This fibrous tissue connecting the hips and knees is prone to trip-ending overuse injuries.
» Stretch it. Lie on your back. Raise one leg up. Let it fall across your body (keeping it straight) until you feel it. Hold for 30 seconds. Switch legs.
» Alleviate it. Use trekking poles to absorb impact, reducing leg strain.
» Strengthen it. For a complete training program designed for long-trail fitness, check out our Thru-Hiking 101 course at backpacker.com/thruhiking.