Future Detour traveler, Becki Rupp, is planning a Galapagos Multisport Adventure trip coming up this fall. As a health coach and owner of Trailblazer Wellness, she spends her day helping clients gain more strength and stamina so that they can enjoy the experiences they’ve been dreaming of – whether that’s a dream trip, volunteering or wanting to keep up with the grandkids.
As she prepares for her own adventure, she kindly shares her thoughts on those preparing for their first adventure trip.
Step one: Assess your baseline fitness level
Yep, time to get real. How active are you and your travel companion(s) on a regular basis? If you’re “weekend warriors” that’s a start – though your trip will be longer than a weekend, so below are some tips on adding more “warrior” into your weekdays.
If you’re already pretty active, there are some ideas on tweaking your routine below too. Because let’s be honest, most of us aren’t gearing up for a multi-sport adventure in our normal lives!
Step two: Consider your experience with each activity
Has it been a while since you’ve been on a bike? Will this be your first time on a SUP?
That’s okay, most trip operators and guides account for the fact that some of those on their trips may have limited experience with the activities. They will likely include some instruction for everyone participating.
If the thought of doing something new in a new place makes you anxious, calm your nerves by finding a familiar place to try the activity before you go.
Step three: Build stamina
Whether you’re the weekend warrior or already active, add about 10-15% more activity into each week as you get closer to the trip.
If you’re hiking 3-5 miles on a weekend day, add a couple of 1-2 mile walks during the week, and add about a half mile or so to each weekend hike. If you bike 10-15 miles on a weekend day, add some short weekday rides, and go a couple more miles each weekend.
If your trip involves much longer distances and intensity than what you’re doing now, carve out more time to increase your activity to get as close to your trip’s conditions as feasible.
Do it gradually though, to minimize the risk of injury. And consider working with a personal trainer or coach to get a personalized plan that takes into account your needs and abilities.
If your trip includes an activity you aren’t doing regularly, aim to get out and do it once a week, if possible. Rent the equipment you don’t have, and take a class if possible.
Check with your local parks and recreation district, and with local outdoor retailers – they may offer instruction directly, or they may have a list of others who put on classes. For example, REI stores (in most major metro areas) have classes on a variety of activities throughout the year.
Also check your itinerary to see if your trip includes two activities on the same day, such as hiking and biking. If so, try to do both in a day at least once or twice before you go.
Step four: Build strength
While stamina is important for going longer distances, strength helps you do activities with more stability and coordination. Stronger muscles are also less prone to injury.
If you belong to a local gym, consider getting a few sessions with a personal trainer or taking a group class that focuses on strength training to dial in specific exercises and the proper technique.
If most of your activities will be leg-powered, then building strength in your legs will help you keep up with the group. Doing just a few key exercises – squats, lunges and step-ups – a couple of times a week will make a difference, and you can even do them at home.
Also include some core strengthening exercises a few days a week. A stronger core –abdominals, back and gluteus – adds stability to virtually all movements, and will help you endure longer periods of being on your feet.
There are dozens, if not hundreds, of core exercises you could do – so again, some personal or group sessions can help you find a few that work for you.
If your trip includes activities like paddling or rappelling, add in some upper body exercises too. Good old-fashioned pushups – with their many variations – work your arms, chest and back.
With strength training, you can do all of the activities in one day and then space out the workouts to be every 2-3 days. Or you can alternate doing the leg exercises on one day, core the next day, and upper body the following day, and then repeat the pattern.
Step five: Build balance
Building balance is important too – many activities on multi-sport trips are on uneven surfaces, and some may require body positions you’re not used to.
Simply standing on one leg for a minute or more at a time helps. Try doing this multiple times a day, in different locations around your house, in your yard or a local park on the grass or dirt, and on a hill or incline (facing both uphill and downhill!).
Step six: Build confidence
This is the mental part, which is just as important as the physical preparation. You’ll likely get a confidence boost from the activities above as you go longer and get stronger.
Doing activities with family, friends or a local group (one that’s at your level) provides additional motivation and moral support.
For more positive reinforcement, share your progress on social media. If you’re not big on social media and sharing, consider keeping a journal of your activities and reflect on what you’ve done. Or put a sticky note on the fridge or a mirror to remind you of what you’ve accomplished each week!
Having an amazing multi-sport adventure on the horizon can be a great motivation to change up your routine and get more active. As long as you’re investing the money to take the trip, you may as well invest the time and effort to prepare so you can make the most of it!
Want more personalized support on preparing for a multi-sport adventure trip? Contact me at [email protected] to ask questions and find out about pre-trip coaching options.
Becki Rupp is the owner of Trailblazer Wellness, which exists to help people get more physically active, so they have the strength and stamina to enjoy the experiences they’ve dreamed of having. Visit https://trailblazerwellness.com to learn more, or contact Becki at [email protected]. © 2019, Trailblazer Wellness, LLC.
Content created by Becki Rupp and Trailblazer Wellness, LLC, is for informational purposes only and may not be the best fit for you and your personal situation. Information included in these posts shall not be construed as medical advice. The information and education provided here is not intended or implied to supplement or replace professional medical treatment, advice, and/or diagnosis. Always check with your own physician or medical professional before trying or implementing any information read in our blog posts.