Starting back up again

9:26 a.m. on August 27, 2015 (EDT)
12 reviewer rep
135 forum posts

It's been a while since I've been on a backpacking trip and have since gotten married. My wife and I would like to start working towards getting in trail shape. I've hiked enough to know what works for me, but I was wanting to see if anybody has tips (or things to keep in mind) while training as a couple.


9:37 a.m. on August 27, 2015 (EDT)
Chuck Davis
13 reviewer rep
25 forum posts

Make sure she has appropriate shoes and let her set the pace for starters

10:19 a.m. on August 27, 2015 (EDT)
73 reviewer rep
4,165 forum posts

The obvious answer is more hiking. I have found that a stairclimber machine is very helpful, with some mountain biking, walks around the neighborhood and a few weight machines added in. I can feel the affect of stairclimbing on the quadriceps and cardiovascular fitness in particular.

1:58 p.m. on August 30, 2015 (EDT)
40 reviewer rep
560 forum posts

Just starting up after a long hiatus (or just starting) needs a slow wind up.  The first two weeks should be shorter walks (could be 40 mins in the neighborhood every day before you go to work) mainly to announce to the body that something is changing.  It takes repetition of the same thing rather than extending yourself to start with.  You can put whatever spin you think you can add on after the third week.

This applies especially to the gym workouts as well as day hikes.  Don't make it more than a two hour slow/easy hike the first couple of weeks.

Local gym (Planet Fitness) has a $10 a month introductory fee.  Cost more than that to do your laundry.

The temptation to press on to what you were like at your prime is always there...don't listen to the monkey on your back.

You should attempt not to have soft tissue soreness.  It is a warning that your body is telling you are going at it too aggressively.

ppine is right on the stair steppers/climbers and the Precor devices you find in gyms.  One thing about the stair step/climb machines is that you can get more out of an hour's work out then you would in a much longer period on a trail.   Work up from 5 or 10 mins toward 30 or more on stair step on a steep grade and 45 min+ on Precor two times a week. No fair holding on to the rails.   They work different muscle groups.  Proper use of equipment and weights in a gym is a much more efficient and quicker way to target groups of muscles for back packing use.  Both stairs and Precor make dandy 10 min warm ups before you do any serious tossing iron around. A warm up is necessary before doing any strenuous activity.  Spend enough time on it until you just start to 'glisten' from perspiration.

A tread mill can do something hiking can't do.  Maintain the same intense effort over time.  Putting the tread mill on the highest incline and walking fast as you can for 30 mins will kick anybody's butt (don't jog - that's cheating).

Set up a jog/walk program.  Start at the bottom and work up.  See here:

The first goal is to be able to talk with your jogging partner for 30 mins without suffering from anaerobic breathing or collapse.  Make talking to each other while jogging part of the training. You are going to spend a lot of time jogging/hiking together, might as well make it a social event.

If in a gym, spend 75% on muscles below the belly button and the rest on core (front/back) and upper body strength.  Don't spend more than a few minutes on abs - more on back using 'superman' flying on your tummy. 

If you are planning on using treks, target those muscles in a gym too.  You need a goal of 20 pounds per stride transferred to each trek for a very long time :)

At end of 4th or 5th week you should be targeting 'failure' at the end of three sets.  Then it is a matter of mixing up machines/weights to keep the body from going slack on you.

Use frequent trail walking/running as a way to coordinate all the muscles the gym is building and wrap things up.  A gym makes up for all the time you need but don't have to spend on a trail.

If working as a couple at a gym, just meet up every 15 mins to work on something together - maybe even a rest and water.  You will probably be working on different exercises to start with.  Don't give up all of one's time instructing the other.  That's what trainers are for.  Don't dawdle at a gym.  Get in, do your plan and get out - get on with life.

The most critical thing as a couple is doing something to a set schedule and to stick with it. Make each responsible for getting the other to walk or jog daily, stick to a gym schedule, eat right and drink loads of water. 

In all your walking/hiking make 'interval training' routine.  Something as simple as 3 min strenuous interval with 10 mins of 'recovery' walking works like magic.

Always be involved while you are moving during the day. Try to do things with a purpose - but not so much others notice. While standing in line or waiting for something to happen, keep heels on the ground and lean back and a little down as if you are sitting on something - putting as much weight on your heels as you can. Hold for as long as you can then repeat. Walk by slightly moving your foot toward the stationary foot just barely grazing the ankle and placing the step just a bit to the side of an imaginary line.  This should cause you to feel it in the inside of your thighs - just slightly.

10:48 p.m. on August 30, 2015 (EDT)
40 reviewer rep
560 forum posts

Ayoub FT Oh man!  I gotta get one of those mini Segways.  (@Fedelityfootwear).  Otherwise a zippo site.

11:48 p.m. on August 31, 2015 (EDT)
1,753 reviewer rep
3,956 forum posts

speacock said:

Ayoub FT Oh man!  I gotta get one of those mini Segways.  (@Fedelityfootwear).  Otherwise a zippo site.

 Yep, complete spam. Sorry i didnt catch it all sooner.

8:03 a.m. on September 1, 2015 (EDT)
12 reviewer rep
135 forum posts

Thanks for all the advice :)

July 6, 2020
Quick Reply

Please sign in to reply