|Wolverine Terrain Mid Waterproof|
For those of us who are not planning to be doing months of continuous thru hiking, a weekend backpack for an unconditioned body will do nothing more than make one sore and miserable. Even on a long journey, the first few weeks will be slow and miserable. This is why I advocate running as a great training exercise for hiking and backpacking.
Running allows one to adhere to a rhythmic schedule, develop and maintain great cardio, get the legs ready for strenuous use, and keep ones self healthy when you're not on the trail. It allows you to get outdoors to train, running takes minimal time and produces good solid results. You don't need gym memberships or special equipment. It really is a universally achievable conditioning tool to keep hikers and backpackers motivated and fit for the trail.
A lot of people will argue that running doesn't use the same muscles as backpacking. Well here's the real truth: running keeps the legs strong and used to strenuous exercise. While it may take a few days on the trail to develop the trail specific muscles for carrying the pack, the legs and your cardiovascular system will thank you for already being conditioned to running.
Try trail running, it's the same as hiking except you put out a lot more effort and get faster training results. If you're tight on time, running or trail running will deliver the results you need. You can trail run a few miles a week for a total time of less than two hours a week and get in shape. It would take days of hiking to do the same thing. It's really an economical and time saving solution to trail conditioning.
|My Pearl Izumi isoSeek IV WRX Trail Runners|
Pearl Izumi isn't your thing? Try some of Wolverine Footwear's new 2011 trail runners.