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[pct-l] How conditioning works


My son is a high school cross country runner. Beacuse he had problems with
his knees I became knowledgable with how conditioning works.

My son was advise to run relatively long, relatively slow training
workouts. The theory was to work near, BUT NOT OVER, his capacity. This was
equated with cutting wood and storing it for later. Right before
cross-counrty season he began to do speed workouts. This has the effect of
making him faster at the expense of the stored conditioning he previously
acquired. The book says that, after many months of workout, he could
sustain fast racing for ONLY about two (2) months. If Alan [my son] had
done faster workouts earlier he would have gone faster sooner but not
faster in the long run.

What I saw from most of the thruhikers I met was an attempt to push to get
in shape by walking more miles than they were really capable of. Theirfore,
they degraded their physical condition rather than improved it. What I am
saying is that starting at a pace of 10 miles per day, or even less, will
increase your physical wellbeing allowing you to hike more miles later
while starting out at 20 miles, or more, will degrade your physical
wellbeing causing you to be unable to walk later.

Most thruhikers say that thruhiking is mental. This is said about running
also. This book would disagree. The book says that it is possible, by
proper training "near, BUT NOT OVER, your capacity", you are able to get in
a condition of super health when you are almost never sick or injured and
your attitude improves immensively.

What I am saying is that you walked too far too fast. I know you are
considering return to the trail. My advice is to listen to your body and
STOP when it tells you [this is what I told my son]. Don't push it. You'll
goforther in the long run.


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