(NC) Shed your hibernation habits and head outdoors this season. Follow these essential training tips to get you prepared for mastering new and favourite trails:
1. Build a solid aerobic base. Cycling, swimming, running and group fitness classes will help develop your aerobic stamina, allowing you to keep your momentum on the trail. Begin with two to three days of aerobic training per week and consider adding more days as you improve.
2. Don’t skip leg day. It may seem obvious, but building strength and flexibility in your legs is essential to your success. Since hiking is all about different elevations, try downhill and uphill lunges on a gradual slope. This will get your quadriceps ready for any incline or downward slope you may encounter.
3. Carry a weighted backpack when you work out. This will simulate what it will actually feel like on your hike with your lunch and a water bottle on your back. By doing this, you will find out where you could use strengthening improvement and can target those areas more frequently during training.
4. Drink lots of water. Gulping down plenty of liquids in the days leading up to your hike will ensure that your body is hydrated enough for anything you encounter.
5. Choose the right shoes. Ensure you are wearing proper footwear when you hike so you can focus on the trail ahead instead of your aching feet. Consider the outer material, types of insoles and the outer sole of the shoe to make sure it’s the perfect fit for your activity. Some shoes are waterproof and can be better suited for rocky, uneven terrain, while others are ideal for softer, looser ground.