Through Hiking as Aerobic Base Training?

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  • #74212

    I’m 29 and aerobically deficient. I used to do high volume casually (100+ mile bike rides, 8-12k ft gain mtn bike rides, 20-25 mile/day 4-8 day backpacking, though I was always pretty slow) when I was in my teens and early twenties. Past 5-6 years, I have done a lot less volume, partly due to time constraints, and focused more on bouldering and technical mountain biking (usually sub 3 hr rides).

    I am now looking at reprioritizing how I spend my time to make outdoor pursuits my primary focus after tearing my Achilles in a mountain bike crash last September. I really like bouldering and more recently sport climbing, but those can only be done so many hours per day, so I’m thinking it might be time to get back to the endurance stuff, such as alpine traverses in the Sierra or bikepacking.

    I figured a through hike might be the best way to regain my aerobic base. Whereas 20 hrs is typically considered high volume, thru-hikes are 2-3x more. I was thinking about the Hayduke Trail/route, which has the advantage of not being high altitude, and relatively low elevation gain per mile compared to Sierra so it would not become limited by muscular endurance. About 800 miles so that would be maybe 6-7 weeks.

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