Confession: I didn’t train for my hike

I decided to start that first hike on a whim. It was the best decision I could have made at the time, but besides a five kilometer walk to my grandparents, I didn’t get to doing any training.

When I started the Wales Coast Path I had never hiked for longer than two hours, didn’t break in my hiking boots or got used to the backpack. I did have some experience camping, but even that was limited.

I wish I had trained, at least a bit. The first few days I was going much slower than I anticipated and I didn’t nearly cover as much ground as I hoped. The blisters on my feet were impossible to ignore and my body was aching under the load of my pack.


My brand new (!) hiking boots

At that time the physical hardship was exactly what I needed to distract my mind, but soon my the skin on my Achilles tendon was throbbing and it turned to an angry red color. After a few days rest I was able to continue my hike, but I had lost precious hiking time. About two weeks before my return flight I started to feel a sharp pain in my shoulder and my fingers would start to tingle every now and then. When I ran into a physiotherapist -what are the odds, right?- she concluded that my shoulder was overworked and advised me to rest for at least two weeks. That meant no backpack and thus no hiking.

I wasn’t able to finish the hike. I am sure that if I had trained, I would have made it. Even though I was disappointed at the time, looking back I’m convinced there are two kinds of hikes: those you start to get to the finish line and those you do for the journey. Most of my hikes are a combination of both, but Wales was definitely all about the journey.

Do you train for your hikes? Do you hike to get to the finish line or for the journey?

10 thoughts on “Confession: I didn’t train for my hike

  1. Hi, I found you through your First Friday comment 🙂 Nice to meet you.

    I can COMPLETELY relate to this. I went to the Himalayas last summer, it was the last leg of a month’s journey, and whilst the rest had been completed on local buses, rickshaws and the like, this final leg would be…well my legs. Was I prepared? After a month of nothing but curry, stodge and enjoying myself, I couldn’t be less prepared. I did some training before I left, but a two hour walk was nothing compared to what was in store for me. The vertical miles walked, the altitude. It was by the hardest thing I have ever done. It didn’t help that it was monsoon season, and the mud in the jungle was terrific, and leeches fell from the trees! It was a great experience though! I will never forget it. And somehow, beyond my Sherpa’s expectations, I finished the trek. I have never been prouder of myself!

    Wow, sorry, I did not mean to write an essay, this just related soooo much 🙂 I know your pain!

    This is a really nicely put together site, there is a personal touch which your readers will love. It is also very honest and relatable. I think you will find a good following for this. Great job! Thanks very much for sharing!

    Liked by 1 person

      • WP is an incredible place for support. It was my pleasure. Get in touch any time if you need anything you think I might be able to help with 🙂

        It was a great experience. I do a lot of travelling. This year I am camping through S. Africa, Namibia, Botswana and Zimbabwe. Some of it is bush camping, so I hope the animals do not think I am tasty XD

        If you have a moment and fancy, I would be really grateful if you could check out my site. Leave a like or a comment if you wish, and if it strikes you and you hit ‘follow’, then you will make my day! 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Hey girl! Saw your comment and decided to come here and read your blog and that was NOT a mistake. Loved reading this story and being a part of your journey. I’ve never hiked before or done anything close to hiking. You see, I’m a city guy so the mountains and the countryside just seems absurd to me. But, in the recent years I’ve heard so much about going backpacking and exploration that I’m actually considering. But right now, I don’t have the resources or funds so well that’s not my priority right now. Your writing is captivating, your blog and the whole vibe it gives is really endearing and beautiful. I look forward to reading more about you and your experiences and adventures. Will be with you. Love and luck, keep shining!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Pingback: Wales Coast Path: overview – Gone Roaming

  4. We are preparing a hike to Grinell Glacier. It’s not so ambitious for some, but for me and my daughter it will be difficult. We try to build up our endurance ahead of the trip, but there isn’t always time. Hopefully we will complete it…it would be a shame to travel to Glacier National Park and not hike to the glacier (before it is gone.)

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Pingback: What was in my pack? (Wales Coast Path) – Gone Roaming

  6. Pingback: Get ready for a multiday hike! – Gone Roaming

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