Hiking is one of the best things you can do in terms of keeping fit. It also gives you a great opportunity to get to know yourself a bit better if you are on your own with your thoughts, or to get to know someone else a bit better. Have you ever wondered why some people are just able to put in more kilometers than you? How they are able to put in more time than you? Here are a few tips that will give you an edge. They will help you to hike faster and longer.
If you want to get more out of your hiking, in terms of speed and stamina, you should start by looking at what you’ve got on your feet. I don’t mean just your boots. You should start with a good pair of comfortable, sweat resistant socks. A good pair of socks will prevent many of the common complaints such as chaffing and blisters. Once you have that sorted, go for the best quality boots that you can reasonably afford. You don’t have to go for the most expensive, that’s often a false assumption. But you can get your feet checked by someone who knows what they are talking about and purchase a good pair of boots based on their recommendation.
Another way to increase your stamina and speed is to train. Although we all walk as a matter of course, strolling around the house is not the same as climbing up and down rugged and changeable terrain over hills and mountains. The only way you are going to improve yourself is to practice. Get out on the trails. Take each trail and complete it. Take your time and note how you feel. Then do the same trail on another occasion and try to beat your initial time. Again check how you feel.
Finally, you should try to maintain a rhythm in your walking, otherwise known as a cadence. This is what gives good hikers their edge. They are able to maintain the same cadence over the same type of terrain. For example, they will keep the same speed and stride over a certain slope. They will have another speed and stride over flat, hilly, rough or smooth ground. The trick here is consistency.
So you start out on this journey of trying to improve your speed and stamina by choosing the most important equipment for your feet, your socks and shoes. Then you need to take those boots out for a test drive, over and over. Practice makes perfect. Once you are comfortable walking in these new shoes, one of the areas you can focus your efforts on is your cadence, trying to maintain the same speed and stride over a particular terrain. Again, this takes practice.