Add intervals to your hikes or runs: pick up the pace for 1 to 3 minutes, ease off for a minute, then pick it up again. Repeat 5 to 10 times, depending on your energy level. Intervals build cardiovascular capacity, which helps you go faster for longer.
At the end of a run, find a slight decline and run hard for about a minute. Your cardiovascular system won’t be taxed, but you’ll practice fast foot turnover, which will help you cover more miles with less effort.
On the weekend hikes, occasionally load your pack with a little more weight than you’ll carry during your goal hike. You’ll increase lower body strength, and you’ll feel like you’re flying when the big day comes.