Hi all. Now that I've done this years heavy work at the allotmont, my mum can now take over with the planting and such like and I can begin to train for my upcoming Pennine Way unsupported walk.
Well training began today with an 8.9 (measured it in google earth) mile walk carrying a 28kg (61lb) ALICE pack wearing shorts, british army coolmax t-shirt and Merrel chameleon blast3 shoes, and I must say after 2 miles it was pretty hellish with the first casualty being the uncomfortable albeit not too painful chaffing and pressure on the shoulders, then my right foot blistered slightly, then my left ankle started to play up, however the ankle discomfort seemed to dissapear after a couple of miles. The last 1.5 mile was truly atrocious as my legs were really fatiguing and the shoulder strap discomfort was becoming unbearable however all that being said I completed the walk in 3 hours 20 minutes and I'm happy that I pushed myself to my current limits and apart from the blister on the right foot my muscles feel rested now. As soon as the blister heals I'm going to try for 12 miles and gradually work my way up to 22 miles as that is what I plan to cover per day during the PW trip.
One thing I found out is that the tendency to "double-over" while carrying a heavy pack is no good when you are training. I found remaining erect and "leading with the hips" really hit the hip flexor and upper leg muscles like nothing I've ever experienced before. I not only want to achieve 22 miles, but to do it comfortably so I'm not always half breathing due to my chest cavity being compressed by the weight of the pack.
I do wonder if another pack would be more comfortable, though I'm assuming when you reach past the 25kg mark any pack becomese uncomfortable. I usually pack my ALICE to 23kg and find it a pleasure to use. I guess the fitter I get the more comfortable the 28kg will feel.
My current kit weighing frenzy has got my PW packing list to 24kg and 277 grams but I chose to train with 28kg to make up for the fact that I'm not climbing hills all the time, and I really want the 24kg to feel light.