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Monday, October 3, 2011

Ready to roll -- or -- Jelly Roll?

September was definitely a busy and memorable month.  The heat wave here in Texas finally subsided and we got to go back to Colorado for some hiking and camping.  Despite not reaching the 12.5k peak It was still a great hike.  The water sources weren't there along the trail as I was hoping, and I wasn't in the physical condition I was hoping either.  Endurance wasn't a problem. Thanks to miles of bike paths in triple digit heat and eight years in the military as a "ground pounder" I was able to keep my wind.  What I soon realized on the trail is that I need to start working on core strengthening again.  It's easy to train for the weight you're going to carry on your back.  It helps build endurance, gets your legs accustomed to the weight, and is good to use as a benchmark before you leave.  If what you're planning to take in your pack weighs more than what you're able to carry then you probably wont make it very far and won't have as great of a time as you possibly could.

All effort exerted in movement originates from our core.  If we have a weak core then we have weak movement.  Just because you can squat the front end of a '78 Buick all day long doesn't mean that you can hump a 50lbs pack up the side of a mountain.  To maintain a good core we must first focus on maintaining good posture, but if you're like me and work 40+ hours a week behind a keyboard then posture is usually not high on our list of priorities.  I'm not going to go into all the different core training exercises that you can do just because there are numerous resources out there that already have the information ready for you to include illustrations.

Even though I didn't reach the 12.5k peak that I had intended I don't consider my trip to the Weminuche Wilderness a failure.  The only time I would consider a trip a failure is if someone didn't make it back home.

Also, for those of you who have been following this blog and are wondering about how the Vibram Five-Fingers shoes did; they work great.  The hardest part is re-learning how to walk naturally (ie barefoot).  Other than that they had excellent traction on dirt, rock, mud, and all the other types of terrain underfoot on the trail.

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