Training for hiking added a not-so-familiar element to my regular training. As in, it was time to suck it up and do the cardio training I never want to do. Mainly because I find it boring, but also, who has the time?
This will also be my very first backpacking trip. Go big or go home, yes?
Here is what the plan looked like 12 weeks out:
- Strength Training 3x a week
- Steady State Cardio 2x a week
- Active Recovery 1x a week
- Outdoor Training about every other week (hiking w/a heavy pack)
I stuck with training for kettlebell sport since I have a competition coming up at the end of July. Since I knew I was missing a big chunk of training, I decided that I would only compete at 5 minutes for biathlon with the 16kgs instead of 10 minutes. It still kept me on track to keep up with my strength training up until I leave for Hawaii. It is always way easier to stay on track when there is a plan to follow.
Steady State Cardio
Oh, cardio. Why must you be the bane of my existence. The first few weeks I found it hard to get it in, so I was only hopping on the rower for 20 minutes. After week 3 I finally got serious and started adding stair training (back to Howe St. Stairs) and upping the rower sessions to 30–45 minutes. In week 6 I started to add biking back in once spring decided to show up in Seattle. In week 9 I was combining brisk walks outside with rower sessions during the week to prep myself for the harder hikes on the weekend.
Basically, I was trying to mix it up as much as possible so I wouldn’t bore myself to death.
Why steady state cardio? Otherwise known as Low Intensity Steady State cardio, LISS is light cardio at around 50 to 60 percent of your max heart rate, done for long periods of time. LISS is beneficial for a few reasons: to help aid in recovery from high intensity work, train your body to use fat as an energy source and a low impact way to condition your joints, tendons, ligaments and muscles for higher intensity work ahead.
Apart from low intensity cardio, for active recovery I needed something fun, so I started going back to indoor bouldering. Stone Gardens is my favorite place to boulder because their setters always make it interesting and come up with super fun problems to solve. It also helped me work on my opposing muscles from KB sport (a whole lot of pushing in Sport, climbing is a whole lot of pulling).
Since there was a ton of snow this winter, it made it rather difficult to access a lot of the longer trails that are still closed. We were able to get in 6 training hikes within the 12 weeks, gradually building up the weight in our packs. I will be hiking with my REI 40L since Conor will be hiking with his 75L and will be carrying most of the camping equipment (Have I mentioned how amazing and great he is?).
Our training hikes ended up being:
Lake 22 5.4 miles, roundtrip / Gain: 1350 ft.
Poo Poo Point - Chirico Trail 3.8 miles, roundtrip / Gain: 1760 ft.
Oyster Dome 5.0 miles, roundtrip / Gain: 1050 ft.
Multnomah Falls 1.2 miles, roundtrip / Gain: 100 ft.
Eagle Creek Trail 4 miles* (only made it 2 miles in and had to turn around since we were short on time. Lesson learned, skip Multnomah Falls and leave it for the tourists)
Mt. Si 8.0 miles, roundtrip / Gain: 3150 ft.
The Ne Pali Coast is 22 miles roundtrip with a gain of 5,000 ft.
We are leaving today and I couldn’t be more excited! Check back in a few weeks to see if all this training paid off.