In this the second blog of our series on trekking, we continue our trekking preparations whether it be in Iceland, the bush trails in Australia or for the Oxfam trailwalk.
Whatever your goal, if you are attempting to walk or trek you will need to prepare yourself by increasing your strength and endurance capacity gradually. With graduating doses of repetitive load, skin, tendons and bones will become thicker, stronger and more resilient.
Two key components for building your trek readiness
1. Increase your walking load
The best way to avoid injuries while trekking is to increase your walking capacity slowly, increasing volumes and length of walking in a graduated and organized way. Give yourself at least 3 months to train for a moderate trekking trip, and allow six months for an epic adventure like the Oxfam Trailwalk or Base Camp. Look at your goal and work backwards, graduating the steps towards your end goals including lengths of walking and strength training. Then calculate your distances and loads over that time to formulate a training plan. In the last few months make sure you wear your shoes in to avoid teething problems mid trek.
2. Improve your strength.
Strength is hugely underestimated when preparing for these sorts of adventures including upper and lower limb strength. This week I will give you some tips to improve upper limb strength and next week lower limb.
Upper limb strength can be very important on a trekking trip as good strength is needed to carry your backpack as well as assist with lifting yourself up rocks if the terrain is rough.
Upper limb exercises to build your strength
Here are a few simple upper limb exercise worth doing at least 3 months prior to your trip:
Lie on your front face down with your hands on the floor shoulder width apart and your fingers facing forwards.
Press up using your arms and shoulders, lifting your body up onto your toes, so that you have a straight line from your head to your feet. Keep your abdominals and core muscles tighten so you do not arch or sag your back. Bend your elbows, lowering your chest down towards the start, keeping your body completely straight.
If this is too difficult, try starting with your knees on the floor and press-up from this position.
Sit on the front edge of a chair. Place your hands on the seat of the chair and use your arms to move yourself forwards towards the front of the chair. Walk your feet forwards so your legs are straight out or bent at the knees toward the edge. From this position, use your arms to slowly lower your body directly down towards the floor by bending at the elbow. Keep your hands close to your body. Lift yourself up by straightening your elbows to complete the triceps dip.
Don’t leave your preparations too late, begin 3 months in advance and make the most of your planned adventures, Deb.