The training and nutritive techniques are virtually identical — endurance athletes minimize weight, eat high-calorie, easily digestible carbohydrate gels and fluid proteins, hydrate often, and take electrolytes — but if you compare the numbers (if you can find the numbers), you’ll find that marathoners and long-distance runners outnumber endurance hikers. While an average marathoner might finish a 42.195 kilometer run in about 5 hours, an endurance hiker will often take 11 hours to complete the same distance on rough wilderness trails. Recent mothers, fathers, and young professionals often find that the travel times to worthwhile hiking trails (plus the hiking times) are prohibitive.
Click on the thumbnail photos (and then when you are done, click on the full size photos to close).
It was over 90 degrees in July, and with the humidity, that temperature had the effect of 104 degrees, but starting at 2 PM, I hiked from Yonge and St. Clair to the waterfront and then on to Cherry Beach and the Leslie Spit in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Then I hiked back to where I started on Yonge Street and St. Clair Avenue. (Yonge is the longest municipal street in Canada.) Click on the photos:
Maybe you visited your doctor after taking up running, and the doctor told you that your feet hurt because your arches fell. In other words, you have flat feet. Well the chances are that it’s your shoes, not your flat arches, that are causing the pain. The arch supports hurt your feet: You do not want humongous arch supports. You want shoes that are built with very mild (low) arch supports.
Both New Balance and Vasque make athletic shoes that fit flat feet and wide feet. Vasque even says that their Perpetuum last is “comfortable for people with flatter feet.”
If you join a hiking group you will, of course, meet people from a variety of places and backgrounds. And you will usually meet them early in the morning and then carpool to the trailhead, which is fine when your fellow passengers are courteous enough to refrain from riding along when they have bad colds or bacterial bronchitis. The morning doesn’t seem quite right when the stranger in the backseat shakes your hand, coughs repeatedly, talks about the antibiotics he’s taking and about how his live-in girlfriend died last month after a very prolonged illness that required multiple hospitalizations, how he is looking for a job because he has spent his savings after buying a 2700-square-foot foreclosed home and because his dead girlfriend’s social security checks have stopped coming.
Quit spending money sitting down. Everybody wants your dollars and cents, and they want you to spend it in a chair–at concerts, movies, restaurants, ballets, musicals, coffee shops, meditation groups . . .
Stay on your feet. Go for a walk or a hike. Lift weights while you watch the news. Find a good deal at a gym (the best deals usually appear when a gym first opens for business and offers a contract that stipulates that they can only raise your fees by, lets say, 1 percent every 3 years).
As I have said numerous times, I take supplements (see the disclaimers and warnings listed at the bottom of Spinach, Greens, and Eye Health). Rather than listing the supplements in my posts, I have listed them in the sidebar on the far right. I do not expect you to buy these items, but the Amazon links do provide handy summaries, price comparisons, and reviews.
I have also mentioned that walking, running, and hiking are very good for the health (including respiratory, cardiac, and digestive health), so in this post I am going to list some of the gear I use on hikes. I am listing the Amazon links. You can follow the links to detailed descriptions, prices, and reviews. I own all of the following gear:
You should try to run at 7 miles per hour for 20 minutes–it gets your heart rate up and provides both cardiovascular and respiratory benefits. I run at the gym on treadmills. The treadmills are equipped with shock absorbers and are generally easier on my joints. You can vary the treadmill speed and slant (elevation) in order to minimize the chance of injury due to repeated motion.
If your joints are not up to running, get on the recumbent bike for a half hour or use the elliptical machine. The recumbent bike is the one where your legs are positioned further out in front of you.