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Don't you want to step up a gear now that winter is over? Speed hiking will add some impetus to your mountain hikes. What's more, you can choose your own tempo!
As nature comes back to life and there is more daylight, you feel the need for a change of pace. This is the perfect time to start speed hiking! While being faster-paced than the typical family hike albeit less intense than a trail run, this new sport encourages you to adopt an athletic approach during your mountain outings.
It is a fast-paced hike. What is the right pace? A speed just a bit slower than jogging. You will naturally adjust your speed according to the slope and type of terrain. Going uphill, you can attack the slope by maintaining a high tempo. Then, make sure you enjoy yourself as you speed downhill at an exhilarating rate!
Mountains are still the ideal location for speed hikers who can roam across the mountaintops in all seasons. But, in order to train or to start the sport again at the end of winter, you can start by picking up the pace of your favourite hikes in hilly or semi-mountainous surroundings.
I advise you to start out with a half-day hike and then progress to a day-long one. After several outings, you may gradually begin to increase the level of difficulty and take on more difficult itineraries. By doing this, you can work on increasing your altitude while building your cardiovascular capacity at the same time. Why not go speed hiking with a group of people in order to persevere in the long-term? Seek out the itinerary and walking partners that suit you and make the most of the first rays of sunshine to get on your way!
If you want to move fast, there is only one solution: you have to hike light! Unlike traditional hiking equipment, speed hiking equipment is noted for its low weight, beginning with the shoes, which are essential for safety. Speed hiking models have a combination of strength in order to 'grip' the terrain, low weight to facilitate your movement, and flexibility so that your foot motion is smooth and you feel unrestricted when you want to speed up. Do you like to descend rocky slopes at a fast pace? The toe protections on the footwear will protect you from stones!
What's more, you should leave any backpacks with a capacity greater than 25L behind as they will be much too bulky for speed hiking. A lightweight bag featuring a low compression strap to keep the weight close to your body so that it does not move about is much better suited. Also, a backpack with a built-in hydration pack will allow you to quench your thirst without disrupting your all-important stride.
As for your clothing, opt for a jacket with a breathable fabric and a system of zipped air vents so that you can adjust the airflow according to your effort level and the environment (sun, shade, wind, etc.)
As for your legs, carbon hiking poles will relieve your legs during long hikes. To learn how to use them, check out our advice!
Now that you are kitted out, you can jump to it this spring in your favourite outdoor setting!