To Walk to Hike to Trek
Featured image shows why you need to train
In late September 2015, my husband aka The Trainer and I flew from Melbourne into Kathmandu to trek to Everest Base Camp. We nearly cancelled the trip because of the earthquakes but had trained so much, we decided we had to go. Two years earlier we had gone even though I didn’t really want to go. We trained hard for the trek, we walked, biked, stepped, climbed, stretched and hiked for six months and, in fact over trained, but we didn’t make it. There is a story there, because we should have and could have made it to Everest Base Camp.
In September 2015 we were well and truly prepared to try again. We had trained for six months – general fitness then building up to more intense training in the last three months, treadmill, walks, bike rides, stretching, stair training and I guess you could say hiking. I looked up a few definitions of hike.
hike : walk for a long distance, especially across country.
“they hiked across the moors” synonyms: walk, go on foot, trek, tramp, trudge, traipse, slog, footslog, plod, march
We hiked, I trudged and tramped all over the river area near where we live and all over the hills in our neighbourhood with our trekking gear, boots, packs and my trekking poles. The Trainer refused to use trekking poles.
This was much to the puzzlement of commuters passing by and to the amusement of hospital patients in their beds looking out the hospital windows onto one of our practicing hills. No sooner did I arrive at the top of the hill than the Trainer pointed back down to the bottom, striding off leaving me resting at the top. I would get to the bottom and he strode back up telling me how many more times he wanted me to go up and down. Each training session he would add a little more water to the bottles in my back pack slowly increasing the weight. Which brings me to the second definition which resonates with me:
hike – to walk or march a great distance, especially through rural areas, for pleasure, exercise, military training, or the like.
Military training! Yes. And most the time it wasn’t pleasurable. I would come home from work and have a backpack thrown at me and was told to get changed. Rain or shine, out we went. By the time we left for Kathmandu we were training five days a week including week nights. By the last week I was exhausted and near tears when he suggested a final training session. That was in 2013. Last year I told him what I thought about his idea of training on the fourth or fifth day before we were to fly out. So Hike I think I know all about it. But I have to say I had never really hiked or trekked before. So you hike to train for the trek because it is very hard to train for trekking. You experience trekking because trekking supposes some huge challenge and a journey in the big sense of the word, which trekking to Everest Base Camp is. And it is so worth all the training, it is the best thing I have ever done.
So Hike I think I know all about it. But I have to say I had never really hiked or trekked before. So you hike to train for the trek because it is very hard to train for trekking. You experience trekking because trekking supposes some huge challenge and a journey in the big sense of the word, which trekking to Everest Base Camp is. And it is so worth all the training, it is the best thing I have ever done.
January training was really about general fitness. Away in Adelaide for two weeks so the it involved a few beach walks, a walk to Mount Lofty from Waterfall Gully and some walk/runs to my local hometown park. The second half of January was unseasonably cool so we able to have quite a few walk to our local park.
February training was a mixture of outside and inside training. Hot days usually on the treadmill with the air conditioner on, a few walks to our local park and the bike came out for the first time in a while.
March and April training themes were step incline training on the treadmill, a few sessions out on the hills and some beautiful bike rides and long walks exploring new parts of our of the Main Yarra Trail over my school holiday break. We normally train in our trekking gear and especially the boots. My trekking poles were dusted off and taken out for a hill walk.
May and June training – incline, incline, incline. Up hills of river trails local to home, incline on the treadmill and the stair climbing. The stair climbing is really great practice for the Everest Base Camp trek training but it is so boring. A mp3 player of some strategies to keep going are needed. The stairs have been a great option for training during winter to vary from using the treadmill.
July – Stairs once week at our local stair place starting at 45 minutes and building up to one hour, treadmill walks on inclines ( one 15 step incline) varying between half an hour and 45 minutes on inclines. Week four started some weights in the back pack (2.3kg) training
Only two outside track walks one focusing on hills and one on distance 9km walk.
August -Stairs three weeks out of four, treadmill, 9km walk outside with trekking poles, 2 x 8 km hill and track walk, treadmill walks once or twice per week on inclines. Week 3…Bike to Petty’s Orchard, fell off bike for something completely different. Week 4… Walk at beach, Cape Patterson Walk hills, 9 km., small pack and a 11.4 km walk