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Backpacker Magazine – February 2008

Smash Your Fitness Barriers With Heart-Rate Training

Become a better hiker. Build speed, endurance, and strength all through heart-rate training.

by: Lisa Jhung

PAGE 1 2
Photo by Chuck Haney
Photo by fitness
Photo by Chuck Haney

Find Your Limits
Record these heart rates to guide your training.

Low
Hike at an easy, conversational pace for an hour to determine your "go-all-day" heart rate. Use this figure as a low-end measuring point.

High
Hike uphill at a rapid pace for at least 30 minutes to establish your high-intensity heart rate.

Heart-Rate Exercises
Steady State
Why Build base endurance to hike at a consistent pace all day.
How Stay at your low-end heart rate while covering varied terrain. Start with one hour, and build up to three or four hours. Hike at a relaxed, conversational clip.

Intervals
Why Improve aerobic capacity and reduce your recovery time.
How Warm up by walking for 15-20 minutes. Then hike for 6 minutes uphill at a strong pace just below your high-end heart rate. Recover by hiking 2 minutes at a slower pace (preferably downhill or on flats). Repeat 6 minutes "hard" and 2 minutes "easy" two more times; build up to four to six reps per session. Hike slowly for 10 minutes to cool down.

High Pitch
Why Gain confidence to hold a sustained, fast pace over longer distances. How Warm up for 15-20 minutes, then climb a hill at a steady, hard pace for 25-45 minutes near your high-end heart rate. Monitor your breathing and hydration. Occasionally train on flat terrain to improve your stride rate. Cool down for 10 minutes.


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READERS COMMENTS

JoAnn
Apr 24, 2008

How does this all tie in with VO2max?

Dave
Mar 28, 2008

HRM's are nice but not necessary to get the benefit of HRM type training. For years people have been using the Perceived Exertion method by simply judging how hard they are working by the ease at which they could talk or take a drink while working. The two extreme conditions might be:
Working and able to hold a conversation with ease.
You are likely below 50% of your heart rate.
Working and the simple act of taking a sip of water is enough to make you feel desperate to breath. You are likely 80+% of your max heart rate.

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