Officially in the 6 week countdown window to my next adventure in Scotland! On this visit to majestic Alba, I will be meandering Speyside Way, West Highland Way (for a second time) and East Highland Way. A little 395km walk from a full Scottish Breakfast in the morning to my next Haggis Neeps and Tatties dinner with a pint in the evening. Nae bother!
6 weeks out means the training is getting good and fun and tough! We are experiencing crazy warm temps right now (30C) so a bit challenging too! As far as I am concerned, some training that hurts the body at home = happy body and mind in the Highlands! Here is what Week 6 training looks like on my go-to 20 Week Training Plan:
- 2x 6km hike w hills
- 2x 7km hike
- All hikes with 10lb pack, poles optional
- Also some strength training, 2x each of the following at some point this week:
- 50 squats
- 40 lunges / leg
- 40 calf raises
- 20 fire hydrants
- 15 cat/cow
- 30 Double’s
- 60 second elbow plank
Getting these training hikes in is such a great way to discover new places in the Greater Vancouver area to hike! A few new ones that have been added to my ‘done like dinner’ list (yes it is literally called that on my All Trails account):
Shoreline Trail at Rocky Point, Port Moody
A scenic, easy walking trail. Mix of gravel and paved path, loads of people, a touch of incline/decline with loads of amazing scenery! The path wraps around Burrard Inlet and a workout can be rewarded with 1 of many breweries right there at the start/finish at The Port Moody Ale Trail.
While I didn’t get a chance to hit the brewery (we walked early to beat the heat) I was rewarded with a 7km fantastic conversation with my local hiking / training bestie Amber! Next time a post walk pint is definitely in order for these gals!
Eagle Bluffs via Coquitlam Crunch, Coquitlam
A moderate hike that will have the thighs and buns burning! The Crunch is a lovely 500 stair torture device made worse by the ‘You Can Do This!’, ‘Almost There’, and ‘Pace Yourself’ signs that pepper the ascent. Can I do this? Am I almost there? By ‘pace yourself’ do you mean stop now and go grab a coffee and read a book? Likely not, so up and up and up I went.
After defeating the evil stair master, I meandered up and up and around the local neighborhood for a bit to eventually hit the, mostly uphill, trail to the Eagle Bluffs.
The trail is an old gravel access road and if you can ignore the power lines that run above much of this trail, it is still quite a nice hike – and sure a great workout with enough forest time to make me smile!
All in all it’s about 13km from the bottom of the Crunch up to the Eagle Bluffs first look out and back, and about 550m elevation! At my acceptable pace of just slightly speedier than turtle, I clocked it in at 3hours. That includes a sunny snack break on a rock at the top, of course.
This is a hike I will be using to gauge my training progress, not so much about getting faster more around if it gets easier. I did it a couple weeks ago with my bestie Bean and felt the burn, did it again this weekend and felt more like a smolder. Progress!
Sidewinder and Pipeline Loop, Burnaby Mountain, Burnaby
Loving all the things Burnaby Mountain lol right now – lots of trail to choose from, 20mins from work, 40mins from home, well trafficked, so green and great views!
The Sidewinder and Pipeline Loop are connected by Function Junction and Meil’s Trail making for a great work out. Lots of switch backs, good and long incline sections, and even a few sketchy sections that are good for my managing my ‘fear of heights’. I didn’t really need my fear of bears to be exercised though but it is a mountain in all.
This is another trail that I will be using to gauge my training progress. Less breaks on the incline switch backs, higher pace, and faster recovery – all signs the training is working. Especially if this happens as I increase the weight in my pack and how many times I do the loop.
I had the chance to hit up this trail a couple times last week. Once after work on Wednesday (amazing!) and again on Sunday morning (saw a bear, less amazing). The 1.5hr time on this 6.5km trail with 250 elevation gain is a perfect quick one or even to do a couple times in a row.
Ok off the plan the rest of my training hikes for the week. It’s a a long weekend this week – so maybe I can even get in a long one!