By now you should have a good start on building a strong fitness base.
The second phase of your training plan should focus on increasing your endurance and intensity. Aim for 4-6 days a week of at least 1 hour or more of aerobic activity. If possible, one of your workouts should include a 2-5 hour hike or some type of similar activity.
Interval training is a great way to add intensity to your workouts. Following a proper 10 minute warmup, begin by increasing the speed you are working at for 1 minute. Your exertion should feel very hard and push you to fatigue.
Then slow down your speed to a level that is somewhat hard but you can maintain the pace. Continue alternating 1 min hard with 1 min recovery for 20 min. followed by a 10 min cool down.
Over the course of this second phase, play with different lengths of intervals (ex: 2:00 work/2:00 recovery; 3:00 work/1:30 recovery; 5:00 work/2:00 recovery) and try to increase the amount of time spent doing intervals in your workouts.
Aim to include interval training into 1 or 2 of your workouts per week.
For your strength training component it is time to start increasing the number of reps you are doing and also begin to add weight or increase the weight with each exercise.
Remember, you will be carrying a small pack with a water bottle and lunch on your hike, so it would be a good idea to begin wearing one and slowly adding a little more weight to it during your training.
Now is also a good time to introduce some new exercises including ones that require balance. Below are some exercises to try. You can find examples of any of these on the internet.
Begin with 2-3 sets of 10-15 reps and slowly add or increase weight with each one.
- Single leg squats
- Step ups from the side
- Single leg tap downs
- Alternating lateral lunges
- Single leg deadlifts
- Single leg calf raises
- Pushups and dips with feet on a ball
- Back extensions
Your priority during this phase should be to increase the duration and intensity of your workouts. Continue to stretch, hydrate, practice good nutrition, get plenty of sleep and take at least one full rest day per week to allow your body to recover.
Ridge Athletic Club