Maybe it’s a your dream day walk in the Victorian Alps, maybe it’s our Hike the Night Challenge. You’ve set the goal, and now you’ve got to get there.
I asked our Take Shape Health and Fitness studio manager Zane for some tips to move your training along towards a 30km day. We’ll be posting more in depth on strength training and mobility training soon too, so stay tuned!
1. Strength training
We want a strong base to work with, so having a decent amount of strength in your legs is vital to keep you going forwards, especially when those inclines come along! Most people will assume you need a gym to do this, and while a gym does provide lots of different options for you to use, you can just as easily train for strength at home. Using a full day pack, or even an overnight pack is a great way to add resistance to ‘bodyweight’ exercises.
2. Cardio training
You will be walking for a while so you need to have the heart endurance to keep on going too. Pacing yourself and managing fatigue is key for these kinds of durations. Probably the best exercise to train endurance for a walk is sticking to the medium… walking! You’ve heard of people going on training walks before they tackle their big hiking goals, and they’re in the right headspace there. With all exercise, we want to progressively overload, increasing distance, pace, and pack weight slowly.
3. Understanding your heart rate
Learning a little about the science side of things can help you understand what is going on in your body. Heart rate is a useful tool in identifying workrate and predicting fatigue. While you could go and organise a session with an exercise physiologist to determine your true heart rate max, there’s a way you can work this out yourself with an educated guess. If you own a smartwatch, they do all these calculations for you, but here’s a bit of the maths behind it.
Your Heart Rate Max (220 – your age) Example: 45 year old=220-45=175bpm HRM
Your Resting Heart Rate (beats per minute) Example: 60bpm RHR
Your Heart Rate Reserve (HRM-RHR) Example: 175 – 60 = 115bpm HRR
Your Aerobic Target (60% of HRR + RHR) Example: (0.6×115)+60 = 129bpmWalking is an aerobic exercise, so with our training we want to be walking around about our aerobic target (±10bpm). Too high will tire you out, too low and we won’t be pushing our body to grow.
4. Cross training
The adaptability of the body is amazing, and you can train in so many different ways to still get benefit towards your goal of reaching that 30km. It doesn’t have to be all in a gym. How about that long bike ride you’ve been wanting to do? Knowing that it will benefit towards your goals will make it more enticing. Kayaking down the river, swimming at the local pool, or Yoga. There’s tons to choose from, and it keeps it all exciting and fun!
5. Making a training plan
A training plan can depend on the individual, but for a beginner it would be usually recommended to do a strength training session 2x a week and 2-3 endurance/cardio sessions. Don’t fall into the trap though! If you weren’t already training a little bit beforehand, work your way up to it, too often we see people getting injured as they go in too hard and too fast! Check out the strength exercises post (coming soon!) for some ideas on what to put in your sessions.
6. Someone to train with
Training is so much more fun with friends! While they can keep you entertained as you exercise, there’s also other beneficial factors to it too. Motivation bounces off, and the accountability of not wanting to let the other down can get you training on those days you weren’t feeling as motivated. You’ll both be feeling awesome at the end.
Even better, sign up to an event with a friend so that you can work towards that goal together!