A week in the life of a desert walker

Below is a little something put together by Michael to give you an idea of what my training consists of. I however have also found it useful as I now know the training is only going to get harder…Thanks Michael! 

During her long trek into the desert Jenna will be walking over countless sand dunes a day so it is important that her body can handle the stress. That’s where I come in. I’ve identified muscular endurance and aerobic capacity as being the predominant systems that Jenna will need to call upon during her walk, so I have designed her training program around these two factors. This is a quick look at her training program for this week:

Week 6

Monday

Tuesday

Wednesday

Thursday

Friday

Saturday

Sunday

Treadmill

Resistance Training

Treadmill

Resistance Training

Treadmill

Skipping

 

110-120

bpm

Squats

110-120

bpm

Squats

110-120

bpm

Warmup

REST

5

min

Pushups

5

min

Pushups

5

min

2

min FAST

140-150

bpm

Lunges

140-150

bpm

Lunges

140-150

bpm

1

min REST

22

min

Kettlebell

22

min

Kettlebell

22

min

4

times

110-120

bpm

Reps

Sets

110-120

bpm

Reps

Sets

110-120

bpm

Recovery

5

min

10

3

5

min

10

3

5

min

Stretch

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Monday, Wednesday and Friday

Three times a week Jenna is walking on the treadmill for a bit over half an hour. This type of activity is aerobic exercise which helps to improve the function of the body’s heart and lungs in utilising oxygen. The higher Jenna’s aerobic capacity come walk time, the more efficiently her body will work and the easier it will be to get over those sand dunes come June. Being the warmer months of the year, especially in Birdsville, having access to a treadmill and an air conditioned room has made this form of exercise ideal for Jenna’s circumstances. Come the cooler months and a little closer to the walk, I will incorporate some desert walks into her program to prime her for what is ahead not only physically but also mentally. Jenna also utilizes stretching and foam rollers to aid in her flexibility and recovery after a session.

Tuesday and Thursday

While it is important Jenna’s lungs and heart can handle the walk, it is also highly important that her muscles, legs especially, are also up to the task. Jenna is currently performing resistance training twice a week. At the moment she is performing basic compound movements which utilise more than one joint of the body, to help condition her muscles. Later during the program she will be performing higher repetition based movements, in order to help improve her muscular endurance allowing for her body to cope with the repetitive motion of walking over sand hills day after day, and to allow her to recover faster at night time.

Managing the training load

To ensure I don’t overload Jenna and so that she doesn’t end up with an injury, I carefully monitor her training intensities and workloads every week. All the data I record and receive from Jenna is plotted out onto graphs and analysed to ensure Jenna is training at the levels I want her to be at.

Training is going well at the moment and from Jenna’s reports she is starting to see some results to indicate that it’s all working. Our first training cycle has been complete and we still have five to go so I’m very confident Jenna will be primed and ready to go come the end of June!

Michael

The training program that Michael has created is going really well, and is also good for my mental state as I can see improvements through monitoring my heart rate. In 5 weeks I have already seen a marked improvement in my aerobic capacity, which definately helps with the motivation. That said I am sure there will come a time when it all seems a little bit too hard, but I’m certain a few carefully chosen words directed at the man putting through the pain should make me feel better! Stay tuned for updates about the training over the upcoming months. – Jenna

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4 thoughts on “A week in the life of a desert walker

  1. Congrats, Mono, on all you are doing to prepare yourself for this walk. You are to be commended. I am following your blog with great interest. I am interested to know how many hours in each day are devoted to your training program. Also, I must have missed something; no matter how many times I read over the training program I can’t find the “time to eat chocolate” section!!
    Love Gemma. xx

    • Thanks Gemma! Between warming up, training, cooling down and stretching I would say about an hour a day. I have quickly realised that it’s not the training that is time consuming but rather all the organising that goes along with the walk. That said, I do love it!

      As for the chocolate, I believe it is an important part of the diet and as such I include it in my diet in moderation of course…in moderation every day that it 🙂

      Jenna x

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