You are going to be walking for long periods each day, often carrying kit and equipment. This equates to low intensity exercise for long durations, otherwise known as endurance fitness. Endurance fitness increases with experience, so the more endurance-type activities you can do, the better your body (and mind) will be able to handle it.
Endurance fitness also seems to lie dormant. You don’t have to do something every week; it may have been months or sometimes years since you last did a long period of sustained low activity, but somehow your body remembers.
The best way to build endurance fitness is to go out and do long days ideally in the hills – something that is hard to do with a busy lifestyle – especially if you’re working overtime in advance of a long period of annual leave! Because there’s just no substitute for getting out there.
We recommend it as a key element of your training program prior to any expedition. You should be comfortable walking for eight hours a day in the British hills for at least three days in a row – building up to carrying your kit if that’s what your pending adventure entails – check out our training programme below.
- Replace the drive to work with a run or cycle
- Skip your luxurious shower and swim before work instead
- Find a training partner to maintain motivation
- Replace your cinema night with a spinning class
- Write targets on a chart or calendar to keep you visibly on track.
- Start slowly, adding weight to your rucksack as your fitness improves
- Walking poles can aid balance and help lessen the strain on your joints
- Aim to carry 5kg more than necessary as this will help your body adjust on the trek where conditions may be worse underfoot, altitudes may be higher and your calorific intake – and therefore morale! – will be lower.