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Age and Bonking

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: Age and Bonking

Postby oldranger » Thu Aug 04, 2016 2:33 pm

Just short of 70 and I have adjusted significantly. With full pack I try to keep my days down to less than 6 trail miles and 2000 ft. of vertical. Off trail over nasty terrain more like 1500 ft. and 4 miles. With less than 15 lbs I could probably handle nearly 2 times that. But would require a couple of days recovery. I'm also down to not more than 2 days with pack to one layover with a strong preference for 1 and 1. and for most east side passes the first day is usually on a horse or mule.

Who can't do everything he used to and what he can do takes a hell of a lot longer!

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Re: Age and Bonking

Postby Wandering Daisy » Sun Aug 07, 2016 5:00 pm

Do you know how to do the "rest step"? It is all about pace- and keeping a steady reasonable heart beat. Like gears on a car. Let your breathing determine the pace. Big hill? gear down- slow and easy. Do not stop and go- steady. Never get totally out of breath.

I have occasionally "bonked" at all ages. No more now that I am 67 than when I was 22. It happens when I go harder than my body wants to. Stay in tune with your body. I agree that do not just say it is old age. All sorts of causes - poor sleep, dehydration, illness, heat, too heavy of a pack, poor acclimation. One thing that has been a boon to me is lightening my pack weight. Used to carry 50-60 pounds; now 20-30 and am just as well fed and comfortable. Thank goodness for the new lighter gear!

What slows me down more nowadays is consciously throttling back to save my joints. I no longer do 12-hour days. A 7-8 hour day, regardless of mileage is best for me. When I push that, I hurt! I can do a 12-hour 20 mile day but pay for it the next week.

If really worried, get a workup by a good doctor - perhaps a heart specialist. My husband bonked and it turned out to be an irregular heart beat. He went two years without seeing a doctor, quit a lot of activity and gained 20 pounds. Condition was treated but it has been an uphill battle to regain strength. If there is a problem, the earlier the treatment the better.
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Re: Age and Bonking

Postby balance » Tue Aug 09, 2016 2:40 am

Greetings tisharb

If you've experienced sciatic problems, see the post just before yours: "Safe, effective method to increase flexibility." I've seen well over a hundred people get relief from sciatic pain with trigger point release therapy. It will cost you $20 for a foam roll at performbetter.com. Google: "trigger point release" and "tight piriformis". Better yet, get the Claire Davies book.

If you look at your feet, you'll see that your foot externally rotates (turns out) on the side where you experience sciatic pain. Quick summary: Sciatic nerve runs through piriformis muscle (abductor muscle within gluteus medius). Tight piriformis muscle puts pressure on sciatic nerve. Pain and other bad things happen.

No need for pills or surgery. Trigger point release every day for 3-4 weeks. No more pain. More efficient hiking. Life is good.

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Re: Age and Bonking

Postby Cross Country » Fri Aug 12, 2016 2:55 pm

I did a trip to kid lakes when I was 60 and thought - wow is this is a lot more difficult than when I was 34. At 65 I took my last trip (bad heart decision). It was considerable more difficult than at 60. Now at 73 this is only a memory and - yes age does a number on almost everyone.
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