It was our pleasure. We enjoyed doing it and we hope the guys and gals here find it helpful.
Moose and I and Pat put a huge amount of time and effort, not to mention hundreds of hours in prep time and thousands of hours in training and getting the experience and knowledge to learn what we thought people would benefit from, just to be able to put together this seminar.
So if you can post on something relevant and constructive to this topic, please do so. If you sincerely want to learn, we want to help you do so.
I have a question that the answer might be helpful to others.
I'm 46 and weigh 225, but far from a couch potato. I'm a soon to be retired Marine (1 November is my actual retirement date). I'm probably in better shape than most folks my age and have a resting heart rate below 55 bpm. However I struggle with long intense distant/time (several days in a row) endurance.
Last year while elk hunting in Idaho I changed my training routine from running to hiking/biking with heavy weight on varying terrain for trips lasting 1-2 hours. I also increased my core and leg work. The results were awesome and I pretty much owned the mountain; until three or four days into our seven day hunt.
Around that time I started noticing chest discomfort. I was fine in the morning after a good nights rest and usually felt it the worse later in the afternoon.
When I came home I went to the doctor to renew a prescription and they couldn't read my blood pressure because my heart rhythm was out of whack. After a quick EKG they noticed that I may have bigeminy PVC and referred me to a caridologist.
After a few visits to a cardiologist, wearing a halter monitor for several days, undergoing an ecocardio gram, stress test with the radiation stuff it was determined that I didn't have any blockages and overall my heart was healthy. I was given a prescription for a beta blocker and my PVC's have dramatically reduced, BUT I occasionally feel them when I'm doing intense exercise.
Is there a training regime that can reduce PVC's during long term and intense endurance training? I've read that it is common for athletes to get them when they are pushing to hard and to fast.
I realize you all aren't caridologist, but with the extensive experience you have in endurance racing I'm guessing you have met a few people with similar issues.
Good to see you again! Welcome back.
Your question is way beyond my pay grade. It's so far above my pay grade that I don't even have clue what the heck you're talking about!
I'm just a CFP. 'Moose' is the physician. I don't know if he'll be weighing in here or not, but I'll ask him to.
I had AFIB a year ago and got it corrected - You are welcome to PM me if you want an EZ English explanation. It's tough not feeling 100% when there are mountains to climb and elk to chase
No they said it was bigiminy (sp). I would like to hear what they did for you though. I'll shoot ya a pm.
I thought bigiminy was when you had two wives. ;^)
BTW, if you get back this way again, let me know and we'll share another elk backstrap on the grill!
I'll definitely do that. We're moving back to Ohio so if you are ever in the Dayton area give me a hollar and I'll cook you up some deer back straps.
I've had quite a few Bowsiters contact me lately to see if I can help them with their financial and investment planning. None yet from Ohio, but if a good opportunity should arise back there, I'll take you up on the offer.
Thank you, Steve. It's very kind of you to say that.
Set your mind to it, plan your workouts, work the plan and you'll be hiking into that steep-walled canyon for many years to come.
Choose to make it a life-style. You'll be glad you did.
Q: is there any conditioning that helps with coming down a steep hill?
You know, dang it's worse coming down then going up atleast on the knees and ankles. are there any exercises to help any?
12yards, A sheep hunt for you can happen, keep putting in. I'm proof that it does happen.
Train the way you'll hunt. The best preparation for going down steep hills is to go down steep hills.
Great stuff Kyle, Thanks.
You may be successful, but you've reduced your chances considerably and you'll struggle a lot more than you need to.
1. How often do you run when in preparation for a hunt? Everyday?
and, 2. Why do you think strength training isn't important for a sheep (or tough elk) hunt? Is it because you don't want extra muscle weight to lug around the mountains?
1. Every day when I'm not traveling, hunt or no hunt. It's a year-round thing, which I consider essential. NEVER give away your base! NEVER!
2. Your legs, lungs and heart need to be strong. That's what powers you in the mountains. Strength training is no doubt good for the rest of your body, but you don't hunt the mountains with 'the rest of your body.'
You hunt the mountains with your legs, lungs, heart and attitude. If strength training adds body weight, then that's going to add more for your heart and lungs to do while making keeping your body cool and hydrated a bit more challenging.
Chuck, the ER doc might chime in here but PVC 's and a-fib are close but not the same thing. Let me explain it in simple terms. A little electric signal travels from the top half of the heart to the bottom. The signal comes from SA node in the right atrium and travels simply to the larger ventricles in the bottom half of the heart. In a normal contraction , it acts like a wave top to bottom and produces the lub, dub sound. In a-fib the SA node does not function correctly so the signals comes from different parts all over the right atrium. This is kind of an excited state of the heart. Since the SA node did not the fire the right atrium says we better take over and send the signal to the bottom ventricles so they can pump blood to the lungs and body. With a PVC, the signal originates in the ventricles or bottom of the heart. Due to some factor, the ventricles just fire on their own prematurely not waiting on the electric signal to come from the top of the heart. PVC -premature ventricle contraction Bigeminey simply means one normal beat followed by a premature beat. Everyone has a occasional PVC and some people can feel it. It is not a problem until you have several in a row ( V-Tach) it may be diet related or a electrolyte imbalance. I would follow up with your physician if you feel the need and share with them your exercise routine. Most cardiologists are over the top when it comes to diet and exercise.
Kyle do you keep your intense training going right up until you leave for a hunt?
Pretty much. I drive to almost all of my hunts, so that gives me a day or two of rest.
When I was racing, I'd start tapering two weeks before a major race (marathon, 50 miler, 100 miler.) I don't see a reason to do that before a hunt. However, if you do the wind-sprint workout I suggested, stop them a week before a hunt.
Not doing a sheep hunt, but I figure if it's good for sheep mountains, it's good for any mountains :)
Wow! Great job!
How'd you feel afterwards?
Sweaty is a given.
But how did your legs and your body feel?
Now it is just like old times. I am asking Kyle for advice again. I just completed my first 50 mile run. (It was actually 52, but that isn't the point!) The race course has just over 4 miles of vertical elevation change. I finished, but got my ass handed to me. In retrospect, my training involved plenty of horizontal miles. (My log book has not been updated much, but I know I averaged 75-95 MPW for ~ 10 weeks. I logged 18 20M+ long runs since March 1. I did 5 different 20M + long runs on trails, but terrain was NOTHING like my race).
Although the altitude was noticeable, I feel my cardio was sufficient to counter some of the effects. (Race started at 8800' and peaked at 9K)
I was deficient in vertical training miles. I talk to guys and look at the standings. Mountain state runners dominate. I listen to there training routines. When they quote weekly mileage, in the next breath they state how many vertical feet they covered that week. How does a flatlander compensate?
Kyle- You know where I live. You know the lack of elevation change. What can I do to add the running leg strength for the climbs and descents?
(As part of my ultra training, I did do lunges, leg strength on machines and stairmaster, but it wasn't enough) I also strapped on my hunting pack with 60 pounds and did "reversors" on the local flood dike. (I would walk up backwards with 60+ pounds for multiple reps=Quad burn. I did each of these routines once to twice a week.
Any insight is appreciated. THX.
However, I think folks might get the idea you have to be an ultra endurance athlete to be a successful mountain hunter after reading this.
I would think most of us don't have 3,4 or 5 hours a day to train. And even if we did, I contend that it would be counter-productive. Studies show that when you exercise more than 4-5 days per week, 60 min per session and 85% max HR, the risk of injury(strains,sprains and over use type injury like tendinitis and bursitis) goes way up, with no significant increase in fitness/health benefits.
I tend to be on the other end of the spectrum and rarely exercise more than 90 min per day. But I emphasize quality over quantity and alternate hard days and "easy" days, and vary the exercises. Hiking with pack, stairclimber, mtn bike and a little running(usually 3 miles or less) in addition to some leg strengthening exercises and Olympic rowing. Luckily I live in hilly terrain and mix in hills in my running, hiking and biking.
I think most people would benefit from training like this, rather than going for 15,20 or 30 mile runs on a regular basis.
Not trying to put down or criticize the way you train, Kyle. Obviously, it is working for you. Just saying what you are doing(ultra endurance training) is probably not advisable for the average mountain hunter.
".....I averaged 75-95 MPW for ~ 10 weeks. I logged 18 20M+ long runs since March 1."
Two thoughts per that statement:
1. Your total mileage was fine, but perhaps alternating the longer and shorter weeks would help. 65-70 miles one week, then 90-95 the next.
2. 20+ milers are not the key to good ultra-running races results, IMO. I always considered the number of 30+ mile runs I did in prepping for a race to be the key. The 18-25 milers were simply for a 'resting-up' run, "maintenance," or better yet (once you really round into form), as the perfect next-day follow up from a 30+ mile run.
When you can knock out a solid 30-35 miler one day, then an 18-25 miler the next day, run it well and feel none-the-worse-for wear, then you know you're 'there!'
As for living in the ultimate 'flat-lander' part of the country, here's a couple of ideas. In 1991 when I ran my best WS 100, a guy from Florida and I ran together, or within a couple of minutes of each other, passing each other off and on, for about 40 -50 miles in the middle-part of the race. He finished a minute or two ahead of me.
As the highest place in FL is something like 90' above sea level, that was pretty amazing. What he told me he did was run countless reps on overpasses. A LOT, obviously! I would think stadium steps and multi-level parking garages would also be an option.
I had some decent hills when I lived in the SF Bay Area, especially Mt. Diablo, which rises ~ 3,300' above the surrounding valley floors. Once the snow started melting in the high country, I'd drive 3:30 each way and run out-and-backs on the WS Trail, through the deep canyons between the 62 and 43 mile marks. That was HUGE!
In your case, maybe get out to the Missouri River where you could get in some long, grinding climbs and descents, then do a enough reps until you had 30-35 total miles.
Call anytime you want, my friend. Always happy to help!
I don't think I ever said you need to be an ultra-distance athlete to get in sheep shape ('though it certainly doesn't hurt). To the contrary, I pointed out several times there are multiple ways to arrive in the same place. With the exception of a few months in 2008, I've done no ultra-running since 1993. In fact, for the past three years, as I noted, I just get out the door for really fast 5-9 mile trail hikes every day. That's hikes, not runs!
That said, I've never worked out for 3-4 hours per day. Only once or twice a week would I have done those types of workouts, even when I was racing at my peak. Four-five days/week I'd do :45-1:00 per day.
I also disagree with the 4-5/week 'limit.' Who are the people those 'numerous studies' evaluated? People who were struggling to get in reasonable shape, or people who were in better to far-better than reasonable shape? An easy 4-6 mile run was a 'day off' for me and most of the other decent distance runners I knew. It required no effort and was a great way to relax and loosen up the muscles between tougher and longer efforts. I would submit that the fastest way to recover from a long, strenuous effort is not to take a day off, but rather to get out for a short and slow effort. When I started getting in 2-3 mile runs the very day after Western States, my recovery period shortened dramatically.
Running 2-3 miles right after a brutal 100 mile trail race was absolutely NO FUN at all! But it loosened me up, eliminated the lactic acid buildup in my legs and I recovered from the race much, much faster than I did before I started doing those 'day after' runs.
Finally, on most elk hunts and pretty much on all sheep hunts, you are NOT going to be on your feet, moving, climbing and descending for a measley hour or so, four-five times per week. You are going to be going for hours each day, every day of the week!
You build endurance and confidence by training for long, tough days.
Train the way you'll hunt!
"I read a very relevant quote today " Your brain gives up long before your legs do"
I would suggest that's likely because your body is screaming at your brain, "Stop doing this to me!"
It's ATTITUDE that allows your brain to tell your body to "F-Off!" when your body is begging your brain to 'Please stop!"
The better shape your body is in, the less your body will be begging your brain to stop!
So, is there more training benefit from a 28-30+ mile run, followed up for a shorter run than there is to do back to back 20 milers?
I've been doing stuff along the lines of consecutive days of 10-10-24-10, or 10-10-27-1.5 hour mountain bike ride, etc.
I haven't been logging the running miles that Brian did, but I've been logging 45-50 miles of running per week and 15-25 miles of mountain biking.
I don't know if this is the right approach or not. I love mountain biking too much to just not do it. I guess time will tell the answer here in one month.
I don't know how to tell you this, but people who sit behind a desk work just as hard as people who don't. It might not be as physical, but it often involves a lot more time and stress, not to mention travel.
"O (sic) would think there would have to be a difference between somebody sitting behind a desk and somebody who actually works for a living."
Your weekly mileage is terrific, way to go! The 24 mile runs are awesome!
What I would question is the 10-10-24-10 in four consecutive days. If it were me, and if I wanted roughly the same four-day mileage, I'd perhaps think of something like 12-6-24-8. That's 50 and with your cycling would be terrific!
Better yet would be to intersperse the runs and the cycling, I would think.
But not all of us were given the same capabilities by the good Lord.
I'll use myself as an example. I've always considered myself to be in better than average shape for my age. In college I was a sprinter/hurdler. I ran distance in H.S. and college in the pre season and off season to get and then stay in shape for track. But I rarely ran more than 5 miles and never ran more than 13 miles.(longest run ever)
Back in 2010 I started training for my first Elk Hunt. Like I said, I did a lot of hiking with a heavy pack, did some mtn biking, stair climbing(machine and flights of stairs up AND down), and a little running. I incorporated a lot of hills, and kept the workouts "short and sweet". I would do one long hike per week that was not over 5 miles. The shorter hikes were closer to 3 miles. I did a lot of the training over my lunch break, on a stairmaster and treadmill and also did some strength work on legs and core. I supplemented that a few days a week with the hiking and/or biking at home after work.
I had a great time in the Mountains of Montana in Sept. 2011 on a backpack hunt, and hiked up and down those mountains every day for a week chasing elk. We avg'd 5-6 miles a day(by gps) and most of it was on some pretty steep slopes! Not bad for a 6'2" 205 lb 46 y/o! ;-)
Just saying, the workouts you and some of the other guys here are doing are great for you, but for the avg mountain hunter like me or others would be way over the top. If I ever tried to do anything close to that, I'd probably end up getting injured, develop some over-use type injury or just get burned out!
I am signed up for the Siskyou Outback 50 miler coming up at the end of July. It's my first 50 and I'm nervous as hell.
The biggest thing I have noticed is that I am actually starting to enjoy running.
I also disagree with the 4-5/week 'limit.' Who are the people those 'numerous studies' evaluated?
Kyle- that comes from the ACSM (American College of SPorts Medicine) Guidelines for exercise testing and prescription. Those guidelines were developed from review of hundreds of scientific studies.
I didn't question where the study came from. My question was about who they studied and the fitness level of the people they studied.
Thinking about this more.........................do you change your training much between say Elk and Sheep/Goat hunts? Just curious if there are any differences, and if so what?
BTW, this is a very interesting and relevant subject and I am glad to see it became a feature article! :)
I suspect you're right. If so, the study likely is including a lot of weekend warriors and people who stay with their fitness regimens for very short times. I would suggest that's a high majority of the people they used in the survey. That would, of course, skew the results significantly.
I've been around a long time and am always skeptical of medical pronouncements on what's good for me and what's bad for me. I've seen too many such studies come out, only to see a new one come out several years later that essentially says, "Never mind."
As to your other question, only if I'll be backpacking. In that case I make sure to do some tough hikes with a reasonably heavy pack. For hunts where I'll only need a daypack, I seldom train with a pack.
That being said, we are individuals and what works for one, will not necessarily work for another.
I've worked with alot of individuals who have tried the "IF SOME IS GOOD,MORE IS BETTER!" philosophe, which very rarely ends up good. Usually ends up in some type of overuse injury/syndrome.
And I have personally battled overuse injuries at times over the years- stress fracture and chronic patellar tendinitis. I have had to adjust my own routine as a precaution.
Just trying to point out a different perspective. There seem to be a lot of guys here on bowsite that are not year round athletes(or should I say, stay in shape year round). In my experience, that can cause the most problems- folks who try to make up for "lost" time and try to do too much too soon and take things to the extreme.
But you inspired me yesterday, so I went out and did a 20 mile Mtn bike ride for my long workout of the week. Haven;t done that much in about a year. Felt good too! :) But today I'm gonna take it easy and just do 25-30 min on the stairclimber. And I took Mon. off after training Sat. and Sun. ;-)
I agree 100% with you about staying in shape. That's precisely why the seminar is called "Getting and Staying in Sheep Shape." It's also why I close the seminar by reminding people it's far easier to Stay in Sheep Shape than it is to Get in Sheep Shape.
Never give away your base!
Another thing I think gets over looked at times is the importance of rest/recovery. You can;t "hammer" workouts day after day. You have to vary intense workouts with easier workouts and even take some days off to recover. Doing hard workouts day after day without recovery days is actually counter productive. Doesn;t matter if you are a distance runner, sprinter or powerlifter- the same applies.
Many years ago, I used to work out at a gym where a nationally ranked powerlifter used to train. He would come in day after day and do VERY heavy, intense training. He would NEVER back off on the intensity from time to time. I commented one day to my training partner that this gentleman was just asking for injury. A few months later we noticed that we hadn;t seen him in a while and asked one of the owners about him. Turns out the guy blew out his knee and was recovering from surgery! ;-)
My pulse is under 60 bpm. I have had a stress test, ultra sound of my heart and an EKG an was told that I have the heart of an athlete so that should not be a concern. I skied marathons when I lived in WI.
Rule #1: Never give away your base. lol
It sounds like you're doing the right things. How often are you doing your walks? I would think the weighted vest is a plus, but I'm not sure you need it all the time. A couple of times per week should suffice.
Absolutely find some good hills. Hike up and down. The steeper the better. Use the vest, or better yet, wear a 25 lb pack and your hunting boots! Once in a while, try hauling azz up the hills, even thirty-seconds per spurt. Recover while walking, then repeat. I think you'll be surprised how quickly you'll improve.
I did a 6.2 mile trail hike this morning. I wore my hunting boots and my new KUIU 1850 pack with 23.5 lb loaded into it. I wanted to test-drive the new pack and also wanted the weight workout. I did well, but was certainly not as fast as I am when I'm wearing running shoes and not carrying a pack.
Good job! Now that you've run seven, you'll be able to do it again simply because you know you can. Then you can run ten miles, then 15, etc. Then faster AND easier!
Way to go!
Thanks for the quick response. I started out walking every other day and I am doing it 4-5 times a week now. I wear the vest and hunting boots on every walk. Are there advantages to not wearing the vest? It does feel good to take it off or to walk w/o it but it feels like I am cheating myself.
I climbed the local sledding hill wearing boots but no vest for 45 minutes today. X-country skiing has me programmed to push the up hills and recovery on the way down. I am normally short of breath when I get to the top. I walk a ways away from the hill at the bottom to recover on each pass before climbing it again. This sounds like what you are recommending. I am heading out to walk again as soon as I finish typing this. How much is too much? Is there any thing else that you would recommend?
He tagged this awesome 40 6/8" ram on Day 2 and his lovely wife, Kelli, tagged a fine Goat the following day.
Gray's e-mail to me included the following:
"Kyle, I followed your advice and climbed 40,000 feet in 35 training sessions. My hunt was "easy" because I was in shape. My guide commented about it on Day 3, noting he rarely has clients who can keep up with him!
Thanks for making my hunt "easy" my friend!"
I gave Gray my Sheep Shape Seminar personally over a breakfast two years ago. He totally bought into it. This stuff works, guys!
After almost a year of thinking maybe my serious hiking days are over due to a serious pain in my left heal which has been with me 24/7 for almost a year I got some interesting news- it looks like I have gout! Now once we get the right meds on board ill have to get more serious about getting back into better shape and off the couch!
Dr never brought that up though, but hopefully there is a cure!
Been there, done that!
Cortizone shot, Naprocin (essentially Aleve in the prescription form), along with time and not abusing it will solve the problem.
I went on my first elk hunt and in anticipation of hunting the high country I got in fairly good shape and quit caffeine a week prior to the hunt. The first several days it was tough going and I had tobstop a lot. Almost every time I stopped my heart would skip a beat 2 it three times but I don't think it would skip when I was on the move. After 4 or 5 days I got mountain legs under me and could go pretty good and the skipping stopped. The last day I had a grueling pack out with appx 140 pounds of meat, antlers, and gear...it never skipped. My mom has had the heart skipping problem all her life. I just wonder what might have happened ifbi would have killed early in the hunt. It would have been rough.
Great to see you here. Welcome!
I got off the mountain @ 2:00 AM this morning after 16 1/4 hours hiking and at times, literally crawling, 12 or so miles with 3,500 of ascent through the most gawd awful dense timber you've ever seen, bush whacking all the way. On the way down off the mountain, in addition to the terrain and dense jungle-like challenge, along with a tremendous amount of side hilling on stuff that was so steep and wet it was all you could do to stay on your feet, at 11:30 PM it started raining.
It was one heck of an adventure and worth the effort. I tagged a 49 2/8" Billy.
When we got back to the truck, my outfitter said it was the 2nd toughest goat hunt he'd ever done. He also said that 99% of the goat hunters he's had would take one look at where they had to go and say, "No bleeping way!" I guess I'm in the 1% that would go.
BTW, I'm 66 years old!
If I can do it, you probably can too!
I'll be using the Thread owner tools as soon as I return from my goat hunt. You'll be the first and only one to go. Like everyone else, I've had enough of your tomfoolery.
This is at least the third study I've seen in the last couple of years linking fitness and exercise to your mental health as you get old.
"Research shows how physical exercise prevents dementia
Findings show physical activity can influence brain metabolism and prevent the increase in a certain metabolite.
By Amy Wallace | July 21, 2017
A new study by German researchers shows that physical exercise may help prevent dementia in old age.
July 21 (UPI) -- Researchers at Goethe University in Frankfurt, Germany, have discovered exactly how physical exercise may prevent dementia in old age.
The study, published in the August edition of Nature, examined the effects of regular exercise on brain metabolism and memory in 60 participants age 65 to 85.
The participants were analyzed through the Sport and Metabolism in Older Persons, or SMART, study by assessing movement-related parameters, cardiopulmonary fitness and cognitive performance.
Researchers used magnetic resonance tomography, or MRT, and magnetic resonance spectroscopy, or MRS, to measure brain metabolism and structure.
About half of the study participants were then assigned to either take part in 30-minute training on exercise bikes as part of a 12-week program, and were examined again after its completion.
The study revealed that physical activity did influence brain metabolism by preventing an increase in choline, a metabolite that rises as a result of an increased loss of nerve cells.
Researchers found physical exercise caused a stable cerebral choline concentration in the group that participated in bike training. Choline levels rose in the control group.
Researchers conclude that physical exercise not only improves physical fitness but may also protect cells." ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
Make staying in shape a lifestyle, folks! You'll be glad you did!