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Training for a fall hiking trip

bebeisfitbebeisfit Member Posts: 957 Member Member Posts: 957 Member
I'm going to the Adirondacks in the fall and want to do some easy to moderate hikes of 6-10 miles. I won't be doing the super hard ones, I'm 59 yrs old and will be alone. I think there's plenty of trails that won't kill me but will be a bit of a challenge.

The problem is that I live in a super flat part of the country (midwest in the U.S.)

I have been increasing my walking outside and when at the gym I'll use the treadmill with a big incline. I also bike here and there, 5 or 10 miles at most.

I'm strength training as well and am looking to be a few pounds lighter by September.

What other activities can I do to get ready for my trip?

Thank you for any tips.

Replies

  • NorthCascadesNorthCascades Member Posts: 10,591 Member Member Posts: 10,591 Member
    How much elevation gain do the hikes you're looking at involve?
  • SuzySunshine99SuzySunshine99 Member Posts: 2,394 Member Member Posts: 2,394 Member
    I have had the same problem as a fellow Midwestern flatlander.

    To train for mountain backpacking trips, I did a lot of stairs...some in the office building where I work, some at a nearby forest preserve (toboggan run stairs). I also looked around for a few forest preserves that had a hill I could go up and down a few times. Look for some less groomed forest trails that can help you practice with uneven footing.

    There's no equivalent here to true elevation gain, so it's best to focus on improving your fitness and stamina.
  • bebeisfitbebeisfit Member Posts: 957 Member Member Posts: 957 Member
    How much elevation gain do the hikes you're looking at involve?

    Maybe 2000'? Some of the really hard ones go up 4000', but I know I'm not going to do that. It's 14 weeks away and I haven't decided on which trails I'll hike.
  • bebeisfitbebeisfit Member Posts: 957 Member Member Posts: 957 Member
    I have had the same problem as a fellow Midwestern flatlander.

    To train for mountain backpacking trips, I did a lot of stairs...some in the office building where I work, some at a nearby forest preserve (toboggan run stairs). I also looked around for a few forest preserves that had a hill I could go up and down a few times. Look for some less groomed forest trails that can help you practice with uneven footing.

    There's no equivalent here to true elevation gain, so it's best to focus on improving your fitness and stamina.

    Thanks! I have lived in a 3rd floor walk up for the past 16 years and I still struggle with the stairs! I will add the stairmaster to the gym list and seek out additional stairs.

    We do have one 'hill' nearby and when I ran about 10 years ago, I often used it to train. I will do that again for sure.

    Forest preserves are a good idea, I unfortunately don't own a car, but hopefully I can enlist some friends to go on some hiking excursions. Finding less groomed trails will be a bit more difficult in the city. But I have been walking in the sand a few days a week, strengthening my ankles.

    Thanks for your advice, I appreciate it.
  • cheriej2042cheriej2042 Member Posts: 229 Member Member Posts: 229 Member
    It sounds to me like you have a good balanced fitness schedule already. I think doing these activities with your backpack on is important since that can throw off your balance and stamina if you don't practice with it. I've seen people here in California that don't have a lot of time take their fully loaded backpack and take it to the gym along with their hiking shoes and get on the treadmill or stair climber (latter is great for climbing up hill because you have to lift your feet). Also don't forget water weighs a lot (at least it feels that way to me!) so also train with carrying what you will need in water as well. Sounds like a wonderful trip and that area looks beautiful. Please post pictures when you get back!
  • heybalesheybales Member Posts: 19,046 Member Member Posts: 19,046 Member
    Got a high school stadium available (many leave the track available for neighbors until abuse starts anyway)?

    walking the seat stairs can be more interesting than a building internal windowless stairs.
  • jjpptt2jjpptt2 Member Posts: 5,401 Member Member Posts: 5,401 Member
    Where abouts are you going? Adirondack park is a big area.

    I've done a fair bit of hiking up there... if you try to go from couch to peak in 8 weeks you're going to struggle.
    But if you're fairly active in general, then getting ready for the ADKs shouldn't be a big deal. Doing some stairs/bleachers (both up and down) is a good idea. If you plan on wearing a pack when you hike, then wear a pack when you train. More so to make sure there aren't any joint issues or muscle aches waiting to pop out than actual training benefit. Have a reasonable cardio base and do some strength training, but don't overcomplicate things.

    In most cases, having a good hike will come down to pacing yourself... even the easy hikes can overwhelm you if you go at them too hard/fast because in many cases the lesser elevation gains of these "easy" hikes will come at you pretty fast.
    edited June 10
  • lorrpblorrpb Member Posts: 11,464 Member Member Posts: 11,464 Member
    I agree with stair climbing with your pack. Be sure to have some sturdy hiking shoes than are broken in. Even ‘easier’ ADK trails can have a lot of rock scree and water running down them. Have fun and take some good black fly repellent😜
  • bebeisfitbebeisfit Member Posts: 957 Member Member Posts: 957 Member
    lorrpb wrote: »
    I agree with stair climbing with your pack. Be sure to have some sturdy hiking shoes than are broken in. Even ‘easier’ ADK trails can have a lot of rock scree and water running down them. Have fun and take some good black fly repellent😜

    I've heard the black fkies are really bad in June..but I'm going in September so they'll all be gone, right?? 😂
  • bebeisfitbebeisfit Member Posts: 957 Member Member Posts: 957 Member
    jjpptt2 wrote: »
    Where abouts are you going? Adirondack park is a big area.

    I've done a fair bit of hiking up there... if you try to go from couch to peak in 8 weeks you're going to struggle.
    But if you're fairly active in general, then getting ready for the ADKs shouldn't be a big deal. Doing some stairs/bleachers (both up and down) is a good idea. If you plan on wearing a pack when you hike, then wear a pack when you train. More so to make sure there aren't any joint issues or muscle aches waiting to pop out than actual training benefit. Have a reasonable cardio base and do some strength training, but don't overcomplicate things.

    In most cases, having a good hike will come down to pacing yourself... even the easy hikes can overwhelm you if you go at them too hard/fast because in many cases the lesser elevation gains of these "easy" hikes will come at you pretty fast.

    Thanks. I'll be in the Keene Valley area. No peaks for me.

    I'm not a couch potato but I've been in better shape in the past. I walk about 12k steps a day, bike and strength train. I'll be looking at hikes under 10 miles. I'm skipping the Lake George area because it seems like a lot of people go there. I'm looking forward to some quiet towns, and being mostly unplugged.

    I'm also looking forward to buying and eating maple syrup.
  • bebeisfitbebeisfit Member Posts: 957 Member Member Posts: 957 Member
    heybales wrote: »
    Got a high school stadium available (many leave the track available for neighbors until abuse starts anyway)?

    walking the seat stairs can be more interesting than a building internal windowless stairs.

    I do! Most office buildings here don't allow you to use the staircase.

  • heybalesheybales Member Posts: 19,046 Member Member Posts: 19,046 Member
    bebeisfit wrote: »
    lorrpb wrote: »
    I agree with stair climbing with your pack. Be sure to have some sturdy hiking shoes than are broken in. Even ‘easier’ ADK trails can have a lot of rock scree and water running down them. Have fun and take some good black fly repellent😜

    I've heard the black fkies are really bad in June..but I'm going in September so they'll all be gone, right?? 😂

    How do you feel about protein from spiders?
  • bebeisfitbebeisfit Member Posts: 957 Member Member Posts: 957 Member
    heybales wrote: »
    bebeisfit wrote: »
    lorrpb wrote: »
    I agree with stair climbing with your pack. Be sure to have some sturdy hiking shoes than are broken in. Even ‘easier’ ADK trails can have a lot of rock scree and water running down them. Have fun and take some good black fly repellent😜

    I've heard the black fkies are really bad in June..but I'm going in September so they'll all be gone, right?? 😂

    How do you feel about protein from spiders?

    No thank you. I'm having pancakes and maple syrup.
  • heybalesheybales Member Posts: 19,046 Member Member Posts: 19,046 Member
    bebeisfit wrote: »
    heybales wrote: »
    bebeisfit wrote: »
    lorrpb wrote: »
    I agree with stair climbing with your pack. Be sure to have some sturdy hiking shoes than are broken in. Even ‘easier’ ADK trails can have a lot of rock scree and water running down them. Have fun and take some good black fly repellent😜

    I've heard the black fkies are really bad in June..but I'm going in September so they'll all be gone, right?? 😂

    How do you feel about protein from spiders?

    No thank you. I'm having pancakes and maple syrup.

    Then make sure you keep your mouth closed on the trail.
    May not be black flies, but spiders out on webs.
  • NorthCascadesNorthCascades Member Posts: 10,591 Member Member Posts: 10,591 Member
    I would suggest that it's the amount uphill and not the number of miles that makes a hike difficult. Walking up hills or stairs would be my advice. If you have a way to measure, go out and do 2k even if it means several laps, before you choose which trails to hike; knowledge is power. 🙂
  • LisaGetsMovingLisaGetsMoving Member Posts: 669 Member Member Posts: 669 Member
    Find some stairs and go up and down them regularly.
  • bebeisfitbebeisfit Member Posts: 957 Member Member Posts: 957 Member
    Thanks everyone!
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