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Fast Hiking JMT: Sleep
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Nathan Hays

Locale: San Francisco
Re: Fast Hiking JMT: Sleep on 04/22/2012 20:45:30 MDT Print View

Thanks for the encouragement Greg and Will.
I keep looking for the "like" button :)

At the top of Mt. Tam yesterday I was talking with a couple of type-A cyclists who were sweating bullets and high-fiving for the gruelling ride they were on. They asked, so I told them where I had hiked from and they thought it was way over the top - no way would they try. And here I was looking at them thinking I don't put in nearly enough effort. There were joggers passing me on the hill that day, marathoners the week before.

It seems hiking should be easier to do at a good clip over distance, but it is without a doubt a seriously athletic endeavor.

Game on.

Peter Bakwin
(pbakwin) - F
JMT fast on 04/23/2012 10:46:51 MDT Print View

Lots of good comments here. I agree that the sleep thing is highly personal. I wouldn't try to adhere to a specific plan, rather sleep when it seems needed. For me, that's usually 3AM or so. Of course as sleep deprivation accumulates that changes. Caffeine really works!

In the latter stages of his hike, Brett refused to allow himself to sleep because he was afraid that his dinky watch alarm wouldn't wake him & he'd sleep through the record. Also, doing 3d14h is a lot different that 4d because of fewer nights. Flyin' Brian failed in his record attempt in 2003 because he was so sleep deprived in that last night that he was unable to follow the trail.

For the HST I packed 1000 calories of powder (a home-made malto/waxy maize/protien mix) in baggies and dumped that into a bottle to make a kind of slurry. Since there's water everywhere in the Sierras this works well & can be done quickly. I recall that Brett calculated the time is would take to refill his bottle more frequently vs. the time penalty to carry more weight, and determined that carrying weight was better. He started with something like 28 lbs, which is totally nuts in my book, but you can't argue with results. He carried lots of water as well as Hammer Gel, which is only 2.5 cal/gram vs. 4 for powder.

Have fun!

Hiking Malto
(gg-man) - F
Re: JMT fast on 04/23/2012 11:25:12 MDT Print View

"For the HST I packed 1000 calories of powder (a home-made malto/waxy maize/protien mix) in baggies and dumped that into a bottle to make a kind of slurry. "

On the recent R2R2R run I put 900 calories into a 32oz. Gatoraid Bottle. While a bottle weighed a bit more than a bag, it was super easy to fill and go. For a trip like the JMT I would use that approach again only with 20oz. bottles vs 32oz. (I would need to check whether you can mix that much Malto into only 20oz.) I think this could be a good compromise between your's and Brett's system.

Art ...
(asandh) - F
Re: Re: JMT fast on 04/23/2012 11:38:05 MDT Print View

I put 600 perpetuem calories in a 20 oz bottle and that's about perfect for me.
at that level its thick enough to provide nutrition (2.5 hrs per bottle) but not so thick that I need to take a swig of water to make it go down.

Peter Bakwin
(pbakwin) - F
JMT fast on 04/23/2012 13:06:41 MDT Print View

I routinely mix 1200 cal of powder into a 24oz bottle. This much would be a bit cumbersome on the trail, but 1000 in 24oz is a piece of cake. It is, of course, easier to get the powder into a bottle with a wide mouth.

Nathan Hays

Locale: San Francisco
JMT Fast Gel on 04/25/2012 14:19:32 MDT Print View

I've been putting 2000 calories (1 lb Perpetuem) into a 2L bottle. Since I've started on the MyoGel (thread in nutrition), I put 2000 cals in 42 oz - a 32 oz Gatorade in the pack and a 10 oz baby bottle. That's a 2+ hour/bottle strength and is just about right for thickness. The baby bottle is nice and tiny so it slips into my pocket (thanks Brett). I haven't figured out how I'm going to reload easily on trail since the gatorade bottle isn't 40 oz. Prolly mix half first, pour 10 oz into BB, top off.

I might change this to carry 10 hours (30 mi) worth in solution since that is how far I want to hike per major stop. Or have some Perpetuem solids on hand for when a hike is extended.

I haven't yet done a multi-leg trip with this protocol yet, but in the past I have liked to start on the nuts (1/4 lb ~800 calories) about 1 hour before my destination. Keeps my gut from feeling sluggish while on trail and provides a broad carb+protein+fat load for recovery. Starting to look at MyoBars. There are some good looking recipes in the threads.

What a difference from leisure hiking nutrition. I guess the idea will be to hurry up and finish so I can eat real food!

Art ...
(asandh) - F
Re: JMT Fast Gel on 04/25/2012 16:52:44 MDT Print View

I'm a big fan of perpetuem, but NOT the solids. I have never heard anyone say anything good about them they are very expensive, have you calculated how many you must eat to get a decent amount of calories ?
and you need water to make them go down or you'll gag.
easier just to carry a spare baggie of perpetuem powder, or even a spare bottle.

Nathan Hays

Locale: San Francisco
Re: JMT Fast Gel on 04/25/2012 17:11:21 MDT Print View

Yup, I don't particularly care for the solids either. You can't eat them if you are panting or you'll get a nice lung burn from the dust going down. 6 tabs/hour, so I was just thinking if the gel runs out, I can keep on going so I won't have to stop and make up a small batch.

Better yet is to make up some MyoBars. Reading/working on recipe ideas...

Art ...
(asandh) - F
Re: Fast Hiking JMT: Sleep on 04/25/2012 18:18:55 MDT Print View

if you're only shooting for a sub 5 day effort, Reinhold Metzger did 5 days 7 hours unsupported at age 62. I'm pretty sure his secret was long slow days and a short nights sleep.

Nathan Hays

Locale: San Francisco
Re: Fast Hiking JMT on 04/29/2012 12:52:14 MDT Print View

Here's a shot at <5 days. I tried not to end a hike with a big uphill. Would've been easier to do that NoB, but alas, no lottery winnings.

5 days Itinerary

Art ...
(asandh) - F
Re: Fast Hiking JMT: Sleep on 04/29/2012 12:59:46 MDT Print View

Nathan - if you really prefer to do NOBO on the JMT, there are always no shows if you can hang around Lone Pine for a couple extra days.

Art ...
(asandh) - F
Re: Fast Hiking JMT: Bear Cannister on 05/03/2012 12:59:10 MDT Print View

on your sub 5 day push, do you plan to take a bear cannister or not ?
even a Bearikade Scout weighs 1.75 lb

it seems many record attempters do not take one.
I would really like to know how they get around this requirement?
... a ranger stops them,
they say "I'm going for the record",
ranger says "ok no problem",
something like that ??

Nathan Hays

Locale: San Francisco
Re: Fast Hiking JMT: Bear Cannister on 05/03/2012 14:04:04 MDT Print View

I'll be taking a cannister. I've gotten to know bears that have been destroyed in Kings Canyon. For years we sighted the same female up on the Hotel Creek trail who started getting into food, we watched her have cubs, and then once the cubs were weaned, she was destroyed. I've chased off the same magnificent, enormous male on Bubbs Creek a couple times, and I heard he was destroyed. My son and I came within about ten feet of him while we were barreling around the trail - surprise! 500 pound bear at 12 o-clock!

I do grumble a bit about those who don't take a cannister. It's part of the course, like getting a permit. I see it as a bit of a cheat, but not as great as, say, taking the shorter Mist Trail above Happy Isles rather than the true JMT. Not carrying a cannister also gives a bad name to the "sport" and to UL/SUL as well. Two good friends have been rangers up there and poor compliance with bear management regulations is one of the more frustrating things for them.

However, I don't put a mental asterisk besides anyone's record because I don't think it makes that big a difference - about 1% total weight in my case. Compare that to a single sideslip that starts a blister.

All my training has been with a 25 pound pack - 6L of liquids down to 12-15 pounds of useless base weight filler. I haven't sussed out my UL gear yet. That's coming soon - still much reading to do.

BTW, since you've asked others, I'll be 50 when I do this. Nothing like a fitness goal to get fit!

Peter Bakwin
(pbakwin) - F
Fast JMT : bears on 05/04/2012 14:33:01 MDT Print View

Technically, the requirement for bear cans only applies in certain areas, at least this was the rule in the early 2000s. As I recall, there was about a 60 mile section that a bear can was required if you camped there. I'm not actually sure what camping means, when it comes to a speed trip. For myself, I lay down on the ground for an hour or two. If a bear had come I would have just got up and walked away. I never did see a bear on those trips. In any event, on my JMT speed trips I did encounter rangers, obviously did not have a bear can (given pack size), and was never questioned about it. Brett avoided rangers, I believe, because he didn't want to take the time to talk to anyone.

Aaron Sorensen
(awsorensen) - MLife

Locale: South of Forester Pass
Re: Fast JMT : bears on 05/04/2012 15:45:57 MDT Print View

I've been by several rangers while doing multi day hiking trips without a canister. I let them know that I know where the locations are for storage and will only sleep there or take naps in the day time.
None of them ask questions or give you any bit of a hard time about it. Everyone of them has understood what you are doing and you go on your marry way.

On the other hand, while hanging out getting used to the elevation somewhere, then I take it (of course).

f you are planning on taking a bear canister along with a pack that covers everything, there is no way you are going to cover 40 mile days on the JMT unless you plan on hiking 18-20 hours a day. JMT milage is unlike any other trail. 40 miles on the JMT at altitude is a llooonng ways. I can hike 46 on the Rea Lakes Loop in about 17 1/2 (hiking only). The thing about the loop is you start at 5,000' where the JMT averages about 10,200'. I would look at trying to make 35 and doing the trail in under a week. If you want to cover 40 a day, you should be carrying no more than 15-20 pounds at any given time and expect to get no more than 3-4 hours of sleep a night. If you can pull that off, then 40 is doable.

Edited by awsorensen on 05/12/2012 13:11:10 MDT.

Nathan Hays

Locale: San Francisco
33 Mile trainer on 05/07/2012 13:25:27 MDT Print View

Managed to get in a 33 mile training hike this weekend. Not ideal, but I take what I can squeeze in. Since my last training hike 2 weeks ago, I had put in 6 hikes of 7.0 to 10.4 miles, 3.6 to 4.37 mph averages. This hike started out as a family deal then I continued on my own.

Started at 11:00 am with plenty of sleep.
Weather was sunny to 72 degrees, always a nice breeze blowing.
Pack was 15 pounds base, 25 pounds full.
Hiked 9.3 miles with family, then 23.7 miles solo.
Elevation was +/- 4380 by my reckoning, +/-5980 by runkeeper.
Total pace was 17:50, 3.36 mph.
Family leg was 19:48, 3.03 mph
Solo leg was 17:05, 3.51 mph
Took no breaks except to refill the hydropack (1x5min), reload the MyoGel (6x1min), and drop off the fam (1x2 min).

I stopped because of the time, but I was not flagging in the least and could've kept going:
33 mile trainer

I tried a new MyoGel formula, this time putting all the electrolytes in the mix (equiv. to 3 Endurolytes caps/hour). Also, I used half plain/half vanilla whey powder to dampen the sweetness. Result was a slightly unpleasant saltiness.

At mile 24, I started getting occasional spasms in my right quad and calf. This prevented me from storming up flights of stairs as this would set it off. Also at this time the thought of the salty MyoGel was unappetizing - I would have thought the other way around if I was low on electrolytes. I found myself craving the sweet nectar MyoGel I had previously concocted.

At mile 27, I was getting nauseous so I stopped the MyoGel. My stomach settled down within the hour, but the spasms were still threatening. Once home, I had a couple foot cramp episodes, but all is well by morning.

My total water intake was 6.5L over 9 hours. I lost 3 pounds.
Total calorie intake was 1800. Total burn was 4700.
Total sodium was 500mg, potassium was 270mg, Mg was 200mg, and Ca was 550mg.
Add to that a banana just before I set out.
I weigh 175 pounds (now :)

I'm not sure what happened to cause the spasms. I get the conflicting indicators of spasms and an aversion to salty liquids.

Art ...
(asandh) - F
Re: 33 Mile trainer on 05/07/2012 14:11:49 MDT Print View

Nathan - are you over thinking this a bit ?
for his 5 day effort, I think 62 year old Reinhold ate Pringles, potato chips, and cookies.

Nathan Hays

Locale: San Francisco
Overthink on 05/07/2012 14:52:05 MDT Print View

Definately overthinking, but having a lot of fun doing it. That said, I sure don't want locked up legs 100 miles in. I also don't want to blow out my energy and kill days 2-5, so I'm finding my exhaustion point and pushing that.

Reading Brett's and Popov's TRs, there's good reasons to take a second and third look at elements I always take for granted when hiking 16 miles a day.

Tom Kirchner
(ouzel) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest/Sierra
Re: 33 Mile trainer on 05/07/2012 16:46:58 MDT Print View

"At mile 24, I started getting occasional spasms in my right quad and calf."

Nathan - Just speculating, because I don't know the concentration of your drink, but the spasms have me wondering if perhaps the solution was too concentrated and you were drawing water from your body to equalize the concentration on both sides of the intestinal lumen. Just a thought.

Nathan Hays

Locale: San Francisco
Concentrations on 05/07/2012 16:57:57 MDT Print View

Tom -

MyoGel recipe

1 pound, in 64 oz water, 50 ounces were consumed in 7 hours:

Maltodextrin 12 [oz] 341 [g]
Whey Protein 4 [oz] 114 [g]
Soy Lecithin 0.25 [oz] 7 [g]
Cr Picolinate 200 mcg 3.5 [tabs] 700 [mcg]
Choline 250 mg 1.5 [tabs] 375 [mg]
A-L-Carnitine 500 mg 1 [tabs] 500 [mg]
NaCl 0.25 [tsp] 570 [mg]
KCl 0.125 [tsp] 305 [mg]
MgO 250 mg 1 [tabs] 250 [mg]
Ca Citrate 300 mg 2 [tabs] 630 [mg]
Total 462 [g]

Nothing else but sips on the hydration pack at about 5L in 7 hours.
It all seems right, especially considering popping Endurolytes at 1 cap every 20min is recommended.

Still puzzled.