Friday, 15 February 2013
When I started hiking the PCT last year I was out of shape and unfit. The first 3 weeks were hell as I pushed my body to its physical limits .I was lucky not to have injured myself carrying an extra 50lbs of body weight - almost all of which i lost in the first 1000 miles of the 2600 mile hike.  I do not want to go through that unnecessary pain again and I owe it to myself to be able to hit the ground running (or hiking?). It will make it easier on myself physically and mentally and will put me in good steed to finish the CDT on time (i was 2 weeks over my predicted finish time on the PCT). The large support network of hikers and trail angels on the PCT kept me going, a luxury which I will largely be without on the CDT.

My current training largely consists of: mountain munning/hiking, self resistance training and free diving. This type of training has four main physical benefits to me:
1. Build cardiovascular fitness
2. Strengthen (not build on) existing muscle
3. Build ankle, knee and hip joint strength
4. Increase flexibility (is currently low caused by the small range of motion involved with long distance hiking)

However, as the best training for thru-hiking is hiking long distances, I will continue to do longer overnight tramps to keep my legs and feet conditioned.

Perhaps the main reason why I am training this way is that these are the things I enjoy most, hopefully which will stop me from procrastinating.  I am lucky to be 2 minutes from the Seaward Kaikoura Mountains and 10 minutes from the Pacific Ocean and I cannot think of a more perfect training ground than the place that has been my natural playground since I was a teenager.

Below: Pictures from my latest training run up Mt Fyffe.


Posted by Dave Murphy
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Saturday, 9 February 2013

After months of deliberation since finishing the PCT in October last year, I have decided to hike another long trail - the Continental Divide Trail (CDT). I start hiking ~May 1st.

This year I am hiking for a charity - the Kaikoura Health Facility Charitable Trust. The trust was set up to raise money for a new hospital badly needed in my hometown of Kaikoura. Last year the New Zealand government pledged $10 million toward the new hospital leaving a $3.4 million shortfall that needs to be raised by the Kaikoura District Council, i.e. the Kaikoura Community. There are ~3,600 people in the Kaikoura district, and out of this less than half of the working population earn over $20,000 a year. The Kaikoura Community does not have the disposable income to build this hospital alone. Considerable fundraising is needed to build this hospital. 

The CDT, like the PCT, runs from Mexico to Canada but is considered to be the hardest of the big three long distance trails in the USA (including the Pacific Crest Trail and Appalacian Trail) beacuse of the longer distance (5,000km), steeper climbs, extended periods of solitude, and sections of route finding. A popular slogan for the CDT is "EMBRACE THE BRUTALITY". Of course there are many benefits of doing the CDT, the main one for me being the challenge - because it is harder and more remote than other trails. I will also get to see more wildlife and scenery than many people will ever see in thier lifetime. The well known guide book writer and triple crown hiker (completed all 3 big trails) Yogi has described it as "the Phd of backpacking".

Last year when i was walking the PCT i felt like it was about myself - it was my first long distance hike and I didint know what was in stall for me physically or mentally. At times i had an unpleasant experience, and at times it felt was in eutopia. I was the most amazing experience of my life and now I want to give back.

You can help by clicking on the donate link below or at the top of my blog. Any donation will help and all money goes directly to the trust to help build new hospital facilities.

- Donate to Hike for a Hospital -

Join me on my adventure. It will be fun.

Thru-hiking the CDT for Charity

Posted by Dave Murphy

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