The weather is finally turning springlike, which means that many of you are starting to think about the epic hikes you have planned for summer. Since nothing can torpedo an ambitious mountain hike quicker than legs that aren’t up for the hills, it’s time to start getting your gams ready for game day.
The following is an updated version of a post that originally ran a year ago.
Let’s talk for a minute about backpacking.
You mean strapping a bulky, steel-frame pack with 60 pounds of gear to your back and hiking 20 miles?
No, I’m talking about slipping on a custom-fit, internal-frame pack with about 30 pounds and hiking 10, maybe 12 miles tops.
Friday, I told you about an opportunity to make this fall truly epic by taking the Ultimate Hike.
Yes, it sounds like the title of a bad reality TV show (oxymoron?) about five people who go on a hike — and only one comes back. In reality — real reality — it’s an opportunity to test yourself and help a bunch of kids in the process. Ultimate Hike is a fundraiser run by CureSearch for Children’s Cancer. CureSearch promises to put you through a 12-week training program, at the end of which you’re able to hike 28.3 miles in one day. In return, you raise $2,500 to help the fight against childhood cancer. Pretty good deal.
Saturday, I ran the Umstead Trail Marathon on rolling natural surface trail at Umstead State Park. It was my first marathon, and it was an education — an education in how not to train for a marathon. Don’t, for instance, cap your weekly distance at 33 miles. Or your longest run at 17. Or start tapering in three months out.
So how do you train for a marathon? I explore that in a piece on the blog of one of the race’s main sponsors, the Great Outdoor Provision Co. Not only did I write it, but I plan to cut it out and post it on my bulletin board as a reminder for the next time.
Read it here.
With few exceptions, I experience what I write about. It makes it easier to describe the experience. It also makes it easier to sniff out the potential BS factor. This comes in especially handy when writing about new fitness trends and classes. It came in handy a couple weeks back when I started reporting a story on Chi Running for the Charlotte Observer and The News & Observer.