You’re already signed up and feel you need a little guidance for the next couple of weeks to make sure you’re all set for MammothMarch?
You haven’t signed up yet and want to check if it’s possible to get well-prepared in less than 3 months? (Spoiler alert: Yes, it is!)
… then this blog post is for you!
Please note that every human being is built different and at a different fitness level a couple of months before the event. We didn’t include specific mileage goals, which will also depend on the distance you picked for MammothMarch. Consider the following as a holistic approach to get you event-ready.
Rack up those miles
This shouldn’t come as a big surprise: You better get some miles in to get your body & mind accustomed to the strenuous activity of a MammothMarch.
Start planning a few hiking/walking tours. Before heading out the door, make sure to have a loop ready on your smartphone or someone to pick you up in case it’s a one-way track. It might also be beneficial to have a friend or family member on standby in case you can’t go any further and there’s no Uber/Lyft service in sight.
To plan your hikes, you can use a website or GPS app like AllTrails that also offers a ton of already prepared routes close to your home to choose from.
Increase your mileage week to week, hike to hike. Mix it up in between by including a short hike, two mid-sized hikes on two consecutive days, etc.
Don’t just walk
There’s a lot of muscles involved when hiking. Make sure to tackle your whole body as not only your legs are part of your hike, e.g. don’t forget your (lower) back, shoulders that enable you to keep the right posture and carry your backpack. If you’re not a gym member, don’t worry. There’s plenty of home workouts to choose from! We can only recommend including Yoga or Pilates in your routine as well. That way you not only increase flexibility & (core) strength but it can also ease some pain and helps relaxing your body & mind.
Review your equipment during and after the training hikes. Do the boots fit? What about your socks? Do you encounter blisters at the exact same spots every time you go? This is the best time for adjustments, pre-attach blister pads in case a different shoe, sock doesn’t do the trick, and so forth.
Your backpack will be heavier when going for a training hike as you will pack snacks & water – something you don’t have to worry about during MammothMarch. Make sure to have a backpack of the right size that is not too heavy. Ask yourself: What do you really need – and what not.
Change things up
Don’t walk the same 10, 15, 20 miles each and every weekend. That’s going to be grueling, especially for your mental fitness. Check out other routes, add/reduce some incline, etc. Furthermore, change things up during your hikes, e.g. play around with your pace, make breaks at different mile markers, pack your backpack a little heavier/lighter than needed, listen to a podcast, music, soak in nature – everything while having in mind to push your limits.
In addition, you might be (mentally and physically) tired of hiking every weekend or several times a week. Don’t worry, there’s other activities that keep you in shape and tackle other areas of your body. Go out for a bike tour, use that elliptical in your gym or at home, try an “active rest” rather than doing nothing at all.
Although you should push your limits, training through an injury is the wrong approach as this will do more harm than good to your body. Take a longer break when needed to heal those nagging blisters and sore muscles.
The week before the event
You can’t make up for those training hikes you didn’t do, those miles you didn’t walk – so don’t try to squeeze everything in the last week before the big day, panicking “how on earth will I be able to finish?!”
Either way, go out for a lengthy walk/hike, but less than your MammothMarch distance. Keep the body used to walking while at the same time allowing a speedy recovery and rest before the day of the event.
On a side note, you’ll be surprised how much of an impact the event itself and other participants have on your performance.
The day before the event
In a nutshell: Get enough sleep. Don’t drink alcohol. Eat those carbs.
Plan how you’ll be able to get the rest you need before an 8- or even 12-hour hike. If you have a 2+ hour drive to the event, consider arriving the day before and book a hotel close by. The same applies to the night after the event. While you might still be full of those endorphins, 20 or even 30 miles will take a toll on your body and mind quickly. Are you really in shape to drive 100 miles home? Do you have a friend, family member that can take over quickly in case you feel tired? Why not spending another night after the event? Added benefit: That well-deserved cold one will be extra tasty!
We’re always happy to receive feedback on your personal experience when preparing for MammothMarch. Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org if there’s something that worked well for you and we could add to our plan!