Tag Archives: Training

The Taper

28 May

Hiking in the Rincon Mountains.

Emily and I have talked quite a bit about our physical training getting ready for the trail.  Some weeks have gone way better than others, but we have consistently put in 35-60 miles of training a week, mostly running and hiking.  We have pushed ourselves hard, hoping that by putting in the work now we can start the trail doing  higher mileages.  On tough days we talked about how much easier those climbs in the Whites will be after training on these huge rocky mountains.

All of this training unexpectedly culminated on our hike this past Saturday.  Friday we had gotten up at 6am to bike 26.2 miles with a friend (in 35mph winds), then napped, and then knocked out 10.5miles of trail running in the evening.  So when we woke up Saturday morning and hit the trail for our 20 mile training hike we were (maybe) a little tired.   According to the locals, it was the last “cool” day before summer- the high was only 87degrees and there was a beautiful crisp wind.   We had packed tons of snacks and a good amount of water (which, as always in the desert, wasn’t enough).   Continue reading

Working and Training

23 Mar

Though we may try to avoid telling people on the trail, the fact is that Emily and I are both nurses.  We currently work in a Trauma ICU at a Level One Trauma center, which basically means the sickest of the sick.  Most nights are spent on our feet anywhere from 8-12 hours of our 12 hour shifts.  When I first started training, my friend Molly told me I would be ahead of the game since so much of what we are working towards is time on our legs.  I don’t think it really hit me what that meant until the past few weeks.  We have been training 6-7 days a week and I work 3 12-hour night shifts a week.  That math means there is no avoiding working out before and after intense shifts.  Critical care nursing isn’t just physically exhausting (e.g. turning 600lb patients), it is incredibly mentally exhausting.  We use a lot of critical thinking, are constantly doing calculations in our heads, and are titrating and bolusing life saving (and potentially fatal) medications.  You can’t really let down your guard or relax while at work.  All of this tends to add up to tired, sad-sack koalas and pandas at the end of the day.

Which brings me back to the training part. Continue reading

Physical Preparation

19 Mar

Physical preparation is a huge part of our lives right now.  However, when we were doing our research we had a really tough time finding information on how other people trained for their thru-hikes or thru-runs.   Lots of folks on traditional thru-hikes let the trail get them in shape.  They start hiking 8-10 miles a day for a few weeks until they build up the stamina they need.   They usually start in the south and go north because the trail gets progressively harder and therefore allows for this kind of “on the job” training.   With our plan for the trail this doesn’t work for us for a few reasons.  One, we want to be trail running as much as possible from the start.  Two, we are going north to south, therefore starting on the hardest terrain and ending on the easier sections.  Finally, we don’t have six months to complete the trail- we are shooting for four, which ups the necessary daily mileage by quite a bit.  All of these factors lead to the fact that we have to whip our butts into shape pre-trail!

While Emily and I have both been runners and athletes since middle-school, we made the decision that we wanted to get a coach.  With working full-time (we are both RNs who work night shift), planning all the trail logistics, taking classes (Emily) and various cross-country and international moves we wanted some help.  Continue reading