Hauling tyres; it’s the madman sane form of training. Using tyres as part of a training program has been a staple of polar explorers training regimes for as long as I can remember.
But where did this idea stem from? Has this exercise always been the preserve of crazy adventurers, or was this activity invented by another group of fitness fanatics?
The first recorded instance of this type of training was way back in 1990. Borge Ousland and his expedition team mate, Geir Randby, built a training rig after seeing race horses hauling tractor tyres as part of their pre-race buildup
Ever since that day pulling huge chunks of rubber and metal has become a key component for the type of skiing expeditions where skiers haul heavy loads in pulks.
The main reason so many people in the adventure and exploration community drag tyres is that it’s a great and specific way to get fit (for hiking and hillwalking too). The friction caused by the rubber as you travel cross country, over tracks and along tarmac roads mimics the effects of hauling a pulk. For anyone who is planning a long-distance ski dragging equipment in a pulka, this is the training style for you.
Hiking training in the gym: it’s an unusual concept considering the best place to train for a hike, or trek, is outdoors. But wait! There’s more to this than meets the eye.
I took some advice from Irene, my physiotherapist, and have now adopted a weight training program that not only mimics the way my body moves when hiking, but also increases strength and endurance in key muscles.
With a little planning and shifting of some moderately sized weights you can reap huge benefits from spending only a few hours in the gym.
Training in the environments where you plan to hike and trek is still key developing your fitness. For example, if you going to do a lot of hillwalking then you need to get out and walk up-and-down big hills. I’ve written a guide full of hillwalking tips for beginners, take a look and let me know what you think of it.
Likewise, hikers have always been encouraged to get out and walk increasingly further and further to build up strength and improve their cardiovascular fitness.
But I also know that gym work plays a vital role in shaping the kind body we need for outdoor activities.
Anyone that’s read any of my posts today will already know what’s about to come…
I’ve been using this hillwalking fitness tips for beginners guide for a number of years now. The core components have been borrowed from my military training. Some of the more intense training recommendations are based on a very hard course during which I spent many months marching over huge hills. But don’t worry – this training plan has been built with the beginner hillwalker in mind.
This schedule works equally well for anyone looking for a hiking training plan. If you’re not going to be travelling over hills simply follow the plan and switch your venue e.g. if your route will be along woodland tracks and trails, then walk them instead.
When it comes to hiking and hillwalking there’s nothing worse than that first feeling you get when a blister starts to form. Fact: blisters are the most common injury suffered by hikers. We’ve all been there, no matter how experienced we are. Even now, with over 30 years of hiking experience, I still get a few blisters. What I’m going to do today is show you how to prevent blisters when hiking, hillwalking… and pretty much any other activity that requires you to use your feet.
It goes without saying that, here at TrekSumo, we know all about the misery that accompanies these often small, but very painful, injuries.