Sanity Check My Training Plan (55+)

philcox

Senior Member
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Nov 27, 2018
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101
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Auburn, CA
I'll be 56 this hunting season (CA A-Zone and D3-5. We will also do an Idaho Mule Deer hunt this year). I am in reasonable to good shape. My diet is Ok, but I do like treats :) Trying to make sure I am in good enough shape to not be a significant "weakest link" in backcountry hunts with my son and others (all < 35). 5'9 and 180#. I work at a desk job. Here is my current plan:
  • I run 2x week (in my subdivision at lunch). Right now ~5 miles (3.5 loops), ~ 750 ft, usually about 52-54 min. I am trying to add 1/2 a loop per month (so monotonous)
  • I "hike" the same route 1-2x week, with a pack, but 3 mi and 500ft. Right now at 75# in pack. This is about an hour too
  • 1/week try to get out to 1 of 2 longer/harder hikes:
    • 2mi, 850ft, about 50 min - Essentially a down and back, so it it 850 ft of "up". I have 2 routes for that, one a bit shorter, but steep as all get out (touch the ground in front of you steep)
    • 4.5 mi, 1000ft, about 2:20. 1.5 is butt Kicker, remainder is meandering.
  • Been trying to ride road bike or mtn as a break for one of the above
  • Will weight train once my elbow is back to speed (2x/wk P90X or similar Push/Pull)
That's about it.

My main questions are:
  1. Is my pack weights too much for training? I don't want to overstress my body. My plan was 65# Feb, 75 Mar, 85 Apr, 95 May, 105 Jun, then A-Zone Archery starts and hunting ... if still Heavy Hiking, then 115 Jul, and hold at 115 (for the hikes I mentioned above).
  2. Are my lengths long enough, or should I go longer, even if slower?
  3. Any material changes that might serve me better for my goal?
I am starting to see that my mind still thinks I am 20ish, but my aches and pains tell me I am not, so any insight (particular from those in my age group doing the same type of prep/hunting).

Thx,

Phil
 

Hackleback

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Oct 25, 2013
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Truckee Meadows
Running in your subdivision? You are in Auburn Ca, Endurance capital of the world! Home of Western States 100! Get out on the multitude of trails in the American River Rec area! Want others to run/hike trails, hook up with any one of the trail groups. Don't know where to find a group, stop by either (or both) Auburn Running or The Aid Station.

As for pack weight, I would drop to 40 lbs and work up hitting 75 a month out from your hunt.

I will take you out on some local trails some weekend if you want, just let me know.
 
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philcox

philcox

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Nov 27, 2018
Messages
101
Location
Auburn, CA
Running in your subdivision? You are in Auburn Ca, Endurance capital of the world! Home of Western States 100! Get out on the multitude of trails in the American River Rec area! Want others to run/hike trails, hook up with any one of the trail groups. Don't know where to find a group, stop by either (or both) Auburn Running or The Aid Station.

As for pack weight, I would drop to 40 lbs and work up hitting 75 a month out from your hunt.

I will take you out on some local trails some weekend if you want, just let me know.
I’ll PM you. I do the lunch stuff, just because I can get out quickly from work. Getting to Training Hill or the likes takes a bit longer. Nice thing is my wife likes to hike with me. With a 60# weighted pack, we have similar paces.

I’ll take the advice on the weight drop.
 

Hackleback

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Oct 25, 2013
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Truckee Meadows
I am not a gym rat at all, even running on a treadmill is torture. I see these multi-day hunts as (ultra) endurance events. Yes, you need the strength to haul loads, but if you are gassed on day two, it's going to be a long week. I'd rather be that wiry guy that can put his head down and keep grinding away to get it done.
 

*zap*

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Dec 20, 2018
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N/E Kansas
2x a week run, 2x a week weighted hike, 2x a week strength and 1x a week long hike = 7 days a week. That is a lot, especially if the hunt is quite a few months away.

Lots of stress on knees/hips with packing 70-110# 2x a week plus the runs. You might look into setting up something using heart rate zone training and periodization. 'Training for the modern alpinism' is a great book with lots of good info in it for training. Uphill athlete is a great web site with lots of good info.

I agree that multi day hunts in back country is more of an endurance activity and raising your aerobic threshold is probably a good idea. Understanding the concepts of how to go about that is very important or you may do a lot of training that is not as productive as it could be or actually detrimental.
 

Fatcamp

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Sodak
Too much.

What's wrong with your elbow? Can you squat? Everyone should squat.
 

Newtosavage

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In someone's favorite spot
WAY too much pack weight IMO. Just not necessary and very harmful. I'm 50 now and there is no way I'd train with more than 50# in my pack on a hard surface and on a regular basis.

Drop your pack weight to 35-40# and find some bleachers.
 

mtwarden

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Joined
Oct 18, 2016
Messages
3,218
Location
Montana
  1. Is my pack weights too much for training? I don't want to overstress my body. My plan was 65# Feb, 75 Mar, 85 Apr, 95 May, 105 Jun, then A-Zone Archery starts and hunting ... if still Heavy Hiking, then 115 Jul, and hold at 115 (for the hikes I mentioned above).
  2. Are my lengths long enough, or should I go longer, even if slower?
  3. Any material changes that might serve me better for my goal?
I am starting to see that my mind still thinks I am 20ish, but my aches and pains tell me I am not, so any insight (particular from those in my age group doing the same type of prep/hunting).

Thx,

Phil
1. yes, 60-70# is plenty and even then I would only use this weight intermittently
2. no they aren't long enough, yes- it's been shown that it's really important in building a base w/ slower/easier outings, I'd start setting aside one day for something longer- increase the distance by no more than 10% weekly, but keep increasing it
3. set aside days for recovery, set aside a week (maybe every fourth) where you pull back on everything; consider adding twice a week strength training w/ the basic compound lifts- deadlifts, squats, bench, overhead press
 

5MilesBack

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Feb 27, 2012
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Colorado Springs
I'm in the same age group as well. The only heavy pack training I do is carrying meat out in September. And September is my only heavy cardio workout of the year as well. But I'm certainly ready for September.
 

Fatcamp

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Sodak
I load 100# on my pack just to make sure everything rides properly and I don't get hot spots from misadjusted straps, etc. Don't go more than a mile and only once or twice a summer.

Other than that long hikes with 45# and daily incline treadmill walks with 25# vest are the plan this year.

KIMG2438~2.JPG

Not sure what this one weighed, but I sure regretted bringing the spotting scope by the end.
 

MWBaker5

Junior Member
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Dec 22, 2019
Messages
10
Just a thought, I would also work in some speed training. Looks like most of what your doing is endurance.
Easy way is to get on a 1/4 mile track. Sprint the straight aways and walk the corners. Start with 3 or 4 and build up. Will help cardio and recovery a lot.
I also think your pack weights seem heavy.
 

Block

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Nov 13, 2018
Messages
287
I think you’d be MUCH better off mimicking an actual daypack weight of ~30-40 lbs ... or just scrap the workouts and try to make time to actually get out and scout for ur hunts 2x a week doing 5-10 miles in the actual mountains you’ll be hunting
 

LJ Buck

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Oct 7, 2013
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Look at mountain tactical institute. Plans are developed based off testing and developed and improved every year. These guys train mountain professionals.

They are well rounded workouts that will build the strength you need and prevent injury.
 

307

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Jun 18, 2014
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Cheyenne
Way, way too heavy pack weight. Inviting injury.

P90x is not strength training, it's resistance metabolic training at best. Strength training is much heavier, at fewer reps, with rest so that you aren't limited by "the burn".
 

49plates

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Joined
May 3, 2020
Messages
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I’d recommend keeping the pack weight under 50 pounds. Adding a stretching routine with each workout and then one longer session a week would also be helpful.
 

hogstrong

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Mar 19, 2019
Messages
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My father is in the same spot as you. Especially at this age I would cut out anything that is not lifting weights, (uphill)sprinting or hiking for endurance.
 
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