Why Trek yourself fit?
Lisa Marshall | Director | Trek Athlete
I’m often asked by people I meet why on earth I need to train to go walking? Firstly, I correct them. Trekking isn’t just your casual morning stroll to the coffee shop or walking the dog. It involves a certain level of strength and endurance traversing uneven terrain in the wilderness, for up to eight hours a day, in varying degrees of weather, altitude and steepness, often carrying a pack, for multiple days back to back, sleeping in a tent, eating unusual foods, having to go to the toilet in the bush and all sorts of other exciting but different experiences rolled into one.
Your first trek will not only take you out of your comfort zone physically, but it can put a strain on your mental ‘tuffness.’ Trek training builds physical, mental and emotional toughness and gets you out in nature, on the kinds of uneven terrain and varying weather conditions that you will most likely experience on a trek. It also gives you ample opportunity to get familiar with your gear, footcare, nutrition, hydration and adapting to varying climates as you take on steep mountain passes.
It’s the difference between being able to put your boots on without agonizing blisters, feeling good when you roll out of your sleeping bag on day five of the trek, adapting to altitude well and maintaining a sunny disposition, allowing you to make the most of the beautiful places you will find yourself in, to remember the magic moments and have energy to take photos of the amazing mountain scenery.
Tell me just why you wouldn’t want to be fit and strong for the challenges you might face in the wilderness?!
I don’t say these things to put you off! In fact, I am passionate about getting people fit to trek, because I hate the thought of someone signing up for a great adventure goal and then hating every minute of being out in the wilderness, simply because they didn’t have the tools or commit to the training.
Our teams of women consistently attribute their enjoyment of a trek to the importance of committing to training and preparation: it gives them the physical and mental endurance to be able to manage all those unexpected situations and conditions that arise when out in the wilderness.
We’ve worked together with our team of expert Coaches for more than 10 years, who have trekked all over the world, on many different trails and in many events such as the 30-60km Coastrek, to put together a training program that incorporates the most important ingredients we know you need to get you Trek Fit. We’ve trained many teams of women to take on moderate to challenging treks in all sorts of environments. You will find the key ingredients at Trek Training, which will give you the Ultimate Recipe for Success on the mountain:
1. Endurance: Long distance hikes to build aerobic fitness and muscular endurance, add a weighted backpack to build strength.
2. High-Intensity Interval Training: Interval training on hills, stairs and soft sand to build anaerobic fitness, improve cardiovascular system & increase power.
3. Agility: Rock Scrambling on coastal rock ledges, mountainous scree, boulders and exposed ledges to improve coordination, balance, core, flexibility and strength.
4. Mental Toughness: Physical challenges, fear, temporary discomfort and/ or stress in nature to build resilience and confidence.
So when the time comes that you decide you want to take on an adventure in nature, don’t hesitate to incorporate the above recipe into your training and preparation, to make for an enjoyable trek. You’ll discover the benefits of getting Trek Fit in nature and the wonderful “feel good” factor that comes with it too!