Thursday, August 9, 2007

General Training Tips For Hikers

This I got from a dear friend, Sdr. Hizrian Hadi bin Baharudin Bsc. Sports Science (Hons.), currently attached to KPTM Bangi.

Train on the trail
Make sure you are familiar with the route by walking it during practice, particularly those sections you will be walking in darkness. Estimate which areas of the trail you will be walking at night and practice on them. Distances, terrain and direction are all very different in the dark, and walking rough ground by torchlight is a skill that needs to be practiced. (Acclimatization process or “proses penyesuaian”).
Trail shoes
Wear a good pair of hiking boots or running shoes. Make sure they are well broken in before the event by wearing them on practice walks. Do NOT wear new shoes for the event! A spare pair of "tested" shoes is also recommended. (for me kasut “memotong getah” is the best one, timberland or hi-tec sumenye mengarut…)
Test food and drink
Experiment with different high-energy foods, for example, bananas, jelly babies or energy bars or gels. See what works best for you. Also trial different drinks including Electrolyte Drink and different hydration systems. Training is as much about figuring out what to eat and drink on the trail as it is about walking the trail! (try glucose…it works!!)
Test Clothes
Test out different hiking clothes and gear for carrying fluids, food and first aid. Determine in training what it is you will wear and carry during the event - don't try anything new during the event! (pakai pagoda je…tapi klu hike time malam, elok pakai baju yang tebal sket…)
Training Diary
Keep a training log to record distance covered, section of trail covered and total time taken. This lets you track what training works best for you and will provide arrival estimates for your support crew during the event. As you tick off the kilometres - it also gives a great sense of accomplishment. (More to motivate urself…)
Ten Percent Rule or Overloading Principle
From one week to the next, do not increase your total weekly distance covered or the distance of your long walk/run by more than 10%. A big increase in distance or level of intensity greatly increases the chances of incurring injury. (It aims to prevent overtraining injury…terutama bagi mereka2 yang lututnya dah out…hahaha)
Cross Training
By including some cross-training activities along with regular stretching and possibly a weight-training program you will reduce the risk of injury and keep the training interesting. Cross-training is particularly important for those who are just beginning to build a base and need to strengthen the opposing muscle groups. Very important since we have to carry our own backpacks…try to maximize your load during training…
Always take maps and make sure you know how to use them, together with a torch and a simple compass. Worth bringing some spare money too - just in case. (tau ke bace maps?)
Taking a Rest
Tired muscles start to stiffen during long rests. Shorter, more frequent stops may be more advisable during training (and the event).
Make it Fun
Have some fun and involve your support crew. Arrange your training hike to finish at a beach or local pub/restaurant. Then have your support crew join you for a small celebration.
You are strongly advised to take out insurance to cover injury or death and any damage to personal property.
Happy trekking ...

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