long runs occasionally. This allows me to go all day up in the Sierras even at the higher elevations without hitting the wall. But I will thru hike the PCT this summer at a pretty fast pace so I will need it. But if I didn't have the AT within a couple of hours of me I would start trail running. That has to be closest thing to hiking other than hiking.



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 01/17/2011 11:07AM by ggman.
Re: Fitness!
January 16, 2011 09:14PM
Man, if you're hiking 30-50 mph your way out of my league! grin
avatar Re: Fitness!
January 16, 2011 10:21PM
Quote
balzaccom
Man, if you're hiking 30-50 mph your way out of my league! grin



You need to go at least 30 mph if you plan to outrun grizz.
avatar Re: Fitness!
January 17, 2011 05:27PM
The problem that I have always run into is that no matter how long the trip...
I inevitably find it not long enough and would like to stay longer... even for
trips longer than a week...
So... I don't train anymore... I just go.
Life is too short... and all the seasons have something different to offer.
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