How My Family Is Training For Distance and Elevation Hiking

We have started our training plan for our upcoming hiking vacation which will include carrying day packs, photo equipment, high heat, and elevation.

First, let me remind you that my husband and I did part of this same hike a few years back for our 20th anniversary. That was the first trip ever we took of that type and thankfully we opted for a guided trip on that occasion. We learned so much in three days with the guides we had that I could never thank them enough. We also had about 6 weeks to train for that trip and I believe it made all the difference in the world when we arrived. We had no issues keeping up, dealing with the elevation, or making the mileage asked of us. I returned from that trip with so much knowledge and a HUGE desire to return as soon as possible.


Which brings us to today. We are going back, adding a few more destinations, and staying a lot longer this time around. However, this time we have two big changes among many little differences. This time we are doing it on our own (no guides) and bringing our 20 year old son with us. As you can imagine I am over the moon excited. It will be a dream come true for me to go back since mountains are my favorite adult playground. Plus, our son, being an up and coming photographer, will be completely in his element.

My first priority was to come up with a training plan so this trip can be enjoyable and not leave us in pain every single night after a big day on the trails. I knew what we did last time was very beneficial although, because of the last minute booking it also only gave us 6 weeks to train which was super difficult. This time I wanted to make sure we had a few more weeks so we would not be pressured to hit the goals we knew we needed to hit. Plus, we are all at different fitness levels and some of us need a more work than others in certain areas. And don’t forget, I am still trying to recover from 6 long weeks in a boot for my torn ankle tendon.

This is what I came up with to start our training:

Monday: 5 mile walk and stretching (gradually increasing and eventually reaching 10 miles total)


Tuesday: 3 mile walk and stretching

Wednesday: 60 minutes yoga, hill climb=10 times up and down , steps= 10 times up and down


Thursday: 5 mile walk and stretching (gradually increasing and eventually reaching 10 miles total)

Friday: weights/squats/ankle bands/stool step ups


Saturday: off (it’s summer time so we’ll either be kayaking or standup paddling anyhow)

Sunday: 60 minutes yoga, hill climb=10 times up and down , steps= 10 times up and down

Of course we may need to change this up a bit here and there but this is the plan. When we get closer to leaving we will be adding our loaded packs for our walks. This time we are adding steps and hill climbs to our training plan since elevation is a major part of every trail we plan to hike. Last time we did not do this and I think it would have been very helpful. We concentrated more on mileage last time and I don’t think we needed to as much as we did. We will top out at 10 miles total by the end of our training.

I also found that yoga was extremely helpful for keeping me stretched out well. I even did it in them mornings while we were there before meeting up with the rest of the group. So I added that into our plan here at home too.

Since our training is taking place during the summer months, the heat should help prepare us for what’s ahead. Our destination tops out at about 85-105 degrees at this time of year. And if it would rain, our walks can be taken to the gym on another aerobic machine or even in our home gym.

All in all, my hope is to leave home feeling ready to conquer what lies ahead.

Would you ever train to go on a vacation?



Travel and Exercise/ Get Up and Move Update

Whether you travel for business or pleasure, getting in your daily workout is possible regardless of where you will be or what you will be staying in.

Granted, hotels are probably the easiest place to get in a workout since many of them offer a workout room/area, but what do you do if you are not in a hotel with this option? Here are some helpful ideas that you could consider.

Depending on where you are located when you travel many cities have gyms that will offer a daily drop in fee for travelers. It does not hurt to ask.


You could also consider rentals, such as in Door County,WI there are numerous places to rent bikes and kayaks for a reasonable price.

When my husband travels for business, he will often save room for his yoga mat and throw in a dvd to practice yoga in his room before breakfast. It does not take up a lot of room and really could even be done without a mat if you wish. I found yoga very helpful when we traveled to Utah and did this every morning before meeting for the day to start hiking with our group.


You could get in your strength training also without even leaving your room. Purchasing a set of resistance bands is perfect to throw into your luggage. Compact, light weight and easy to use.

If you have access to a car while traveling, finding a local high school may offer a track to run on. You could also find a nature trail to run on if you prefer running with a view. And if nothing else is possible, just take a walk near your hotel. You can walk just about anywhere.


When we travel, I am someone that really needs to be able to get some kind of true exercise in no matter what. It truly just makes me a happier person. So, I will normally research the area we will be visiting and see what there is to offer.  I can normally have my workout done before my boys are even up and ready to go, so it never interferes with our plans of the day.

Don’t let travel be an excuse not to get in a good workout.

And now for my first update of the GET UP AND MOVE CHALLENGE:

(for this first update I am going to start on Monday Dec. 30 simply because it will be easier to post weekly updates for me every Monday)

Monday 12/30: 45 minutes cardio, 30 minutes strength training, 15 minutes abs

Tuesday 12/31: 15 minutes abs and strength training, 1 mile walk

Wednesday 1/1: 30 minutes arc trainer, 15 minute treadmill, 30 minute strength training(all at the gym)

Thursday 1/2: 25 minutes recumbent bike, 10 minutes strength training, 3 mile walk

Friday 1/3: off

Saturday1/4: 30 minutes cardio and 30 minutes upper body strength training (all at the gym)

Sunday 1/5: 20 minutes cardio on the arc trainer and 15 minute walk on the treadmill (all at the gym)

I was pretty proud of myself Sunday. I laid on the heating pad for most of the morning and finally forced myself to just get up and go to the gym. I have been nursing a sore back for three days, and Sunday  was the worse day. I did not feel worse after exercise but no better either. Although,I was happy I made myself go to the gym. No one said everyday was going to be great, but I did it and I was happy I did.

How did you all do on your GET UP AND MOVE goal?

What’s The Best Time to Work Out

What is your best time to get the most from your workout? Mornings or evenings?

I believe there are pluses and minuses to both. Frankly, as long as you fit it in, you have accomplished the goal.

I suppose this could go either way for many people depending on your family and your job. For myself, I would workout every morning if time was not a consideration. Right now, I split it into three different times during the day from Monday through Friday. Weights and crunches first thing in the morning, aerobic and more weights in the afternoon, and either yoga, 3 mile walk or 45 minutes at the gym after dinner. Crazy, right?

I normally take one rest day during the week. Although, sometimes I think I should exercise every single day, it just makes me happy. Rest day is usually my bitchy day. Odd but true.

On weekends I almost always get up before my husband is even thinking about awakening and go to the gym and get a great 1 1/2 hour work out which does me good for the entire day. I wish I could fit this into my weekday mornings, but it’s just not possible.


Some of the pluses I have found about morning workouts is:

*Workouts first thing in the morning will give you energy throughout the entire day.

*No excuse for not being consistent if it’s the first thing you do every day then nothing can surprisingly come up.

*You have a feeling of accomplishment and the day just started. Even if the rest of the day is crappy, you got in a good workout to be proud of.

*I love mornings because crowds are usually not a problem

*I find if I work out in the evenings, it’s much harder for me to fall asleep at night.

*Much of our family time is in the evenings, so if I can get in my workout during the day I don’t feel like I am missing out on family time.

Like I said, in a perfect world, I would workout every single day in the mornings. Maybe someday I will get to do this. Right now, when that alarm goes off at 4am, there is nothing that I would love more than to get up, go to the gym and return home from a great workout. So I wait patiently for weekends and get in my full morning workouts, and deal with the three way split during the week. Either way, a workout is a workout and as long as we all fit it in somewhere it’s an accomplishment.

When do you prefer to workout? Why?

Training For Our Trip- Sept. 2-8


Training for our trip this week consisted of:

Monday: 3 mile walk (just myself)

Tuesday: my daily routine and 5.25 mile walk together

Wednesday: my daily routine and 3 mile walk together

Thursday: my daily routine and 3 mile walk together

Friday: my daily routine only

Saturday: 5.25 mile walk together and an additional 4 miles for(just myself)

Sunday: off

For more information on my daily routine you can find this at:

This week I felt a little overwhelmed after being away from home for 5 days at the end of last week. We came home to a pile of mail and a to do list that is getting longer by the day. With the weather getting cooler, I am sort of panicked that we better get to it before the white flakes start falling from the sky. (Oh, how depressing)

Although, I am happy we did make some kind of training a priority and did get some miles in on most nights. Some weeks just aren’t what I wish they could be, but some is better than nothing.

At least the home repair and “to do” list has gotten a lot shorter. And I did hit my all time high in walking miles on Saturday, so I was thrilled:)