So people always ask me - "how do you train for this type of hike?" Especially since the best training for a certain sport is to actually DO that sport (i.e. I should be hiking up mountains to train for hiking up mountains). But given that I live in the land of the flat (Toronto), and the only hills nearby are on the Bruce Trail on the Niagara escarpment which could maybe give me an elevation gain of a couple hundred feet, that's not really an option J.
So cross-training is the way to go. Here's what I've been doing to train for my hike:
· Weights - twice/week, focusing on both upper and lower body (strong shoulders and core will also help in carrying the backpack)
· Stairs - twice/week on the StairMill at the gym (see photo). I started at ~ 120 flights of stairs and am currently at >200 flights (about 3300 stairs) and keep increasing every week. The best workout and it will help to prepare me for those climbs up the mountains.
· Running - 1-2 times/week to work on cardio. I typically run between 8-12 kms on each run
· Walking with pack - even though there are limited hills around Toronto, it's still useful to get out and walk while carrying a pack to get shoulders (and collar/hip bones!) ready. So I load up the pack to weigh ~ 30 lbs and either walk through the city (getting funny looks) or head out to the Bruce Trail. Each walk is typically 15-20km (I'm finding it hard to get in any longer training walks)