Save energy with technical walking

Technical walking is a term used to describe several different styles of walking used to increase efficiency, reduce injury and conserve energy while trekking in the wilderness. The pause step, traversing and other techniques are often used by trekkers and mountaineers on challenging adventures.

In Trek Training your goal is to improve your trekking fitness and endurance in a time efficient manner, which often involves interval training and high energy expenditure for short bursts. However, when you’re trekking in the wilderness, you often need to conserve energy, which is why you practice and use technical walking.

Technique Tips for trekking on flat terrain: 

  • Remember to engage your core in all technical walking so that the energy is transferred efficiently from the upper to the lower body and back. 
  • As in everyday walking, trekking requires you to roll your foot from heel to toe with each step. This natural movement helps minimise the stress on our ankles, calves, shins and knees and allows you to get a good push off for the next step.
  • Aim to propel yourself forward, minimising vertical movement.
  • Perfect posture is important to prevent injury and improve efficiency when trekking. Constantly remind yourself to stand tall, lengthen your spine, creating extra space between each vertebra. Visualise a helium balloon attached to each ear to keep the spine long and the head neutral. 
  • Trekking on uneven surfaces requires you to look down and constantly assess the hazards. Try to remember to look down with your eyes, not your head. If you put your head down, your neck and upper back are bent forward which is not an ideal posture for the body.
  • Focused rhythmical breathing is best when you’re trekking at a fast pace or climbing steep slopes. Try inhaling for two steps and exhaling for two steps, singing or listening to a rhythmical song to maintain rhythm.
Want to know more fabulous trekking tips? Di Westaway's e-book 'How to prepare for world class treks' is available for purchase.

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