Georgie Bull, one of our contributers, has been sharing her “Get Fit” program in preparation for Hiking the Overland Track in Tasmania in September.
This last couple of weeks she has been struck down with “the flu” but is finally on the mend. In this piece she muses over how her fitness campaign is progressing:
Over to Georgie:
Regrettably, my fitness regime collapsed two weeks ago when I picked up a nasty dose of the flu.
I am a miserable patient and spent a lot of time mopping about, just willing my lungs and head to clear and my energy level to bounce back.
I felt better on Sunday, so decided to walk up to Montville. I got just past my letterbox before I felt my heart rate increase dramatically and my chest tighten. And my legs stopped wanting to work. I was tempted to turn back, upset at this rotten setback – muscles gone to jelly on their holiday from the gym, and cardio fitness obviously gone backwards.
Thinking, ‘I am doing the OT in four weeks’, I decided to push on.
As you know, by this stage, I should be well into my interval training and ready to add some weight work. But I would be happy just to do the 10km round trip. After a lot of grunting and puffing, and quite a few stops to catch my breath, I made it up to the Montville bakery. I bought my sourdough, and headed for home – which is thankfully downhill all the way.
This little story was to have been a brag about how fit and ready I am for the OT, probably telling you how hard my interval has been, but that I was managing it, and how I was about to start adding weight to my backpack, building up to 18kgs over the next two weeks. I am sorry that it isn’t. I am not quite sure where I go from here – try to catch up, modify the trip to just day walks … A work in progress.
If you have been following my regime, and have been lucky to been virus free and diligent with your training, your muscle strength will have increased without stress, and your cardiovascular system improved with the gradually increasing demand. Now it’s time to strap on your backpack, and add some weight to your walk.
Start with a 5kg load for a week or so, then add another 5kg, and keep carrying that until five weeks before your trip. At the five week mark, gradually increase the weight each day until you get to the weight you would normally carry – for me this is18kg max. Increasing the weight gradually builds muscle strength and reduces the chance of muscle, ligament or tendon damage.
The week before your trip, give your body a complete recovery time, so you can start your walk in top condition. Keep up your daily distances, but ease back to a slow speed, and unload your backpack to just your water bottle, jumper and jacket.
My regime was intended to get me to a good fitness level to tackle the OT, and hopefully it will still stand me in good stead, despite this setback with the flu.
If you have ever got sick a month or so before a big trip I would love to hear what you did once you started feeling better.
Image: Diego Ibacache – via Flickr