hiking vs jogging to prepare

nv-hunter

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Feb 28, 2011
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What do you feel helps more to prepare yourself for a hunt? I've been jogging 3 times a week and lifting weights 2 times a week for month and a half now. We have 5 weeks left tell my wife's bull hunt and wondering if lacing up the boots and hiking the ridge behind the house might be more beneficial at this point? Still have weight to loose and starting to see the work payoff but want to do what would provide the best results.
 

go_deep

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Nov 30, 2014
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A lot of what I do is to exercise my lungs so I can hike longer. That being said hiking with a pack is a different world than jogging. If time allows try and do 2 days of each. If one is noticeably harder that's probably the one giving you more of a work out. Good luck!
 
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Triple BB

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Jun 22, 2013
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I’d start hiking the ridge almost on a daily basis with yer pack and some weight. Get to 30lbs a couple weeks before you leave. Start adding in plyometrics and calf raises and you’ll be in good shape...
 

Timr245

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Jul 21, 2016
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I agree with both above. Strong legs are useless without lung capacity and running is definitely not loaded down hiking. I can easily run 10-13 miles through the woods or road but 3.5 miles with a 65lb pack puts a whole new kind of strain on the body. I’d run 3 days/wk and do a loaded hike like mentioned 3 days with a day of easy cycling or just rest. Some squats and lunges will also hit all the necessary muscle to improve your ability to carry loads.
 

Bonecollector

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I agree with everyone's comments.

I'll add this caveat; Don't load up the pack with too much weight while training/working out. This will help you avoid injury. Also, most of the time on the mountain your pack in not loaded. 25-30lb is plenty for training. However, you may want to load up 50-60lb just to see what to expect and how to get the pack on/off and see the difference in moving. You better have that pack cinched down at that point. :cool:
Sounds like you already well on your way to be ready. Now keep after it after season is over and you're tagged out.
 

taskswap

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I got a stair-stepper and I've been hitting it every day. I try to push myself to do 10 more steps in each set, each week. I think it helps. I don't know about the rest of you but I can walk all day if it's level. At my age and given I was never a star athlete to begin with, it's just hill-climbing that's a bear for me.
 

tim

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Jun 4, 2011
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weighted packs up hill work well. especially on the heart. weighted packs going down hill hurt the knees. One thing I have done over the years is pack gallon jugs of water up hill. empty them out and then go back down. you get the weight training and saves on the knees.
 
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Timr245

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weighted packs up hill work well. especially on the heart. weighted packs going down hill hurt the knees. One thing I have done over the years is pack gallon jugs of water up hill. empty them out and then go back down. you get the weight training and saves on the knees.
Sure does kill the knees, great idea there!
 

HuskyMusky

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Nov 29, 2011
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as a slow runner who's attempting to get faster...

my suggestion is mix it up, vary it up more rather than less!

hiking walking is ok, and in the mountains or up hills may actually get the heart going, but according to my heart rate watch....walking hiking around here my heart will beat at 80-90bpm maybe, whereas an easy jog I can get it to 130-140bpm fairly easily.

my suggestion is jog more than walking hiking, but walking hiking would be a great "off" day workout/recovery to your harder jogging days.

on those days you jog, I would try to go for longer and easier, rather than say running sprinting 1 lap at a track sort of thing. So long easy jog....vs. fast runs/repeats. Also how slow....? slow.

good luck!
 

nv-hunter

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Thanks guys I'll start hiking the hill behind the house , weather is better and not 90 degrees after work so i'll do my first hike tonight with a light pack.
 

Shane13

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Aug 8, 2012
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The last few years in my training, I've stopped jogging, running, and jumping (box jumps, jump rope, etc). I'm 53. Those high impact exercises are hard on my knees. They're great for the leg muscles and the lungs, but just hard on the joints. In place of running, I use an AirDyne bike. I like to stand up on it rather than sitting. It's a great substitute for running and jogging, and it involves almost zero pounding on the knees and other joints. Just as good for muscles and lungs without the joint pain. The rowing machine is also great for cardio and is low impact.

Along with that, I do a lot of single leg strength work with weights - Bulgarian split squat, step ups, lunges, etc... Still do heavy and deep squats too. I find that stopping at parallel puts more strain on my knees than going deep. Everybody is built differently. For exercises like squats, I don't think there's one single form that we should all use. Find the form that works best for you and is most natural, and go with that. Just don't skip leg day. :)

For me, it's all about being fit AND injury-free. I will never be 25 again, so I don't try to be. All that would get me is injuries, aches and pains that would slow me down. But I'm in better shape than all my friends who are my age (and most who are 10 years younger than me), so I call that good.

I just wish there was some way to simulate altitude in my training program down here at 1,800'. No way to do that though.
 

tdcour

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I don't have much to add. I'd keep with the jogging a few days a week if it doesn't hurt your knees or back and start shifting to pack training at least half the days. I don't have hills where I'm at, so I just set the treadmill to the highest incline and walk a few miles. I agree with keeping the weight moderate as well. I usually keep 50# in my training pack, but I'm also only 32. I'll jump up to 80# once a week for a short hike (1-1.5 miles).

If you are just starting with pack training, I'd be in that 20-30 pound range and jump up to 40-50 once a week or every other week if you have time to spread it out that far. Running, hiking light, and hiking heavy all stress the body differently.
 

mallardsx2

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I hike up steep hills and over logs. It helps me clear the blow-downs in the wee morning hours.
 

RICMIC

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I had to quit running about 17 years ago due to arthritis, but have found other ways to stay in shape. For my hunts this year, I concentrated on pack training, hiking 3 1/2 miles daily for the six weeks before my first trip. I slowly upped the weight (40# during the final week), and used hiking poles once I got over 30#. Walk faster and really push off with the poles and you will get a decent workout. I left for Colorado injury free, and backpacked 14 miles (round trip) up to 10,600', then on the guided elk hunt hiked daily up to 11,500'. On the following WY antelope hunt I hiked 7+ miles in rugged terrain during the first few days until the weather cleared and we could use the UTVs. Added up, I covered over 45 miles in the mountains, and came home healthy, 13# less than a couple months ago, and am ready to go again.
There's a lot of merit in mixing up your training, and I think that the combined routine will serve you well.
 

BrandonM

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Nov 9, 2011
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I know this thread is a little old, but this topic is on my mind with scouting and archery season only a couple months away....can't wait!

I've always hated running. Hate it! A few years ago I started riding my pedal bike to work 2-3 times a week. I live 6 miles from work and this has helped me the most. Plus, it is a great way to test new clothing before fall to see how breathable or windproof it is, and how quickly it dries after sweating it up. It's a pretty good simulation of aggressively hiking up a mountain, and it doesn't beat up my joints as much as running or hiking with a heavy pack on.

I want to hunt the mountains for many years to come, and since I'm now in my 40's, I am being a little smarter about how I prepare my body for the fall in order to ensure long-term sustainability.

Last year and this year I've done a lot of walks around my neighborhood with ankle weights on, too. I was surprised how much that helped last fall. That and the bicycle riding are a good tandem.
 
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Bonecollector

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Agreed. I use biking to give my joints a break from running. However, I really like to bike so its a win-win.
 

dan maule

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If you have access to a treadmill, I increase the incline to max (max is a different incline on different machines so whatever works for you), I set the speed to about 3.5 mph. which for my short legs is a fast walk. I keep a 3 lb dumbell in both hands and try to keep my elbows bent. Doesn't sound like much but after 20 to 30 minutes I'm pretty dead. This has worked really well for me in the past hunting the southern Bighorns in Wyoming. Also used to use a stepper when I had access to the fitness center at work, 20 minutes a day got me in pretty good shape for the mountains.
 

BrandonM

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Nov 9, 2011
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If you have access to a treadmill, I increase the incline to max (max is a different incline on different machines so whatever works for you), I set the speed to about 3.5 mph. which for my short legs is a fast walk. I keep a 3 lb dumbell in both hands and try to keep my elbows bent. Doesn't sound like much but after 20 to 30 minutes I'm pretty dead. This has worked really well for me in the past hunting the southern Bighorns in Wyoming. Also used to use a stepper when I had access to the fitness center at work, 20 minutes a day got me in pretty good shape for the mountains.
That's sounds like a killer workout. I bet that would be a good, steady burn.
 

JimP

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While you flat landers can't just go out and find a hill to hike try walking up and down stairs. Back in my younger days we would hit some stairs that went up to a university that sat up on the hill. Those stars were close to a couple hundred yards and had several flat platforms that you could stop and rest on.

For myself I'll just head south of where I live. I have a nice trail picked out that is 6 miles long. I have 3 miles of elevation gain of about 1000'. Some gradual and some quite steep. Then there is a mile of varying terrine on a dirt road, ups and down but nothing really drastic. Then on the way back to the truck is a 2 mile hike back to my truck and I can pick if I want the gradual decline of the road or a steeper decline along a power line.

When I first start out on this route I am lucky to get half way up the hill on the first 3 mile leg. I'll go as far as I can comfortably and then turn around and head back. If I hit a old game trail I can then circle over to another hill and hike it's ups and downs to get back.

It is surprising at how fast you can get into a hunting shape hiking this type of a route.
 
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