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Thread: Mountain hunting physical training

  1. #1
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    Default Mountain hunting physical training

    Hey folks, I have some pretty serious mountain hunting I plan on doing this year (sheep and caribou up here and a pack in elk hunt near Minam/Wallowa Oregon). I am a fairly in shape fella' but I wondered if any of you would be willing to take a look at my training plan thus far and guide me a bit based on your training and mountain hunting.

    Here is what I do so far:

    Mondays: 7 mile interval run

    Tuesdays: 7.5 mile interval run and 1 hr. swim at night

    Wednesday: 8 mile interval run in the AM and chest/tri's at night (not for mass, high reps in the 14-20 rep range at 65-80% max)

    Thursday: 8.5 mile at 80% max pace

    Friday: 5 mile run at 90-100% pace in the AM and back/bi's at night (same workout pattern % as Wed)

    Saturday: Cross country/mountain hike with pack (82lbs) for 12-15 miles.

    I hope this works out for August/September. Thanks for any input!!!

  2. #2

    Default More breaks in the running with more PT

    Your cardio plan looks very good. I think you should include more break days and one day where you do a long run with a day off afterwards. Distance is less important than going for more than 2 hours. On pack days in the mountains you may have to go straight for 8-20 hours. You then take a rest day afterwards but a long run is really good for tempering your feet and ankles for an extended outing. You can also just hike for that long.

    One of the things that is important is avoiding injuries. If you run too much you are likely to get the nagging injuries especially if you are over 40.
    The other thing to think about is that hiking with a pack or packing is just as good if you go for the time. 1 hr - 90 min. It is good to have the variety and you need to break in all of your gear.

    That being said for cardio you also need to include push-ups, situps(less but important) and sissy squats or regular squats. You should be doing 4-6 nights of this PT stuff per week. Include it even if you are hitting the gym.
    Don't get fanatical but do it to keep your upper body mass and functional strength. You can also maintain functional strength by cutting wood 4 nights per week.

    You can get too much flatlander running and do less well in the mountains. Include lots of Vitamin E and stretching and you should be ok.

    Now is the time to set up your program so you are doing good.

    Sincerely,
    Thomas

  3. #3
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    Default Good Start.....

    As a mountain runner/ski racer, and sheep guide I'd say you're right on track...But I'd reduce the pack weight to not more than 65 lbs. I like to train fast with 45 lbs.

    Also...Only 1 long interval session or 5-10 K time trial, and 1 day of shorter speed work. Your other runs/workouts should be at distance pace.

    Add some serious CORE strength. That does not mean just crunches. I'm talking pilates style and oblique and spinal erector work.

    As someone else here often suggests, shrugs/trapezius work helps out quite a bit.

    Also, you need to STRETCH. Do some yoga classes. I am constantly stretching my calves, quads, and hamstrings, especially hamstrings. Very important to reduce chance of injury, and increase recovery.

    Keep up the good work. On that training schedule you will outdistance everyone in the mountains. Well, maybe 3 people this year will be in better shape, lol.

    Good luck!

    -Chris

  4. #4
    Forum Admin Brian M's Avatar
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    Default

    As others have mentioned, lose the weight in your pack. You'll potentially do more damage than you'll prevent by training with that much weight.

  5. #5
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    Default Marathon

    Looks to me like your training for a marathon! Hunting will be easy after all that work. I never trained for a hunt in my life other than the walking I get at work. You will be in great shape come sheep season. Have a great hunt!

  6. #6
    Premium Member Wyo2AK's Avatar
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    Default

    82 pound pack! I appreciate the enthusiasm, but take it easy. When I start training with a weighted pack I go for about 40 pounds top. Personally, I like my summer hiking/training trips to still be fun. That's actually part of my mental preparation... remining myself that the whole point is to enjoy myself outside. That way when you really need the mental toughness (your boots are wet, the fog is rolled in thick, you take a digger into a patch of devil's club, etc.) you're used to maintaining a positive state of mind and are going to deal with the hardships better.

    Seriously, you're off to a great start! I think you've definitely got a good system for cardio, but you need to expand a bit. Take sheepshape's advice. Work on your core... that's the powerhouse that's going to carry that pack when it really is heavy (as in loaded down with a sheep ). Work on flexibility and agility. It doesn't matter if you can walk endlessly if you can't keep your footing on uneven, broken terrain.

    But consider taking it down just a notch... as kobuk mentioned, don't get an injury before the hunt (and don't get one during )

    And remember to work on keeping a positive (and foolishly optimistic) state of mind.

    good luck!
    Pursue happiness with diligence.

  7. #7
    Member AK Wonderer's Avatar
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    Default

    If you can stick to half of that workout you'll be fine for a sheep hunt.

    The only hole in your weight lifting is your shoulders. The swimming will do a pretty good job at working the shoulders though.

    Running is actaully a great workout for the abs and obliques, but you can never have to many core exercises.

    Take care of your knees and ankles with all that running.

  8. #8
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    Default Thanks!

    Thanks for the advice fellas! I used to be a powerlifter/mass kinda guy but after a long series of injuries I had to ease back on that. Maybe I should include a bit more of the "old" stuff!!! It was quite difficult to do the endurance stuff when I was 235lbs. even if I was lean and strong. I'm trying to stick around 195lbs, strong, durable and fast nowadays. Again, thanks for the advice, keep it coming if you have it!!!!

  9. #9
    Member cdubbin's Avatar
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    Default

    Man, you really love to run! Never been on a hunt where running or swimming was required... is this a triathlon? Seriously, I agree with the posts about the importance of stretching, taking care of your joints (if you're not taking a glucosamine supplement, I'd recommend it), and keeping the weight down. Those manly muscles are just more meat to pack around. I believe the two most critical things for mountain travel are mental endurance ( the ability to push yourself further when every part of your body screams at you to stop), and balance. Conditioning don't mean a thing on a sprained ankle. Get out as much as you can this summer in the type of terrain you'll be hunting and run around off trail with a light pack. Take the best boots you can afford. I've hunted up the Lostine river and the Eagle Cap, and I don't envy you one bit . Well, maybe a little.
    " Gas boats are bad enough, autos are an invention of the devil, and airplanes are worse." ~Allen Hasselborg

  10. #10
    Premium Member MarineHawk's Avatar
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    If I run as much as you are, I get those nagging injuries referenced above, such as shin splints, knee soreness, and even an aggrivated back.

    I know it may sound lame, but at age 42 I spend more time on the elliptical machine in my basement than running. No matter how long or hard I run on that thing, it never hurts my body. I basically run on it somewhere between 40-120 minutes almost every morning. It helps make my backpacking adventures easier, but does not do more harm than good to this old guy.

    Also, I take some multi-vitamins, fish oil, and Vitamins D and C, but I respectfully disagree with the Vitamin E advice above: http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2004/...in654887.shtml
    ("Johns Hopkins University researcher Edgar R. Miller III, MD, PhD, an associate professor of medicine, tells WebMD that when he combined 19 vitamin E studies that looked at almost 136,000 patients, 'it was clear that as the vitamin E dose increased, so does all-cause mortality.'').

  11. #11
    Member tyrex13's Avatar
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    Default

    How about on Tues and Thurs you do a weighted pack hike like 40-50 lbs to try to break up all that running.

    As far as lifting goes, Chest and Tri's are for looks. I would focus on the core. Back strength, stomach, glutes, quads and hammy's would do you better.

  12. #12
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    Default olympics?

    forget hunting go to the Olympics! Dang Im tired! just readin that!

  13. #13
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    Default Thanks again!

    I started devising some more "mission specific" training after reading all this. I am definitely going to pound the back/shoulders/legs/abs. I went back to one of my old kettle bell workouts with some tweaking. I flipped a couple bosu balls upside down and started doing squats on the inverted balls. Pretty wicked, I like it. I trimmed the pack down to 60lbs and I think I can get out two days a week (at least) for 8+ miles in the AM. I'm laying off the chest/tri's and substituting in another day of legs. I think after my hunt this year if all goes well I want to run the Equinox so this is kind of a double edged training pattern if that is possible. I"m pretty up to par on the supplement thing...wife worked for GNC for years and I'm working toward a sports med degree. Glucosamine, D, C, glutamine etc...I appreciate the elliptical as well. I'm a bit younger (just turned 29) than some of you, but after a couple bouts in the big sand box "over there" I've had two serious back surgeries, a fractured C7, 20 herniated discs and a um, a nerve disease. I hope all this training works in my favor! Thanks as always for the advice! See you all on the mountain...with horns on my pack, and yours, I hope!!! Stay safe, shoot straight, and train hard!!!

  14. #14
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    Default Workout

    Your plan seems solid for someone that is in "solid" shape....for starting out and getting into shape; esp. carrying weight, climbing and stamina....recommend the Special Forces Assessment & Selection Program. Google it " SFAS Workout" enjoy...stick to the exact outline and trust me it will break you down and build you up...have a good one

  15. #15
    Moderator LuJon's Avatar
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    Default

    LOL, I will stick to hiking/camping over the summer and probably put some abs in there for my hunts. No way I would get the longevity out of the one set of knees I was issued if I did that kind of workout! If it comes right down to it I will just leave for the hunt a few days before opening.

  16. #16

    Default

    My only suggestion would be to do more hiking/walking with a pack 6 weeks before the hunt. Get the hips and feet used to the equipments. Puts caluses in the right places and really prevents soreness during the hunt. All the other stuff is great, but to me, hiking with a pack is the best since that's what you're actually training to do.

  17. #17
    Member Bighorse's Avatar
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    Default foot conditioning

    I appreciate any kind of effort to get into shape for climbing. I appreciate just being in shape for fitness sake too. Long after I've put away my guns I still want to squat down and pick up my grandkids.

    What your doing is great. I'd certainly consider you as a side kick for a mountain hunt.

    My main man in Sitka that heads mountain side with me is in his forties and just works hard every day supporting his family. I've never seen him running. When he's off it's likely he's out helping friends and neighbors with some manual chore. He's been born and raised Alaskan and traversed many mountains. The skill he brings to the mountains is a level of agility unmatched by many.

    I don't know how to train for that except to log miles going up,over, and around whatever lays in front of you.

    Practice keeping your mouth shut too, focus on the task at hand.

    If it's hurting you.......it's likely hurting your partner also. Talking about it doesn't make it stop.

    Sit down eat a chocolate bar, enjoy the view, shake your extra 10pounds, and get-er-done.

    It's not the Olympics and there is only personal satisfaction for a job well done. Set atainable goals and enjoy the journey.

    Good luck in the mountains and thanks for serving. Sorry about your injuries.

  18. #18
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    Default feet

    Can't recall who said it, but someone on this forum once said the best way to condition yourself for a sheep hunt went something like this... Remove your shoes and socks. Take a bat and beat the bottom of your feet for about 20 minutes. Repeat this daily for three weeks.

    I agree with the need to be in the mountains with your your gear a lot. In my mind it is the best way to prepare yourself for a mountain hunt. It'll work you in all the right places. Unfortunately, we don't all live next to said mountains. I'm lucky to have the Chugach Park to play in all summer.
    Everything that lives and moves will be food for you.
    Genesis 9:3

  19. #19
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    Default Carnivore

    great line...20 minutes, huh...LOL
    another thing for those that are not as lucky as you and me with mountains in our backyard....try a treadmill inclined to 13 with the pack on....

  20. #20
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    Default lawn

    Quote Originally Posted by JJNAK View Post
    great line...20 minutes, huh...LOL
    another thing for those that are not as lucky as you and me with mountains in our backyard....try a treadmill inclined to 13 with the pack on....
    I've also been known to mow my very large, hilly lawn in my boots and a 45 lb pack. ...and no - I don't own a riding mower.
    Everything that lives and moves will be food for you.
    Genesis 9:3

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