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Posted by on March 27, 2015

To further prepare for the PCT, I have also been doing as much physical training as possible. In September 2014 I started going to a 45-minute outdoor cross training class every weekday morning. All of the squats, lunges and kettle bell swings I have been doing have made a huge difference, for both my strength and endurance. (It has also pushed my running to a whole new level! See here, here, and here for some recent race results.)

In January, I also started going to a core conditioning class on Tuesday and Thursday evenings. It’s a 45-min circuit of stations to strength your abdominals, quads, glutes, and hamstrings. Sometimes the 90 second stations feel like a lifetime, but after going twice a week for two months I can at least, if not see, the difference.

Finally, and most importantly, I have been doing as much hiking as time allows. During my free days and on the weekends, I’ve been loading up my new pack with 22-28 pounds of gear (a climbing rope, hand weights and liters of water) and have been hiking the East Bay hills. Luckily, I live in a part of the country that has a lot of hills so this has been really great training. Not only have I broken in my pack (and two new pairs of shoes) and made a few minor adjustments to make sure everything is comfortable, I have also been working on balance going up and down steep hills. Because of time constraints, most of my hikes have been around 9-12 miles, but I’ve done a few 16-18 mile day hikes, which I hope will be close enough to the ~20 miles per day I’ll be hiking on the trail.

I think I’m in close to the best shape of my life right now (I can do 46 push-ups on my toes!), even though I’ve gained 6 pounds since January. I like to think that it is mostly muscle, but my pants tell me slightly differently. 😛

I know I’ve been burning more calories and have definitely been eating more recently, but my near insatiable hunger makes me a bit nervous about the amount of food I have prepared for during the hike. However, since I will be going through towns every few days I know I will have access to food if needed. I plan on buying some fresh fruit and vegetables for a day or two while in town and I’m sure I’ll have a restaurant meal in most towns I stop in (where hopefully I will be able to charge my phone and camera battery).

I’m now as physically ready as I will ever be for this adventure, and in this last week I just have to finish up a few things to make sure I am mentally ready.

3 Responses to Training

  1. Tanya Libby

    Those race results are impressive! Glad all the hard work is paying off. I am so excited for you to tackle this dream. Happy trails!

    • travel

      Thanks! I’m really happy with how fast I’ve gotten. Maybe after all this hiking I’ll be even faster.

  2. Sarah

    46 push ups?! Wow. You are awesome. But not just because of your impressive strength.

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