Adjustments to training routine with age | High Sierra Topix  

Adjustments to training routine with age

How do you prepare for the rigorous physical requirements of high elevation adventure? Strength and endurance are key, but are only part of a more complex equation. How do you prepare for changes in altitude, exposure, diet, etc.? How do you mentally prepare? Learn from others and share what you know about training in advance for outdoor adventures.

Re: Adjustments to training routine with age

Postby rlown » Mon Jun 26, 2017 11:39 am

good luck. I see a MRI or CAT scan in your future. All good.



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Re: Achilles

Postby giantbrookie » Mon Jun 26, 2017 1:07 pm

Best wishes for a favorable Achilles tendon prognosis from your doc. I will be interested to hear it.

I have had past issues with mine (both) that were different and nature and seemed to resolve themselves. One occurred a lot in my 30s during the peak of my backpacking era with my wife. It seemed that the back of my hiking boots would irritate my Achilles tendons, causing a lot of soreness and cysts (hard lumps) would form on them. This caused some pain but the cysts and the pain would go away during the off season. These may have occasionally flared in more recent years but I probably haven't noticed them. I had a friend who had one of his Achilles tendons start bothering him on day 2 of a 5 day hard backpacking trip. Needless to say he was pretty concerned and we adjusted by taking some of his load and the remainder of the trip went OK for him. I don't think he's been bothered since that trip (which was in 2007) but I'm not sure. I had a bout with soreness in both tendons back 2 years ago associated with my resumption of basketball activities. This was scary because one of my old teammates who is my age had just blown one of his Achilles tendons out and decided that was the sign to quit hoops for good. I did some calf raise/range of motion exercises daily and I don't know if this, or some adjustments in how I laced my shoes, or both contributed to things getting better, but after some anxious months of cat and mouse with the pain, the problem went away (knock on wood). My doctoral advisor currently has Achilles pain that flares off and on and this has bothered him for a couple of years or so. He can't seem to get rid of this, and it limits his hiking, even though he is physically capable of hiking very strongly. The reason for his restraint when facing the pain is of course the fear that pushing it could lead to a bad rupture of the tendon (what we all fear).
Since my fishing (etc.) website is still down, you can be distracted by geology stuff at: http://www.fresnostate.edu/csm/ees/facu ... ayshi.html
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Re: Adjustments to training routine with age

Postby Dave_Ayers » Mon Jun 26, 2017 5:21 pm

OK, I'll chime in. I'm about the same age as Brookie and had similar HS recreational habits as Jim. The main changes over the years have to do with what sport I'm participating in and getting more knowledgeable about training for aerobic/endurance sports.

From about 9-20, I just headed out in basketball shape with little specific training. Just spent some time jogging and doing step-ups with a heavy pack to get used to the straps some. Paid the price with shin splinting (from downhill) and pack strap soreness. Since I lived in the Central Valley, there weren't any convenient hills to climb/descend and no treadmills in those days to simulate uphill.

My primary sports the next decade were weightlifting, cycling, and softball (oh, and beer drinking). Again, no hills to climb. Did train a couple years stair climbing training (with weighted pack) in the 14 story building I worked in in Sacto. That left me in great climbing shape (I could finally out-climb my mtn goat father me age 30 and he 57). But again, plenty of strap soreness, shin splinting, and foot blistering. Stair climbs do not have the slanted foot angle needed to properly prepare the lower legs. And nothing beats hiking for prepping the foot skin.

~33-45 my primary sport was volleyball (beach, indoor, grass) with a bit of cycling. The jumping/darting sports (vball, bball, tennis, et al.) do a great job overall of prepping the ankles, knees, etc. Now in the SF Bay Area, I was able to mix in hill climbs (Mission Peak, Coyote Hills, Pleasanton Ridge) and spend more time doing useful work with the pack on. This eliminated shin soreness and much of the pack strap chafing.

~45-50 my primary sport was inline speedskating (~50km) with some cycling cross-training. Speedskating is awesome cardiovascular work and I learned a lot more about interval training and how to increase aerobic fitness, raise hematocrit, etc. Having good blood levels pre-hike allows me to camp about 1500-2000 feet higher the first night without my AMS symptoms cropping up and offset my small lung capacity.

50+ backpacking has become the primary sport. With the bulk of training coming with some kind of pack on my back hiking up/down some kind of hill, including intervals, I'm able to really be ready for my trips. This combined with better/lighter equipment has allowed me to keep my miles per day about the same over the years despite increased body fat and aging.

Injuries have cropped up, more in the last decade or so. Knee tendonitis; a couple of heel bone shards sticking into my Achilles (living with it, don't want the full year recovery from surgery); knee surgery; etc. But I was able to overcome a pelvis/back problem a decade back upon finally getting advice from a Dr. who know what she was talking about and preventative workouts from my (very) personal trainer. So there is good also. No more jumping or deep squats allowed though.

Since work is not currently in the way, I've added back regular weight training, core fitness, and balance work. Now if I could just get lean like Mav, I could do some real damage! :evil:
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Re: Adjustments to training routine with age

Postby maverick » Mon Jun 26, 2017 6:07 pm

No more jumping or deep squats allowed though.


No need for those, especially if you have had previous leg injuries. You will get much better and safer results with reverse lunges, bulgarian split squats, step ups, which are much more knee friendlier, also keeping the reps between 10-15, sometimes higher. :nod:
I don't give out specific route information, my belief is that it takes away from the whole adventure spirit of a trip, if you need every inch planned out, you'll have to get that from someone else.

Have a safer backcountry experience by using the HST ReConn Form 2.0, named after Larry Conn, a HST member: http://reconn.org
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Re: Adjustments to training routine with age

Postby Dave_Ayers » Tue Jun 27, 2017 4:55 pm

Haha, you sound like Dr. King.
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