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Training & Workout
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Dean F.
(acrosome) - MLife

Locale: Back in the Front Range
squats, lunges on 11/05/2010 17:37:27 MDT Print View

If you're looking for a workout other than walking/running/hiking that will help improve your hiking, try squats and lunges. I've started doing CrossFit quite a bit (one of my NCOs is a fanatic) and they really seem to help me, obviously more on uphill segements. You can cherry pick the lower body workouts if you like

For when you can't get out and run CrossFit is actually kind of nice because most of them are combined strengh/aerobic workout.

eric chan
(bearbreeder) - F
climbing on 11/05/2010 18:51:41 MDT Print View

ive actually stopped doing squat and lunges with no loss in leg strength

i just go rock climbing several times a week ... and hike/scramble skills

if yr rock climbing with good footwork ... anything less than overhanging is basically a series of one legged squats anyways ....

Craig W.
(xnomanx) - F - M
Re: climbing on 11/05/2010 19:34:48 MDT Print View

Keep mixing it up to avoid getting into ruts where training gets boring or progress slows.

I've started to get into triathlon. Running and biking long distances aren't new to me but swimming distance is. I'm noticing big fitness gains from adding the swimming: full-body, excellent cardio, but nice and low-impact. I can swim for 1-2 hours, and while leaving the water exhausted, it's very refreshing to not feel battered or saddle-sore. Great for hard run or bike recovery days. With these three sports, there's never really a day I can't do one or more of them, regardless of which part of me is sore or injured. I'm finding the swim-bike-run combo highly complimentary and a lot of fun.

The multi-sport approach also keeps workouts fresh with plenty of different activities to suit my mood...open water swimming, road biking, mountain biking, lap swimming, trail running, road running, or just hard hiking...all serve the end-goal well without getting boring.

Tom Kirchner
(ouzel) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest/Sierra
Re: Re: High Intensity on 11/05/2010 20:04:56 MDT Print View

"You will find that most competitive distances runners will do months of base training before stepping on a track to do interval training. The interval training can be hard on the body for those with joint problems and such.

+1 If you're not pretty well aligned, biomechanically, the risks associated with interval training will probably outweigh the potential rewards for hiking/backpacking. Intensity tends to exaggerate biomechanical imbalances, and intervals are pretty intense.

Dave U
(FamilyGuy) - F

Locale: Rockies
Intensity on 11/05/2010 20:12:18 MDT Print View

Tom - how do you figure? If you are interval training on a stationary bike, how will your body alignment cause issue. As Chris pointed out, intervals can be done in any form.

I agree that someone not used to doing intervals should not go out doing wind sprints, but there are definitely ways around physical issues. With intervals, the limiting factor is most definitely mental.

Tom Kirchner
(ouzel) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest/Sierra
Re: Intensity on 11/05/2010 20:28:35 MDT Print View

"Tom - how do you figure? If you are interval training on a stationary bike, how will your body alignment cause issue. As Chris pointed out, intervals can be done in any form."

David - Correct. I was referring to running, the only area where I have enough experience to comment. I should have been more specific.

"I agree that someone not used to doing intervals should not go out doing wind sprints, but there are definitely ways around physical issues."

Sure there are. Most important is proper base training. Secondarily, listening to your body and calibrating your interval intensity according to the feedback. Even someone with biomechanical issues can benefit from intervals at a lower intensity and volume. Not everyone has to run 24 x 400 m at a 70 second pace, for instance, to improve their cardio vascular efficiency. I've seen recreational runners run intervals at an 8 minute mile pace and improve their times in road races. It's all relative.

"With intervals, the limiting factor is most definitely mental."

Yes and no. There is definitely a mental toughness factor involved in running intervals successfully, but if it overrides your body's feedback mechanisms, you'll find yourself in trouble real quick. Whether or not this applies to bike intervals, swimming intervals, etc I cannot say.

Dave U
(FamilyGuy) - F

Locale: Rockies
Intensity on 11/05/2010 20:34:10 MDT Print View

Tom - I see now. And I fully agree. Thanks,

Tom Kirchner
(ouzel) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest/Sierra
Re: Intensity on 11/05/2010 20:37:35 MDT Print View

"Tom - I see now. And I fully agree. Thanks,"

And thank you for bringing me into focus.

Nick Gatel
(ngatel) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Re: Re: Intensity on 11/07/2010 22:36:57 MST Print View

Holy Moly,

Tom and I agree!!

The science of running can get very technical, but lets look at some high level theories. Lets take a distance runner who will be in training for several months. The goal will be to train without incurring injury and to peak towards the end of the season when top performance times are needed.

There are 3 phases to the training season:

Base - which is long runs (endurance training) at a slower pace.

Lactate Training - usually 1 - 2 months running further than race distance at a pace about 15-20 seconds less than 5K race pace (tempos). These are not done every day, and more than on tempo is done.

Intervals - previously discussed.

Tempos and intervals can have similar benefits, but tempos can deteriorate the body, because there are no rest periods as in intervals. Also the length of the tempo or interval are dependent upon the distance the runner will be racing. Middle distance runners usually have shorter intervals than 5K or 10K runners.

For most distance runners, the intervals are called speed work because this stage fine tunes the athletes performance for those important races and the end of the season when time counts.

And during the entire season there is usually some base (endurance training) in each stage. Even during the interval stage runners will do some base days and some tempo days.

Regarding the attitude needed for intervals. This depends on the individual. I tend to be a task oriented person. When I ran track 40 years ago, I enjoyed 440 yd intervals more than any other training. I did 65 - 70 second intervals depending upon the number of intervals. I enjoyed the precise distance and timing on the track.

But most of us are not athletes, so I really question the value of interval training for most of us. Now if we just do not much time to exercise every day, then there can be some benefit to interval training, if one starts out slow and is careful. Even mechanical equipment can cause injuries.

As Craig pointed out, swimming is great exercise and can be low impact... if you have access to a pool. I had a roommate in college who was a nationally ranked butterfly swimmer and he was in phenomenal shape. He could do 70 push ups in 60 seconds.

So what is best for the average backpacker here on BPL? For me I try to do a hike every weekend, whether it is a day hike with my wife or a solo over-night trip. During the week when I have to work, I try to do a minimum of 1 hour per day at the gym. 30 minutes on any elliptical and 30 minutes on several stations for varied muscle groups. When time permits, I run a few miles. The weight training are light weights with 3 sets of 15 or 20 reps. Sometimes I run and go to the gym each day. But none of the training is "intense" intervals. This routine also requires that I eat more than most people my age. Before I started this exercise routine a few years ago, I ate a lot less and maintained my weight. Unfortunately, the past two months I have not been doing the weekly exercise, but have been doing day hikes on weekends. Since I have not adjusted my caloric intake, I have gained around 20 lbs, and suddenly weigh more than I ever have. So, this week I just started making time to get back into my exercise routine.

eric chan
(bearbreeder) - F
burn on 11/07/2010 22:49:47 MST Print View

its all up to a person on how many calories they want to burn up in a given interval ...

the more intense the exercise, usually the higher the burn

there are plenty of high intensity exercises that are safe and non impacting ... swimming, stationary biking, etc ...

i do not count walking on flats among them ... youll burn more calories golfing

ultimately if you do want to TRAIN ... you will have to make a sacrifice, just like anything else

its much easier to do something if you train hard for it,

train hard and the fight is easy as boxers say ...

Tom Kirchner
(ouzel) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest/Sierra
Re: Re: Re: Intensity on 11/08/2010 19:16:22 MST Print View

"Holy Moly,

Tom and I agree!!"

Heck, Nick, if we went beyond our Ayn Rand vs Karl Marx dialogue, I'll bet you'd find we have a lot in common, starting with a shared love/experience of backpacking and running. If I recall correctly from one our past thread interactions, at one time you did a lot of backpacking in the southern Sierra, which right off the bat puts you on my short list. You ran hard early in life, and well; it took me until I was in my early 40's, but we were both passionate about it and, to a significant degree, it defined who we were for years; I'd venture to say we both still bask in the warm afterglow of the experience. We both are head over heels in love with wonderful women from racial/ethnic backgrounds vastly different from our own, and have been enriched in countless ways as a result. We both earned whatever success we have attained in life the hard way. I could go on, but I think this is enough to make the point that we have more in common than we have apart. My 2 cents. But I digress; back to running.

Edited to substitute Ayn Rand for John Galt.

Edited by ouzel on 11/08/2010 20:01:22 MST.

Tom Kirchner
(ouzel) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest/Sierra
Re: burn on 11/08/2010 19:39:14 MST Print View

"i do not count walking on flats among them ... youll burn more calories golfing"

I think that very much depends on how fast one is walking, and whether or not the golfer is carrying his own bag, and whether or not he is walking or riding in a golf cart. ;)

Edited by ouzel on 11/08/2010 19:57:58 MST.

Nick Gatel
(ngatel) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Re: Re: Re: Re: Intensity on 11/08/2010 21:09:30 MST Print View

>> I'll bet you'd find we have a lot in common

Yep. I just like to stir the pot. Upper management in my company has learned NOT to ask my opinion, unless they really want to know what I think :)

Tom Kirchner
(ouzel) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest/Sierra
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Intensity on 11/09/2010 16:22:14 MST Print View

"Yep. I just like to stir the pot."

Stir away, and I'll add an occasional dollop of spice. You never know, we might even get invited on "Iron Chef". ;)

Mark Hudson
(vesteroid) - MLife

Locale: Eastern Sierras
treadmill on 11/28/2010 09:27:37 MST Print View

Since all the trails I hike are now covered in snow, I have taken my training inside for the winter.

I wanted to stay with "hiking" based exercise, so I stared doign the treadmill.

I set the speed on 3 to 3.5 mph, and vary the elevation between 15 and 0 for my intervals.

I simply set it up to 15 and go till my heart rate gets up near the top of my training zone, then drop it to 0 till I recover...rinse, repeat for a hour.

jeffrey armbruster
(book) - M

Locale: Northern California
treadmill, etc. on 11/28/2010 10:31:28 MST Print View

Yep, in winter the gym is great. I wear a heart rate monitor and hit the stairmaster and the eliptical. Use the right amount of resistance on the latter and you will get a good low impact aerobic workout that actually strengthens your legs. Great for losing weight too, but you've gotta do it four times a week! Also, try hands free for a real sweatfest.

Of course, nordic skiing trumps everything.

Edited by book on 11/28/2010 10:40:38 MST.

Mike M
(mtwarden) - MLife

Locale: Montana
skiing and snowshoeing on 11/29/2010 10:29:35 MST Print View

x-country skiing and snowshoeing- you won't get much better than that- plus your getting out!

although I have to admit elk hunting in the snow is pretty darn good exercise as well :)

Val C
(GooseBumps) - F
fitness on 11/29/2010 14:57:47 MST Print View

Olympic-style lifting plus the isolation work that I do plus hiking/snowshoeing/long walks keeps me me fit and it's fun as hell. On more than one hike I've appreciated having upper body strength too, in addition to bomber leg and core fitness. I'm working on the mental piece by training for my first competition. It's all useful and transferable.

Adding trekking poles will increase the intensity of your hikes.

Find some activities you like to do... experiment and reap the benefits. Proper technique, as someone posted, is key.
Have fun.

Erik Danielsen
(er1kksen) - F

Locale: The Western Door
Winter on 11/29/2010 16:50:41 MST Print View

Walking in snow is actually pretty fantastic exercise. It's essentially walking with added resistance and instability, which should both increase the aerobic base and strengthen the leg's stabilizing muscles and train one's sense of balance.

All through highschool (and most of middleschool) I spent several months a year walking 2 miles each way to school and back through lake-effect snow (I'm from the Buffalo, NY area) which went from deep and heavy to crusted down and uneven to thickly iced over after the inevitable freezing rain hit. Once I was able to grow a beard, I enjoyed showing up in the morning with a chinful of frost; everyone thought I was crazy (they were probably at least a little right). I give this experience a lot of credit in the fact that I've never rolled an ankle or slipped on slick surfaces (I'm sure it'll happen, but I think the snow-walking helps).

So skis and treadmills and ellipticals and whatever are great, but don't skip the sidewalk/trail just because the powder's knee deep. Just be sure you're wearing waterproof footwear!

Where I live we just got our first snow on Saturday, and I am thrilled. Though the 10-mile bicycle commute to class tomorrow morning with forecasted freezing rain may be less pleasant... ah well, it's the last week of class.

Hiking Malto
(gg-man) - F
Eastern Sierra Fitness on 11/29/2010 18:48:04 MST Print View

Mark,
With your location you have the perfect setup for intense winter workouts plus you can be in the outdoors vs. the stuffy old gym. I have found few activities that are as intense as snowshoeing with elevation gain. And you have some prime locations on the east side that are nearly inaccessable to folks coming from the bay area.