Ideas on how to train

Rachel Carson Challenge 10 step program

Rachel Carson Trail Challenge; here is a workable approach to completing it.

1. Don't get injured in training. If you suspect possible injury, keep longest training hike under 20 miles. Better to be under-trained and healthy vs. over-trained or injured!

2. Train on RCT (trail) whenever possible, especially long hikes. Duplicate conditions of Challenge day: Wake up early, eat same food, wear intended clothes, shoes, supplies.

3. Be familiar with the trail, and train in direction of the challenge for this year.

4. Have at least two pair of running shoes, well broken in, train in them.

5. Increase calories during training, eat more, eat right. Main diet should be a mix of complex and simple carbohydrates, and protein. Fruits and vegetables are a source of electrolytes which prevent hyponatrenia, but you have to begin eating them now. A week or so prior to the challenge, increase sodium intake: pretzels, pickles, soy sauce, add salt to food. Hyponatrenia is a dangerous depletion of essential electrolytes and comes about while exerting in the heat while sweating and consuming large quantities of water. It is best to adapt to the heat ahead of time.

6. Give about a day per mile between longest hikes. That is, if you do a 15 mile hike this weekend, wait about 2 weeks to do another of similar length.

7. Thus we derive a plan for three "key" long hikes - date ranges and suggested distances working backwards from Challenge date. You may vary the dates or distances to match your personal plan; this is what I found to work best for me:

EXAMPLE: Rachel Carson Trail Challenge Saturday June 24, 2006

Last long training hike ideally June 7 @ 20 miles. Date/distance range: June 3 @ 22miles to June 11 @ 17 miles. Theory: closer to challenge date; shorter the distance.

Middle long training hike ideally May 20 or 21 @ 17 miles.

First long training hike ideally May 6 or 7 @ 13 to 15 miles.

8. Between now and your first long hike on May 6 or May 7, you should be doing a long hike each week along with getting out to walk several times per week and 'ramping up' total weekly mileage each week. Don't begin (right now) with long distances or high weekly miles. "Ramp up" means start low and increase gradually over the next four weeks to your first long hike.

9. Walking steps, bike riding, lifting weights and swimming are all nice additions; but rest a day or two prior to, and after your long training hikes.

10. Just prior to your last long training hike; quit lifting weights! And after the last long hike, "taper" your weekly mileage. Last week might look like this: Saturday prior to Challenge: 10 mile walk, easy. Monday: 5mi , Tuesday: 4mi , Wednesday: 3mi , Thursday: 2mi, Friday: stay off your feet, Saturday: CHALLENGE!