Last year, we trained diligently over about 3 months to be well-prepared for our Grand Canyon hiking adventure. And it worked. Since then I've been working plenty, exercising little and eating more calories than needed. So, I am back to training.
I know that in order to get strong for something one must do the thing: to get strong for climbing, one must climb, for hiking and carrying backpacks one must do that, for running on roads one must run on roads. I am looking to get very strong hiking with heavy pack, reasonably strong climbing and aerobically very fit.
Luckily, last weekend, the weather in Ottawa was an amazing 28 degrees and sunny. (Normally, we would be looking at skiing that weekend ...) So, I got the official start early on the 4 next 6 months of training.
First, we went for a 44k bike ride along the pathways of Ottawa (nothing too hilly yet). The next day, we hiked 14 k around Meech Lake (with about 25 lbs of weight on my back, ie light to start to reach 50 to 60 lbs in a few weeks), starting at O'Brien parking lot, followed by a 5 k run the next day. In between was garden clean up (6 weeks earlier than usual!) and some painting around the house. (Jan even squeezed in an inline skate, while I painted some.)
I am planning a bike ride or run tomorrow and a few hours of hiking with my backpack on Sunday. That is shaping up to become the weekend routine. Except when we go on extra long weekend trips a few times this summer where we will tune up on gear as well as weekend distance and elevation hiked.
The great thing is that I get to be outside while building up a whole new level of strength to get ready for 3 months of Andean exploration, and whatever follows it.