Initial training

Planning a big trip involves many things, one of which is ensuring I’m in the right state of mind prior to the trip. I won’t go into many details about my mental state, other than right now I’m not mentally ready, but I’m striving to be confident, calm and level-headed, well prepared without the anxiety of the future after I come back. I’ll be making some lifestyle changes to facilitate this mental state.

Regarding the physical training, I don’t follow any strict schedule and I don’t approach it very scientifically. I mostly just try to listen to my body and gauge my fitness levels based on how my body feels. I try to do a variety of activities with a focus on stamina for long distances.

I do a lot of walking. It’s mostly general city/hill walking. I live on the top of a famous hill in BCN so even just “casual walking” involves some steep inclines. I did about 450km walking in February although I’m not tracking my distances accurately. I’m also doing some cycling, not really long distances but very hilly cycling which also builds my upper body strength. I’m also running or trying to. I’ve done some long distance runs but I’ve come away from those runs in pain. My muscles haven’t quite adapted yet for running and more so my bones/tendons still need more strength, as I get shin splints. But I’m determined to be a good runner as I actually enjoy it quite a lot. I just gotta give some time for my body to adapt.

I’ve also started doing indoor bouldering again but am somewhat disabled due to a wrist injury, which sucks. I’ll continue to do indoor bouldering whilst my wrist allows it.

I’m doing some 25km+ hikes here and there but I’m mostly focusing on my stamina and building up base strength. I’m also trying to stretch and do pushups daily but these activities are fairly low on my list. Closer to the time of the trip I will focus more on scrambling and extreme hiking to build up the tendon strength in my ankles and knees. (Timing this right will be crucial. I don’t want to start too early in case I get bored of this style of training, and I don’t want to start too late to not give my body enough time to heal from the training.)

My focus now is to get into a routine to continue to focus on stamina and core strength. I’ll aim to continue this approach for March/Apil and then shift to doing extreme hiking/scrambling for May/June. I’m not sure what I’ll do for July, but I don’t want to push myself hard before the trip to prevent the possibility of an injury which I won’t have time to recover from. So early July will probably still be hiking/cycling/running etc, but I’ll wind down my training towards the end of the month, and leave at least 1 week of good rest before the trip.

I have loads of time left for my training and truthfully I’m probably fit enough and ready to tackle the 20-20, but I don’t want a slow start and I want to be well prepared physically. The challenge ahead will be the most physically challenging thing I’ve done. So based on my “goal” I reckon I’m about a third of the way there already. If anything I’m hoping I didn’t start training too soon and get bored and stop training. Consistency is key now! I just gotta get into a proper routine and keep it up and I’ll be nice a fit for the challenge ahead.

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