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[pct-l] Re: How conditioning works

Well Tom

You might be right that I went out a little too fast.  The being really
tired all the time makes me think I was not build up very slowly.  OTOH, I
did train for 400 miles before I left, I took 3 weeks off after the first
month, and I was in all those storms in the first month, which made for
enforced rest, and I was never really walking fast, I was just walking
longer per day than most other people.

I wish that I had asked more questions about conditioning and training than
I did before I left for the trail.  I just kind of took most of the
suggestions that Jardine made and tried to apply them as best as I could. 
I don;t think that they worked for me very well.  For some reason, I think
that I  needed longer to work up to 20 mile days, and the fairly rugged
terrain from Walker Pass to Echo Lake did not allow me the ease and time
for doing that.  I think younger people have more reserve and can maybe
build mileage faster.

When I was rowing and sculling, I  took a couple years to build a base, and
then went through a yearly pattern of starting in the fall and building up
for 8-9 months for peaking in the late spring, and thenn I would take the
summer off and go climbing.  It has occurred to me that I may need a couple
years to build a good base.  Long distance hiking is quite different than
climbing, rock climbing, and windsurfing or all the other things that I
have been doing for the last tenyears.  I have always been a poor runner.


> From: reynolds@ilan.com
> To: goforth@cio.net
> Cc: pct-mailing list <PCT-L@backcountry.net>
> Subject: How conditioning works
> Date: Monday, August 30, 1999 11:04 PM
> Joanne,
> My son is a high school cross country runner. Beacuse he had problems
> 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
> equated with cutting wood and storing it for later. Right before
> cross-counrty season he began to do speed workouts. This has the effect
> 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
> in shape by walking more miles than they were really capable of.
> 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
> 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.
> goforther in the long run.
> Tom
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