Today, I share a simple way to test your hiking fitness and track your training progress over time.
One blindspot many hikers have with their training is they often have no idea if all the work they are doing, is actually helping them improve for the trail.
They might be doing loads of training, and putting in in a ton of work, but they just assume that the things they are doing will translate into hiking fitness.
And you know what everyone says about assumptions...
Sure, you can often get a decent idea of how things are changing, simply by how you feel on the trail.
And if hiking is getting easier, it is often safe to say you are on the right track!
But what if you can't get out hiking?
Or if you have a hard time deciding if your hikes are getting easier or not?
Or if you are a numbers person, and need some hard data to quantify things?
Well, in any of these situations, it is probably worth completing some type of regular benchmark test.
In which you can test your hiking fitness, get a good judge of your training progress and know for sure, if you are improving or not.
Now there are quite a number of hiking fitness assessments you could choose from..
You could do a V02 max test...
Or a timed elevation test...
Or a heart rate controlled distance run...
All of this will do the job.
But for me, I like simple. And today, I want to introduce you to the single most simple hiking fitness assessment you can do:
Introducing the step test. This dead-simple assessment will allow you to get an insight into how your hiking fitness is improving over time, requires no equipment, complicated calculations, planning or anything like that.
This is how you do it:
While this type of benchmark test is as simple as it gets, it can be pretty handy to get a judge if your training is actually helping you improve.
And that knowledge is priceless.
So my challenge for you this weekend. Find a step and give this assessment a go. And then, four weeks down the line, try it again.
You may be surprised at the results.
Yours in trekking,
Rowan is a personal trainer who specialises in training for hiking, trekkers and mountaineers for their bucket list adventures.
Summit Strength is a personal training for hiking service created specifically to help hikers have the best chance of a safe, enjoyable and successful adventure.