A huge number of people attempt a thru-hike of the Appalachian Trail every year and an impressive number succeed. Not so with paddling the Northern Forest Canoe Trail. A recent email from NFCT reported that 79 people (only 79) have completed the entire trail…since 2000!
The AT “Class of 2015” has a Facebook page, simply bursting with hikers, many of whom are already out on the trail. How about the NFCT Class of 2015? Well, so far there is one other person listed in the NFCT paddler blogs, Mack Truax. Mack is retired and his training regimen certainly puts me to shame. His typical training paddle is 25 miles, half of it upstream! It will be so fun to follow Mack and cheer him on as he starts his journey later in May.
Oh well, I am not retired and, even if I was, I probably don’t have a 25-mile paddle in me, at least not now. So what am I doing for training? Anything I can. Earlier this week, we spent a few days at a resort with a great pool. Between the swimming and using the treadmill with a wicked incline, I was in heaven.
I also started upper body strength training in early March. I began with 2 sets of 10 reps with 3 lb. weights and am building up to 3 sets of 15 reps with 5 lb. weights. My exercise routine (every other day) includes the shoulder press, front and lateral raises, bicep arm curls, overhead triceps extensions, and upright rows, hopefully covering many of the major muscle groups.
Yesterday I was able to get out for another paddle on the lake and river, covering 6.3 miles, with some great wildlife out on the chilly, breezy waters: loons, cormorants, a pair of goldeneyes, and a beaver cruising the shoreline on patrol. Totals for April so far are: 43 miles walking and 24 miles paddling (note that the latter is one mile less than Mack’s typical training day!).