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East Coast Training

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  • helm785
    I ve been looking for details on a training schedule, but can t seem to find a good one. Anyone else live in a flat city without nearby elevation? If so how
    Message 1 of 21 , Apr 14, 2014
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      I've been looking for details on a training schedule, but can't seem to find a good one.  Anyone else live in a flat city without nearby elevation?  If so how are you training other than maybe running? 

      I can get to 3000ft mountains maybe 1-2x a month for some overnighters, but I am fearing that won't be enough.  Mostly concerned about the elevation...and to top it off I was planning on going northbound.

      Any suggestions would be much appreciated.
    • Larry Beck
      Probably the best thing you can do is to show up a few days early and camp/hike in the Cottonwood Lakes basin or in the Cottonwood Pass area. That all starts
      Message 2 of 21 , Apr 14, 2014
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        Probably the best thing you can do is to show up a few days early and camp/hike in the Cottonwood Lakes basin or in the Cottonwood Pass area. That all starts around 10K but then you can do some dayhikes around the area. You can even dayhike Mt. Langley from there which is 14K and some change.
         
        Larry
        From: "jmulqueen@..." <jmulqueen@...>
        To: johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com
        Sent: Monday, April 14, 2014 11:11 AM
        Subject: [John Muir Trail] East Coast Training
         
        I've been looking for details on a training schedule, but can't seem to find a good one.  Anyone else live in a flat city without nearby elevation?  If so how are you training other than maybe running? 

        I can get to 3000ft mountains maybe 1-2x a month for some overnighters, but I am fearing that won't be enough.  Mostly concerned about the elevation...and to top it off I was planning on going northbound.

        Any suggestions would be much appreciated.
      • Rick Martyn
        Running should be good. Climbing lots of stairs should also help build some more muscle mass. As far as altitude acclimatization, I doubt occasional stints at
        Message 3 of 21 , Apr 14, 2014
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          Running should be good.  Climbing lots of stairs should also help build some more muscle mass.  

          As far as altitude acclimatization, I doubt occasional stints at 3,000 ft will help much.  I agree with Larry that you'd be helped more by an early arrival with a couple nights at elevation.

          Rick M.


          On Mon, Apr 14, 2014 at 11:17 AM, Larry Beck <becklaurence@...> wrote:
           

          Probably the best thing you can do is to show up a few days early and camp/hike in the Cottonwood Lakes basin or in the Cottonwood Pass area. That all starts around 10K but then you can do some dayhikes around the area. You can even dayhike Mt. Langley from there which is 14K and some change.
           
          Larry
          From: "jmulqueen@..." <jmulqueen@...>
          To: johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com
          Sent: Monday, April 14, 2014 11:11 AM
          Subject: [John Muir Trail] East Coast Training
           
          I've been looking for details on a training schedule, but can't seem to find a good one.  Anyone else live in a flat city without nearby elevation?  If so how are you training other than maybe running? 

          I can get to 3000ft mountains maybe 1-2x a month for some overnighters, but I am fearing that won't be enough.  Mostly concerned about the elevation...and to top it off I was planning on going northbound.

          Any suggestions would be much appreciated.


        • John Ladd
          I went from sea level last year to one night at 8100 feet (Four Jeffrey car campground) to about 10,000 (Horseshoe Meadow, the TH campground for many NoBo
          Message 4 of 21 , Apr 14, 2014
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            I went from sea level last year to one night at 8100 feet (Four Jeffrey car campground) to about 10,000 (Horseshoe Meadow, the TH campground for many NoBo hikes) and tried to get back down as low as possible for the night after going over New Army Pass (maybe back down to 11k or so, by memory). I used Diamox and paid attention to hydration. I think that would be adequate altitude acclimation to avoid health problems for most (not all) people.  It did take a few more days, though, to feel like the altitude didn't make hiking significantly harder.

            John Curran Ladd
            1616 Castro Street
            San Francisco, CA  94114-3707
            415-648-9279


            On Mon, Apr 14, 2014 at 11:11 AM, <jmulqueen@...> wrote:
             

            I've been looking for details on a training schedule, but can't seem to find a good one.  Anyone else live in a flat city without nearby elevation?  If so how are you training other than maybe running? 

            I can get to 3000ft mountains maybe 1-2x a month for some overnighters, but I am fearing that won't be enough.  Mostly concerned about the elevation...and to top it off I was planning on going northbound.

            Any suggestions would be much appreciated.


          • helm785
            good stuff. thanks guys.
            Message 5 of 21 , Apr 14, 2014
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              good stuff. thanks guys.
            • Roleigh Martin
              I used to live in the NE, where do you live now? I think getting from near sea level to 3K mountains is great for stamina and leg building. I m guessing you re
              Message 6 of 21 , Apr 14, 2014
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                I used to live in the NE, where do you live now?

                I think getting from near sea level to 3K mountains is great for stamina and leg building. I'm guessing you're talking about the Catskills.  If so, watch out for the Cornell Crack, that caused an injury that cost me $15K in treatments.  That's far more difficult than anything you'll do on the JMT.

                I've done about half of the Catskill high peaks. 

                You can also get up to 5K doing Marcy and Algonquin in upstate NY. 

                Roleigh

                -------------------------------------------------
                Visit my Google Profile (lots of very interesting research links)
                _



                On Mon, Apr 14, 2014 at 11:11 AM, <jmulqueen@...> wrote:
                 

                I've been looking for details on a training schedule, but can't seem to find a good one.  Anyone else live in a flat city without nearby elevation?  If so how are you training other than maybe running? 

                I can get to 3000ft mountains maybe 1-2x a month for some overnighters, but I am fearing that won't be enough.  Mostly concerned about the elevation...and to top it off I was planning on going northbound.

                Any suggestions would be much appreciated.


              • dj_ayers
                I think there are separate issues here. One is getting in good aerobic shape. You can do that with running, treadmill, stairs, lifting, carrying a
                Message 7 of 21 , Apr 14, 2014
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                  I think there are separate issues here.  One is getting in good aerobic shape.  You can do that with running, treadmill, stairs, lifting, carrying a over-weighted pack, etc.

                  Another issue other is having your hiking muscles ready to go up and down grades.  If you wait to train for this by showing up a couple of days early and hiking, you may end up with considerable soreness when you start!
                  Stair climbing and step-ups with a weighted pack can get the climbing/descending muscles in shape, but they don't exercise the necessary range of foot angles because the foot lands only on flat surfaces.  I recommend trying to find at least some small slope to train on, both uphill and downhill, so your legs, knees, and ankles can get ready to up/down slopes.  A treadmill with a good grade (at least 15 degrees) can help for the uphill.  (You'll want to wear a weighted pack.)

                  You'll still be vulnerable to shin soreness/splinting if you can't find somewhere to do weighted downhill walking with the feet landing on a sloped surface.  One old hiker I know who lives in the flatland uses a freeway overpass to at least get something.

                  One other issue (from personal experience).  If you train only on smooth surfaces (sidewalks, stairs, etc.), the body adapts and expects them.  Don't be surprised if you end up tripping semi-often on roots, rocks, and the like.  Try to do some training on rough surfaces and/or trails to minimize this probelm.
                • Carolsteveyoung
                  Keep in mind that fitness and acclimation to altitude are actually two different things. Fitness mostly cardiovascular related but acclimatizing mostly blood
                  Message 8 of 21 , Apr 14, 2014
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                    Keep in mind that fitness and acclimation to altitude are actually two different things. Fitness mostly cardiovascular related but acclimatizing mostly blood related. 

                    Acclimatization stage 1 is blood volume. Plenty of fluids and electrolytes. Blood plasma is as salty as seawater. Takes a couple days to get this going. Elev. for sleep is main variable, not climbing altitude. 

                    Acclimatizing stage 2 is red blood cell count. Every hemoglobin molecule has one Iron Fe atom, so some individuals might need supplement with Iron (girls and women more likely). Takes a week or more to grow your blood cells. 

                    1000 ft. increase per night is max. rate, so if you go from SeaLevel to 10,000 ft it'll be 10 nights before fully acclimated. 

                    Whether you feel symptoms (elev. heart rate & diff. sleeping, headache, loss of appetite) you can still develop altitude sickness as you go higher. Fit individuals can easily get altitude sickness as they climb faster and farther. 

                    Severe symptoms include being disoriented, diff. making decisions, diff. breathing. Go Down! Even 1000 ft. can help. Wait a day, then try. Let your body catch up to your altitude. 

                    Above is from two MD experienced hikers I met, both blood researchers. They said conventional wisdom (1000 ft. rule) is good, but explained all the reasons !

                    Have a great trip!

                    Steve Young
                    Geneva IL


                    On Apr 14, 2014, at 1:11 PM, <jmulqueen@...> wrote:

                     

                    I've been looking for details on a training schedule, but can't seem to find a good one.  Anyone else live in a flat city without nearby elevation?  If so how are you training other than maybe running? 

                    I can get to 3000ft mountains maybe 1-2x a month for some overnighters, but I am fearing that won't be enough.  Mostly concerned about the elevation...and to top it off I was planning on going northbound.

                    Any suggestions would be much appreciated.

                  • ravi_jmt2013
                    I live at sea level and have access to 3,000 foot mountains within about 100 miles from my home so my situation is similar to yours. One of my motivations for
                    Message 9 of 21 , Apr 14, 2014
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                      I live at sea level and have access to 3,000 foot mountains within about 100 miles from my home so my situation is similar to yours.  One of my motivations for running my first marathon in late 2012 and another marathon in early 2013 was to get in better shape for my JMT hike last summer.  Marathon training really improved my cardiovascular endurance and I have continued distance running to stay in shape.  I supplemented running with a number of hikes in Shenandoah National Park where you can put together some 15-20 mile days with 3,000+ feet of elevation gain carrying a pack for training.  Of course, this doesn't simulate the altitude of the Sierra Nevada but it does help with getting used to hiking up steep trails and using trekking poles. 

                      If you are interested in using marathon training for preparation, I recommend using the following plan to start:  http://marathontraining.com/marathon/m_sch_2.html.  The Pfitzinger plans have been very useful for me recently are higher mileage/week plans more suited to improve running times and probably overkill for purposes of training for backpacking:  http://www.amazon.com/Advanced-Marathoning-Edition-Peter-Pfitzinger/dp/0736074600/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1397504474&sr=8-1&keywords=advanced+marathoning
                    • helm785
                      I am in PA...we have some lame mountains in the Poconos.
                      Message 10 of 21 , Apr 14, 2014
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                        I am in PA...we have some lame 'mountains' in the Poconos.
                      • Ian Clipstone
                        There is no real training you can do for altitude except to go to altitude! I live in a completely flat area near London and found repetitions up a small hill
                        Message 11 of 21 , Apr 14, 2014
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                          There is no real training you can do for altitude except to go to altitude! I live in a completely flat area near London and found repetitions up a small hill with a heavy pack and hikes of 15 miles good preparation for Nepal two years ago. The altitude affects people differently, we went slow and were overtaken by fit young guys who disappeared into the distance. Two days later we caught them up suffering with headaches and needing to go back down. However, there are lots of other things you can do to prepare. Carrying a weighted rucsac as often as possible for 8-15 miles, aerobic training of any sort- cross trainer, bike, circuits- as well as running although running doesn't train the right muscles for hiking, walking up steps/bleachers with and without a rucksac and strengthening your ankles by balancing on one leg and or a bosu ball will all help (try it with your eyes closed once you can manage over 30secs easily!). Hope that helps!
                          On Monday, 14 April 2014, 21:00, helm785 <no_reply@yahoogroups.com> wrote:
                           
                          I am in PA...we have some lame 'mountains' in the Poconos.


                        • Stirling Price
                          Driving through that area right now on I-80 on way back to California! Stirling
                          Message 12 of 21 , Apr 14, 2014
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                            Driving through that area right now on I-80 on way back to California!

                            Stirling

                            On Apr 14, 2014, at 4:00 PM, helm785 <no_reply@yahoogroups.com> wrote:

                             

                            I am in PA...we have some lame 'mountains' in the Poconos.

                          • Denise Poyer
                            We are from New England but hike regularly in the Sierra s. I agree with everyone that training and acclimating are two different topics. The best training
                            Message 13 of 21 , Apr 14, 2014
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                              We are from New England but hike regularly in the Sierra's.  I agree with everyone that training and acclimating are two different topics.  The best training for hiking is to hike.  The JMT is one of the easiest trails I have ever hiked, especially compared to the mountains in New England.  So, yes, train with running and weight training, but get out and hike, even if you are not doing a lot of elevation gain.
                               
                              I haven't found a way to adequately acclimatize for high elevation, but I've learned to cope with it.  Sleep at least a couple of nights as high as you can just before the trip - we often stay in Mammoth Lakes.  Start hydrating for days before the trip, and stay well hydrated all during the hike.  Take food that is really tasty, not just convenient.  You may loose your appetite, so eat small portions as often as possible.  I take Tylenol the first couple of days for headaches and plan fairly easy first 3 days.  Usually by day 4 on the trail I am feeling really good.  It's doesn't always work out to sleep low, but I try to get under 10,000 the first night.
                               
                              It's worth it!

                              --
                              Denise J. Poyer
                              denisepoyer@...
                            • Karen
                              We are also in NEPA and will be going south bound on 6/25. My training is not what it should be but I m plugging away. Mostly worried about the altitude. We
                              Message 14 of 21 , Apr 14, 2014
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                                We are also in NEPA and will be going south bound on 6/25. My training is not what it should be but I'm plugging away. Mostly worried about the altitude. We plan on 10 miles a day but we'll see. First time out there to hike and by far my biggest trip.

                                Sent from my iPhone
                              • whcobbs
                                Karen, I live in the Philadelphia PA area (300 ft elev at most), so I planned for my JMT hike 2013 with some concern about altitude, also age (then 68). I was
                                Message 15 of 21 , Apr 18, 2014
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                                  Karen,

                                  I live in the Philadelphia PA area (300 ft elev at most), so I planned for my JMT hike 2013 with some concern about altitude, also age (then 68).  I was in good general condition as a bicycle commuter (20 m/day), supplemented with weekend bike hillclimbs.  The opportunity to do the JMT instead of my planned bike ADK Ididaride (75 mile, 6800 ft climb, August 10) came about too late to change training.  All I did was spend the night before the JMT camped at 9600 ft near the trailhead.  Also I did pack Diamox, but never used it.  I never had any difficulty with altitude. My overall pace was slow, 10 miles/day, aggravated by a heavy pack, elapsed time 21 days, never any serious doubt about finishing.  Hope this helps.  Best wishes for your hike.

                                  Walt


                                   

                                • Karen
                                  Thanks Walt. That is re-assuring. I have 4 weeks so I m hoping slow and steady will get me there. I do still have 2 months and have plans for some Loyalsock
                                  Message 16 of 21 , Apr 18, 2014
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                                    Thanks Walt. That is re-assuring. I have 4 weeks so I'm hoping slow and steady will get me there. I do still have 2 months and have plans for some Loyalsock weekends that may may help.

                                    Sent from my iPhone
                                  • cehauser1
                                    Hi Helm785: Some thoughts: 1. I agree with everyone here who is saying that physical fitness and altitude acclimatization are two different things. Physical
                                    Message 17 of 21 , Apr 18, 2014
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                                      Hi Helm785:

                                      Some thoughts:

                                      1.  I agree with everyone here who is saying that physical fitness and altitude acclimatization are two different things.  Physical fitness is wonderful, and very helpful for a long hike, and it MIGHT even help you acclimatize (just guessing), but very different.

                                      2.  As you suggest, your big hurdle is hiking NoBo.  It is easy to gradually ramp up elevation when hiking SoBo, but it will be more difficult to do so for your trip.  How do you plan to travel from PA to CA?  Depending on how your travel to the JMT, you could spend one night in Reno (5000 feet) or Mammoth Lakes (8000 feet), then an additional 1 or 2 nights at Horseshoe Meadow (10,000 feet), as someone has already suggested.  If you feel OK after 1 or 2 nights at Horseshoe Meadow, you will probably be fine.

                                      3.  I'm no expert, but my understanding is that the "1000 foot rule" starts around 7000 feet.  So, ideally, a person would spend 1st night at 7000 feet, 2nd night at 8000 feet, 3rd night at 9000 feet, etc.  Spending 1 night in Mammoth (8000) and 1 or 2 nights at Horseshoe (10,000) is a little bit fast-forward, but still pretty good.

                                      Everyone's body is different.

                                      Cheers!

                                      Chris.

                                    • Karen
                                      Thanks. We re hiking SoBo and plan to spend a night or 2 in Mammoth Lakes. I m guessing that altitude will be a noticeable adjustment for me and will have some
                                      Message 18 of 21 , Apr 19, 2014
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                                        Thanks. We're hiking SoBo and plan to spend a night or 2 in Mammoth Lakes. I'm guessing that altitude will be a noticeable adjustment for me and will have some medications just in case. Will take it slow the first few days. So many great tips on the site!!

                                        Sent from my iPhone
                                      • John Ladd
                                        ... Army, at least, starts counting at 2400 meters (7874 ft) and permits 300 meters (984 ft) per day. though it prefers more gradual altitude acclimation when
                                        Message 19 of 21 , Apr 19, 2014
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                                          On Fri, Apr 18, 2014 at 9:19 PM, <cehauser1@...> wrote:
                                          3.  I'm no expert, but my understanding is that the "1000 foot rule" starts around 7000 feet.  So, ideally, a person would spend 1st night at 7000 feet, 2nd night at 8000 feet, 3rd night at 9000 feet, etc.  Spending 1 night in Mammoth (8000) and 1 or 2 nights at Horseshoe (10,000) is a little bit fast-forward, but still pretty good.

                                          Army, at least, starts counting at 2400 meters (7874 ft) and permits 300 meters (984 ft) per day. though it prefers more gradual altitude acclimation when possible.

                                          Technical Bulletin TB MED 505 - ALTITUDE ACCLIMATIZATION AND ILLNESS MANAGEMENT (Sept 2010)

                                          https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B2fotO9uESMFS05PMWFoOGdnbVU/edit?usp=sharing

                                          John Curran Ladd
                                          1616 Castro Street
                                          San Francisco, CA  94114-3707
                                          415-648-9279
                                        • dj_ayers
                                          I do think it is helpful to think about conditioning of muscles, tendons, etc., separately from aerobic fitness. You want to be able to answer yes to
                                          Message 20 of 21 , Apr 21, 2014
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                                            I do think it is helpful to think about conditioning of muscles, tendons, etc., separately from aerobic fitness.  You want to be able to answer yes to questions like:  do I have enough strength and endurance for the steep climbs?  Are my knees prepared for prolonged downhills day-after-day?  Are my feet tough enough to avoid most blisters?  Etc.

                                            But I think it goes too far to separate aerobic fitness from altitude adaptation.  I can say that for me at least, the level of cardiovascular fitness makes a great deal of difference in avoiding and/or mitigating the effects of high altitude.  I'm not just speculating here, I have background in the subject.  I've lived near sea level and driven to altitude and hiked right away or after one night's sleep over 100 times; I've experienced ACM multiple times (until I learned how to overcome it); I deal with a small lung capacity; I've dealt with asthma; etc.  I've hiked after training for endurance racing;  after a lot of steady-effort training;  and after a lot of loafing.  I find it far easier to adapt to altitude when my resting heart rate is 55 BPM than when it is 70.

                                            I highly recommend training across the power curve with intervals (5s, 20s, 1-2min, 5min, 20min, 1hr) and other methods, rather than predominately steady-effort training, so as to achieve true cardiovascular fitness.  Training to increase your VO2 max, decrease your resting HR, etc., in the fashion that top endurance athletes do (cyclists, cross-country skiers, etc.) has been a great help in altitude adaptation for at least this hiker.  And I have observed it in others as well.

                                            If you are not familiar with this type of training, there are many good books that can help you get acquainted (Joe Friel is one good author).  The HRM/Perception zone training stuff can be easily adapted to backpack training.
                                          • Carolsteveyoung
                                            Altitude sickness is potentially fatal. I m all for cardiovascular conditioning to the max. But be careful advising others according to your own experience.
                                            Message 21 of 21 , Apr 21, 2014
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                                              Altitude sickness is potentially fatal. 

                                              I'm all for cardiovascular conditioning to the max. But be careful advising others according to your own experience. Many fit and super fit individuals experience altitude sickness when they  go high fast. The fit individual can climb very high in a day, but its the sleep elevation that is most important. Lack of sleep and elevated heart rate are just the first symptoms. 

                                              Severe symptoms can make it unlikely or even impossible for an individual to self rescue by going down. 

                                              Steve Young
                                              Geneva IL

                                              On Apr 21, 2014, at 10:55 AM, <djayers@...> wrote:

                                               

                                              I do think it is helpful to think about conditioning of muscles, tendons, etc., separately from aerobic fitness.  You want to be able to answer yes to questions like:  do I have enough strength and endurance for the steep climbs?  Are my knees prepared for prolonged downhills day-after-day?  Are my feet tough enough to avoid most blisters?  Etc.


                                              But I think it goes too far to separate aerobic fitness from altitude adaptation.  I can say that for me at least, the level of cardiovascular fitness makes a great deal of difference in avoiding and/or mitigating the effects of high altitude.  I'm not just speculating here, I have background in the subject.  I've lived near sea level and driven to altitude and hiked right away or after one night's sleep over 100 times; I've experienced ACM multiple times (until I learned how to overcome it); I deal with a small lung capacity; I've dealt with asthma; etc.  I've hiked after training for endurance racing;  after a lot of steady-effort training;  and after a lot of loafing.  I find it far easier to adapt to altitude when my resting heart rate is 55 BPM than when it is 70.

                                              I highly recommend training across the power curve with intervals (5s, 20s, 1-2min, 5min, 20min, 1hr) and other methods, rather than predominately steady-effort training, so as to achieve true cardiovascular fitness.  Training to increase your VO2 max, decrease your resting HR, etc., in the fashion that top endurance athletes do (cyclists, cross-country skiers, etc.) has been a great help in altitude adaptation for at least this hiker.  And I have observed it in others as well.

                                              If you are not familiar with this type of training, there are many good books that can help you get acquainted (Joe Friel is one good author).  The HRM/Perception zone training stuff can be easily adapted to backpack training.

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