Prep for the Hike of Your Life Going big? Push yourself with these muscle and mind-over-matter training tips.
LONGEST Body: Increase weekly mileage and, two weeks pretrip, hike a long day (80 percent of your trip’s longest). Wear your planned footwear to toughen blister-prone skin. Mind: Set short-term goals so you can celebrate regularly on-trail. Reward yourself (with a favorite snack or a short restbreak) after every success.
Body: Boost cardio and quad strength by running hill repeats, up and down stairs, or by using a treadmill’s incline mode for 30 minutes two to three times a week.
Mind: Climbs may look bigger when you’re fatigued or grumpy. Stay energized (see below) and train your eyes on the terrain directly in front of you, not a hill’s apex.
HIGHEST Body: Improve balance and descent-control with twice-weekly ab and lower-body strength training. Include squats, stepups, and walking lunges (with a pack). Mind: Altitude can zap appetite, drive, and judgment. Set a schedule to stay on track: Eat and drink hourly, limit breaks to 10 minutes, plan a firm turn-around time.