With the example of the 2-hour continuous hike, that would be the whole planned workout (e.g. Saturday of week 3 in the intermediate plan), so the return journey would be extra.
Hi Carolyn and Maya,
I have become acutely aware that I expend a lot of energy unnecessarily on simply being in motion and thinking, both in everyday life and when I’m in the mountains, and it’s costing me in terms of energy for life and work, not to mention training.
In one of Mark Twight’s stories, he describes how one of his expedition partners had the ability to switch off completely when they were in camp with nothing specific to do, to the point of utter inertness, both body and mind utterly released, and Mark points out that this ability to relax is crucial for conserving energy. Peter Boardman has written something similar, and in so many of his incandescent tales of mountain adventures, WH Murray describes an hour spent lounging in the sunshine by a loch or on a peak losing himself in the movement of the clouds, and then, refreshed, completing the climb (or descent).
That’s a skill I have not yet gained, being able to relax in the middle of a mountain outing (or in everyday life), and it’s a task I’ve set myself for this training round.
This was a recovery week for me (I’m doing a 3-week cycle) and so yesterday I experimented with hiking calmly (HR in recovery zone) up to a high point and then stretching myself on a meadow and just lying there. The first 15 minutes I was busy looking around, consciously admiring the beauty of the autumnal foliage and the surrounding mountain ranges, while in the background the mind was wondering when I could say I’d lain there long enough and get up and go again, but then something happened: I relaxed. It was a perceptible shift. After that I idly watched the upper layer of clouds moving, massing and gathering in tones from white to slate above the static lower layer of cloud, and about ten minutes later I realised I was ready to go. As I set off again, I found I felt refreshed, despite accumulated fatigue of sleeping poorly for weeks because of hot flashes.
I would like to insert this kind of pause into each Saturday hike, but my concern is that I will lose some of the training effect if I take a break to fully relax during the planned workout time.
Would it be better to, say, do a 2-hour continuous hike, coming to a point not too far from the car/home, take the break, and then finish with an easy 20-45 minute return journey, most likely downhill?
ps. Sorry if this shows up twice. I posted it, but I don’t see it in the forum.
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