Time to Train for the Summertime Adventures

AKA: There Will Be Sweating

Lower Ice Lake – Colorado

The yearly Colorado backpacking trip can be a challenge, mainly because of the altitude. Coming up from Phoenix, AZ (elevation 1086’), makes for a tough first few days. I like to enjoy myself as much as possible, call me crazy, so being fit is the only way to get past the altitude problem. The main challenge during the summer in Phoenix? You guessed it, it’s hot. The good news: as long as you don’t mind early mornings Phoenix is a great place to train outdoors year-round. As I’ve gotten older the heat has started to effect me more and more, and every summer the news is filled with stories of people taken down while hiking in the heat, so you need to be careful and hydrate, hydrate, hydrate. I’ve got another Grand Canyon hike coming up in September as well, so being hiking fit and well acclimatized to the heat is required!

I try to make it to the gym for some strength training twice a week, get in at least one swim, and a hike or bike ride. Usually on my hikes I run the flat parts and try to hike quickly up the steep sections.

I’m not really a fan of training with my pack on, I prefer to just work on overall fitness, so that I’m prepared for the adventures I have planned and anything else that might pop-up. Last year there was some suffering on the uphill hikes, perhaps my plan needs some adjustments…


Summer Fitness Goals


I am fortunate to live right next to South Mountain Park, the largest municipal park in the United States, and a fantastic collection of trails for hiking, mountain biking, and in general enjoying the outdoors. I love the fact that in my neighborhood I’m surrounded by other active people who like to enjoy the excellent outdoor recreation opportunities that Phoenix provides.

The map below shows all the trails and such.


Pyramid Trail is my standard training hike, a mile of slightly up, then a mile of lots of up!

Pyramid Hike

Once you get up to the top you can add some fun mileage by traversing the ridge line all the way around and descend a few different ways. The ridge is great for running, a nice rolling single track!

Pyramid – National – Lost Ranch
Panorama of the Area 620 Trails

I try put together some videos of various adventures, check’em out!

Have any great training tips? Feel free to share!

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