Since I am dealing with the back injury, my exercise training is very different from what it was in 2012/2013. I have to focus on being able to adequately walk (and healing the back) before I can even begin to think about tackling wearing a pack and hiking tough and/or inclining terrain. And I have to keep weight loss a priority over speed, distance and my sometimes overwhelming urges to conquer ridiculously steep fire roads and preposterously steep cattle trails.
Soon after my meeting with the Neurosurgeon, I bought a Fitbit, thinking a good way to get started would be to see what amount of steps I was getting. It wasn’t surprising to see that my stats were dismal. I set my daily goal to 7,000 a day, and slowly worked my way toward it. Two times as I increased my steps, I re-agitated my back enough to have to spend days doing not much else than lay in bed. But overall, progress was made.
By the time I went to drop The Gnomes off at Reds Meadow, I was fluctuating between 7,000-8,000 steps a day, on average. And I had also lost almost 12 pounds(HOORAY!), since buying the Fitbit. At Reds, I happily found myself averaging 13,000+ a day while hiking around the area. This was so encouraging that I decided it was time to solidify a PCT pre-training training plan, using the Fitbit.
10k steps roughly equals 5 miles for the average person. A lot of variables increase or decrease that mileage, so I’m just using it as an unscientific marker for progress. My goal is to be at about 17.5 miles a day, aka 35,000 steps, by the beginning of 2015:
Week of July 6- Increase to 8k a day
Week of July 13- Increase to 9k a day (where I am at today)
Be at 10k a day by the end of July
15k a day by the end of August
20k a day by the end of September
25k a day by the end of October
30k a day by the end of November
35k a day by the end of December.
I know, it’s not a sexy, hardcore pre-training training plan to write home about. But I think this is what’s gonna get me there. I will have to work on hiking endurance, and then pack endurance later. And I also think I’m going to have to partner with a Sports Physical Therapist to work around nerve damage.