Training for a long hike can be easy with this 10-week training program. You’ll be reaching that summit in no time (or in 10 weeks)!
There’s another way for you to exercise, obtain your godlike summer bod, and tackle those summits you’ve been eyeing. Don’t let your current condition prevent you from exploring the world around you; we’re trudging through April, getting into shape, and ringing in spring (and summer) the right way: by hiking!
10 Percent Rule
The 10 percent rule can be used as a guideline if you have a hiking goal in mind (i.e. a mountain). This rule helps you plan a series of hikes that will collectively prepare you for your goal hike (said mountain).
- Start with the goal distance and elevation gain on week 10 (the week of the goal hike)
- Work backward, subtracting about 10 percent each week for 10 weeks
Pro tip: As you train, try to hike with the weight of the pack you will have during your goal hike in week 10, that way you can get used to the load. (You’ll get stronger too!) Check out 2017’s Best Backpacks for Hiking & Camping.
For example, say you’re interested in hiking Half Dome in Yosemite National Park. This hike climbs 4,863 feet of elevation over about 16.5 miles. If you have 10 weeks to train for your goal hike at Half Dome, your training plan would look something like this:
By increasing your hiking mileage as well as increasing your elevation over time, you can build the strength and endurance to take on longer, steeper trails, and reach more of your goals. Also, keep in mind that this is a guide, not a mandate, therefore you should be tailoring it to your needs. For example, if you aren’t able to hike 3 miles right now, you might want to extend your training a little longer. Likewise, if you can already comfortably hike 8 miles, then you should start your training there. This might also push you to broaden your horizons and reach new goals.
Make sure you’re pushing yourself, but not pushing yourself too hard. The miles might not be a problem for you, but the elevation can be. Progress at a reasonable pace to avoid any injuries. An injury can set you back much farther than an extra week or two of training. Remember, this is YOUR training program, so make it work for you.
Hiking is an extremely rewarding activity that engages body, mind, and soul, and like any outdoor activity, hiking requires the correct gear. There’s one type of gear that should be most important when hiking or training, and that is your socks. Along with your shoes, socks are a layer you need that can provide additional comfort, protection, and support during your hikes.
Make your feet happy out on the trails and try some of our best selling hiking socks!
Most of our hiking socks are made of fine gauge Merino Wool, which makes them fast drying, breathable, and perfect for any weather, as it stays cool in the summer and warm in the winter. Merino Wool is also naturally antimicrobial and repels bacteria and odor —a great feature when you need to get an extra day (or two) out of your socks.
Training for your hikes will not only make them more enjoyable but will also make you more comfortable in the long haul, so stick with a program that works for you. Make sure to also invest in the right gear, especially a good pair of hiking socks so you can make your trek without any worry, irritation, or discomfort. Remember, Mother's Day is coming up and socks also make a great gift!