GETTING IN SHAPE FOR YOUR TRIP
How you physically prepare for a multi-day hiking or cycling trip depends on many factors, including your level of aerobic fitness and overall strength, including that of your leg and core muscles. If you are not well-trained, the best way to prepare is to do the activity under the conditions you’ll be experiencing – such as walking on rough terrain, cycling up steep hills, or carrying all your gear. Start at least six to eight weeks before you depart to give yourself enough time to work up to being comfortable with the maximum daily mileage you’ll encounter on the trip. Training for a bike trip can include a combination of aerobic exercise (focused on indoor or outdoor cycling along with cross-training such as rowing, jogging, or swimming) and strength training. For instance, each week you could do two long rides, gradually increasing the distance by five to ten miles every week or two. For walking and hiking treks, especially those with significant downhills – an activity that involves what’s called eccentric muscle contraction, which puts added strain on leg muscles – strength training that targets this kind of muscle action, or weekly treks that have a downhill component, are recommended. Other workouts can include brisk walking on a treadmill set on an incline, as well as stair climbing.