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How to Do Everything – Become a Mileage Monster

Hike farther, faster, and pain-free with these training tips and exercise.
mileage monsterBecome a mileage monster with these exercises and tips.
The Exercises
  • Build Lung Power
  • Prevent Shin Splints
  • Banish Blisters
  • Treat Muscle Cramps
  • End Ankle Rolls

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How to Do Everything – Become a Mileage Monster

Hike farther, faster, and pain-free with these training tips and exercise.
november 2010 mileage monster illo 200x170november 2010 mileage monster illo 200x170

Want to turbo up the steeps? The key is interval training—short, intense bursts of aerobic activity. Add one or two interval sessions per week (with at least one rest day in between) to your normal, moderate-intensity exercise. Veteran adventure racer Jenny Hadfield suggests this killer routine (“Walk Faster,” 9/04). The workout Warm up for 10 minutes with jogging or jumping jacks, then run hard for three minutes—on an intensity scale of one to 10, shoot for an eight. Recover by walking for three minutes. Start with four reps and build gradually to eight.

Iron out your core By fortifying your abs, hips, and back, you can carry heavy loads easily. The exercise Lie on your belly, then pop onto your elbows and toes. Hold this “plank” pose for five breaths and lower (eight to 12 reps, three sets). Variation Work the obliques: Rotate 180 degrees up into a sideplank (elbow straight under shoulder).

Sculpt 3-D legs Train in multiple planes with “around the clock” lunges, so you can handle uneven terrain. The exercise Lunge forward with your right foot into the 12 o’clock position. Then lunge to 1:00 (your torso and left leg still face noon). Travel around the face until 6:00 (a backward lunge). Switch to your left foot, and go clockwise from 6 to noon. Do four sets; weighted pack optional.

Go the distance To amp up cardio endurance, mimic Ed Viesturs’ workout (“Climb Like Ed,” 10/05): Do five 30- to 75-minute aerobic workouts (running, power-hiking) a week. Stuck in a gym? Hit a stair climber with a weighted pack (start with 10 pounds and build to trip weight or five pounds more).

Beef up your lower back
To prevent aches in your lumbar region, tone the muscles with the Superman. The exercise Lie on your belly, then lift your legs, chest, and arms off the ground. Hold this arched, crescent position for 30 seconds. Repeat three times.

Get explosive strength Nothing beats squats. Wearing a weighted pack, stand with feet shoulder-width apart. Lower until thighs are parallel with floor; keep your spine straight. Do three sets of six to 12 reps. Variation From the squat, jump as high as possible; bend your legs as you land.

Cure outer-knee pain This common affliction often results from a tight, irritated iliotibial (IT) band, which runs along the thigh. The stretch After warming up, slide the right leg behind the left; bend left at the waist. Hold for 20 seconds three times on each side. Also, build the glutes to promote proper hip alignment (try one-legged squats).

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