/ Quick fix expedition fitness

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GrendeI on 04 Jul 2013
If someone is willing to educate me in the ways of increased fitness and improved diet whilst I'm sat at the airport it would be greatly appreciated.


My dilemma; after a great winter, I found myself eyeball high in thesis work and job pressure. Almost all physical activity went out of the window and for the last few months I've eaten nothing healthier than burgers, pizza and chicken nuggets (ok that's a lie I have salad every day for lunch) . My issue now is I have 7 weeks of expedition to look forward to and am feeling pretty out of shape despite having relatively good fitness post winter.


So my plan is to scrub up my strength and fitness, but my issue is I only have 25 days to attempt to make any reasonable progress. I don't want to injure myself but do want to make the most of the time I have.


My plan is to have a short 5/6 km daily morning run, with gentle evening exercises, interspersed every other day or so with long hikes (c.12-16km) carrying weight. Does anyone have any points to note/comments on this plan or any other exercise recommendations?

Now the big issue is my diet. I know nothing about good training, pre/post-exercisefood. But can cook reasonably well. So pointers there or a suggested diet plan would be massively appreciated.
IainRUK - on 04 Jul 2013
In reply to GrendeI: Ignore the weight.. just walk faster..
GridNorth - on 04 Jul 2013
In reply to GrendeI: I stopped worrying about this years ago. It doesn't matter how fit you are, it's going to hurt. Just learn to embrace the pain. :-)
ice.solo - on 04 Jul 2013
In reply to GrendeI:

keep the long and short runs. on short run days do 30mins of something like crossfit, not too full, but enough to push your metabolism.
go easy on packing too much weight, it takes time to injury-proof yourself and you dont really have that.

lean meat, whole grain cereals, lots of vegetables, as little junk and sugar as possible. fruit when you get cravings.
drink enough to keep up with the training.
Roberttaylor - on 04 Jul 2013
In reply to GrendeI: Read Twight every day.
colina - on 04 Jul 2013
In reply to GrendeI: left it a bit late mate! just enjoy wot you can do when you get there ,don't want to injure yourself before you go.that wdnt be good
mattrm - on 04 Jul 2013
In reply to GrendeI:

Don't bother with carrying the weight, as Iain said, just walk faster.

If you want a book which gives you a decent weight loss plan then I like this one:

http://velopress.com/books/racing-weight-2nd-ed/

But basically what ice.solo says is what you need to do. Lots of fresh veggies, meat and whole grains. Cut out the processed carbs (eg white bread, white rice, cakes, crisps etc) as much as possible. Not saying you should never eat them, just minimise them.
Flashy - on 04 Jul 2013
In reply to Roberttaylor:
> (In reply to GrendeI) Read Twight every day.

^This^

Dave Perry - on 04 Jul 2013
In reply to GrendeI:

I've found the quickest way to get back to speed is to fill a rucksack as full as you can reasonably manage and go out for a run/walk/jog/crawl with it. you'll soon notice you are doing a bit more running than walking. Even more pleasurable is when you start to load it up a bit more, knowing it is now heavier than you are likely to be carrying on your exped.

Oh, the joy come the exped. your shoulders will not ache and the bag you're carrying will feel much lighter.!
Caralynh - on 04 Jul 2013
In reply to GrendeI:

Where are you going, and how good is your base fitness? I had similar worries earlier this year. I'm just back from a trip to the Andes and had no fitness problems at all, despite having stopped running months ago due to sore knees, and a diet not dissimilar to yours (I convinced myself that was simply pre-altitude carb loading!)
I had a similar experience a few yrs ago, having done no exercise of any type for 3 months, went up Toubkal in winter with no dramas, much to the annoyance of my slower, less fir husband who'd spent months doing proper training.
If your base fitness is good, you should be fine, especially if you're going high and will have plenty of acclimatisation days to get used to the hills and your pack, and work on the fitness 😊
GridNorth - on 04 Jul 2013
In reply to GrendeI: I've told this story before on here but I'll do so again. Many years ago I took a novice out climbing. He was a fitness freak and ran several marathons every year. His training regime included running every evening with a weighted back pack. I was just an average climber at the time, back then we didn't do "training", but I did climb 2 or 3 times a week including a weekend every month down in N.Wales or in the Lakes but when it came to walking up a hill with a pack full of climbing gear I seemed to fair better than he did, being less out of breath and faster. I don't know what the moral of this story is other than training needs to be specific to the activity. On a 10k run of course I was nowhere near him.
Hannes on 04 Jul 2013
In reply to GrendeI: What you need is a) leg strength and b) ability to recover whilst still moving. Leg strength I found is massively important as you will tire far more quickly if you have to use a larger percentage of available power for each step. Get cracking with knee and leg exercises. You also need to be able to recover without having to stop and lean on your walking poles. If you decide to do running (make sure you have good shoes etc so you don't hurt yourself) then make them interval training with interspersed sprints in the normal jog. Normal running has very little to do with being able to carry a pack in the mountains.

Other exercise that is good for building both is to go cycling with slightly flat tires and not getting out of the saddle ever. Trust me, the burn is good.

As for diet, where are you going? I wouldn't worry about it, I'd rather be chubby when going out than being lean. Just look at Don Whillans
lardbrain - on 04 Jul 2013
In reply to GrendeI: have a look on Steve Houses's training blog for the 'adaptation' bit (assuming you had reasonable base fitness before...essentially steep walking up a big hill with increasing amounts of water (in a watertight bag, obviously), dump it at the top, walk down, repeat; repeat; repeat!
I would also suggest that doing something everyday, ie no rest days, after a period of lay-off is a pretty effective way to damage something. Keep on doing something on Expedition - you'll get fit out there.
Have a good trip

lardbrain
Skol on 04 Jul 2013
In reply to GrendeI:
Do a Whillans and get people to carry your load then sprint for the top when acclimatised:-).
Or, train on a hangover.
Did this for 6 months prior to the alps, just to get used to feeling shite and pushin through it! Worked well:-)
Skol
ads.ukclimbing.com
GrendeI on 04 Jul 2013
Cheers all for the super comments so far, taken as much on board as I can.

Will definitely consider dropping the weight, but the original aim was to just get used to carrying a realistic daily load.

The expeditions are fieldwork specific, but are shaping up to be far more extensive this year, with greater periods being spent out unsupported, with absolutely minimal turn around times between locations throughout the region we're working.

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