Ready for the adventure of a lifetime hiking in the remote region of Patagonia?
Chances are, you are also a little (or very!) nervous about your fitness and wondering if your body and mind are up for the challenge. This is a trek that can be done by an ‘average’ person, even someone who is not particularly athletic, provided you give yourself plenty of time to prepare for this exciting and inspirational expedition! Here are some tips to help you get in shape for Patagonia and have fun doing it. Keep in mind that these are generic guidelines; if you have specific questions or concerns or need help with a training plan, feel free to contact me (firstname.lastname@example.org).
We hope these tips are helpful to you as you prepare for this amazing adventure. To ensure that everyone has the highest chances of succeeding and enjoying their adventure, and is on track with their training, it is best to prepare well in advance. Have fun, work hard, and we’ll see you in the mountains!!
As remote hiking destinations go, Patagonia has a lot to be said for it. From many locations in the US, the time zone difference is only a couple of hours. Patagonia itself is almost at sea level, so while many hikes can be steep and rocky, high elevation and the multitude of effects it can have on the human body are not much of a concern. Our trip in November will mean we will be enjoying spring in the Southern Hemisphere. What cannot be underestimated, however, is the challenge of the nearly constant wind. The wind blows unimpeded off the ocean and across vast plains and can range from mild to fierce enough to blow a hiker off a trail. Be prepared with the right gear- a good windproof jacket, wind pants, sturdy hiking poles.
Start Early, Start Slow.
As soon as you’ve committed to the trip, make a plan for how you will work training into your daily life so that you have plenty of time to get in shape before this trip. The earlier you start, the better! As you start out, set realistic goals to be sure you are challenging but not overexerting yourself. This can lead to injuries, which will set you back more than benefit you. If you have any medical conditions or haven’t exercised in a while, you may want to talk to your doctor before starting to train.
You’ll need the right tools for training – so go ahead, get those flashy new running shoes instead of dusting off the old pair! Consider obtaining the gear you’ll be using on your trek early on, especially hiking boots, so you can break them in and get used to them. See our gear page for more tips and information!
The best way to train for hiking is… hiking! Try to spend time each week hiking. For some this will be easy, for others harder, but you can make time for hiking, even in a busy schedule. When you do go hiking, make sure you are gaining elevation and carrying a pack; you’ll be doing both on our trek
Resources for local New Hampshire hikes
Any bookstore in the area and many online will have guidebooks like: AMCs Best Day Hikes in the White Mountains
Get your heart rate up. Unless you are very lucky, you probably won’t get to hike for all your training. That’s okay – you can jog, bike, walk uphill, run on a treadmill, run stairs, swim laps, or do whatever you enjoy that gets your blood pumping. You don’t have to be out of breath and gasping for air, but you should be sweating. If you have a favorite aerobic activity already, great! If not, spend some time early on figuring out what you like to do, and stick to it.
Build up slowly but steadily. Once you are in a good routine, you should aim to slowly add miles and intensity to your workouts. By fall, you should aim to be exercising three or four days per week for an hour at a steady pace without many breaks.
Track your Progress: Keep a training log and periodically review your progress and set new goals. This is also a great way to see how far you’ve come!
Train with Others: Having a training buddy is a great way to keep you on track and keep you honest with not missing workouts. Get a spouse, friend, or sibling to be your training partner Another alternative is to take a class at a local gym, such as spinning, aerobics or conditioning. Personal trainers are another good option for many and can help you get the most out of your workout and make sure you are pushing yourself without going overboard.
It is important to enjoy your training. If you hate running but like biking, spend your time riding (However, if you find you hate hiking, you might want to reconsider this expedition!). Participate in fun events that require you to be active, for example:
A weekend at an AMC hut in the White Mountains
A local 5K or 10K run or bike race
A weekly runners group or morning bike ride group