Sunday’s workout/Mt Bogong preparation was a hike at the Cathedral Range National Park. About 2 hours drive from Melbourne, the Cathedrals are beautiful and full of excellent training hikes. Unfortunately the distance means I don’t get out there as often as I’d like to – 4 hours driving return plus a decent hike in the middle makes for a full day.
We started our loop at Ned’s Gully and traveled uphill to Ned’s Saddle. From there we headed up to Cathedral Peak (a rise of 560 metres from where we started) before heading across to Little Cathedral Peak, then back to Ned’s Saddle and down. The map makes this walk look quite small – it’s not. The hills are steep and the terrain is reasonably difficult, and this loop took us a total of just under 6 hours (with plenty of stops, rests, and breaks to look at the view. We were in no hurry).
In any case, it was a beautiful walk with many elements that were perfect for getting my legs and feet ready for the Bogong climb in a fortnight. I also trialed some new hydration methods (I just haven’t been getting this right recently), and alternated drinking straight water from my Camelbak while walking with drinking water with lemon juice from a bottle during my breaks. That combined with eating slightly saltier foods throughout the walk seemed to make a difference, so I’ll be carrying an extra bottle of lemon water on my bigger hikes from now on.
Yesterday’s workout was a 17 km hike through the Dandenongs. The track was beautiful – a mix of towns, roads, hiking trails, some flat-ish terrain and PLENTY of ups and downs to get the legs working. The ups and downs were in fact quite challenging, which made it the perfect Bogong preparation trek. Not only were we getting some muscles into action, but we also got some decent kilometres under our feet which is really important. I don’t want to find myself with blisters at the top of the mountain, so toughening my feet up again after six months away from hiking is the main priority in this training.
The route itself was a bit confusing – we found it online, and couldn’t print a decent map, so we were going off street names. Ultimately it slowed us down while we looked at GPS maps on our phones, but in the end we we out on our feet for about five hours (including stops at waterfalls etc).
Yesterday’s workout was a hike – about 9km. Except that it wasn’t. It was a training hike for our Bogong summit (just over a month away!) so we’d planned lots of hills in our local area, including a HUGE killer one. For various reasons the group couldn’t do our standard Sunday morning, so we moved it to Sunday arvo – but we didn’t really take into account the weather. It was scheduled to be 30 degrees but ended up quite a bit higher than that, and there was absolutely no breeze, and given that we started at 2 pm there was no shade either.
Long story short I got a couple of k’s in before feeling very nauseous, ended up stopping and getting picked up, and cutting my hike short. Ultimately I think it boils down to not eating enough of the right stuff beforehand, and not hydrating properly. I’d had a huge smoothie late morning, not been hungry and then eaten some carrot and dip at lunch, and although I’d drunk a heap of water it clearly wasn’t absorbing correctly.
Lesson: eat enough of the right food before hiking (right food yet to be determined). Hydrate with adequate salt content. That’s it.
Saturday’s workout was a 10 km hike. We headed to the Thousand Steps with the intention of doing the steps themselves a couple of times, but it turns out that we and most of Melbourne thought that the steps were a good idea. The car parking was crazy, and there were people everywhere, so we decided to walk what I’m pretty sure is the Bellview Terrace track. It’s the track we normally walk down, having walked up the steps – it’s about 4/5 km, and although it’s steep, it’s nothing like the crazy downhill on the Lyrebird track which most people take.
So anyway, we did a solid 4-5 km uphill, then returned on the same track. My glutes were definitely saying hello by the end of the uphill – there’s enough challenging bits to make it worthwhile, and enough flat(ter) hills to make it enjoyable.