Hiking – Part III

Part III – Got Cardio?

Not a runner? or New to running?  Walking is Ok.  Start with 3x per week for 30 minutes, building to 45 minutes.

As you progress, incorporate jog/walk for the 45 minutes, 3x per week.  Working in intervals of jogging – if you use music, try jogging for a song, walking for 2 or 3.  One of the reasons people like to hike is to be with nature.  If you’re training in a park or on a trail, skip the music.  If you’re training on your neighborhood streets, music helps pass the time.  You could also jog past a couple of houses and then walk past two or three times as many.

As you continue to progress to jogging 30 to 45 minutes without walking, work in intervals of short bursts of speed.  Sprint for 10 seconds.  Go all out, don’t hold back.  Walk for 50 seconds to recover.  Start with 1 sprint every 10 minutes of jogging.  See how you feel.  Work up to 6 or 8 sprint intervals in a 45:00 jog.  Do intervals for 1 of your 3 jogs/week.

If you find yourself tight on time some weeks, try Tabata Training.  Tabata training was discovered by Japanese scientist Dr. Izumi Tabata and a team of researchers from the National Institute of Fitness and Sports in Tokyo.  In a nutshell, you push yourself as hard as you can for 20 seconds and rest for 10 seconds. This is one set. You’ll complete eight sets.  A workout would look like this:  Warm up easy jog for 5 minutes.  Sprint 20 seconds, rest 10 seconds.  Repeat 8x.  Jog or walk for 5 minutes.  14 minute workout.

Let’s talk hill repeats.  After all, you’ll be climbing up one long hill.  If you have access to a StairMaster, go for 30 minutes once a week.  Or set the auto program on a treadmill or eliptical for hill repeats.  Another option is to climb steps at the local high school or college stadium (if that’s permissible).  My local community college allows time to for folks to use the track and climb the bleacher stairs.  You can use the stairs in your house, too.  Walk up the stairs, quickly go down and repeat for several rounds.  Then step up every two stairs, quickly go down and repeat for several rounds.  Again, hill repeats are once a week.

Finally,  check out your local state parks.  Many of them offer programs that include group hikes.  Some sporting goods stores, like REI,  also do group hikes and offer “Hiking 101” courses.