2013 Training Hike Schedule
In order to be ready for both the 50K and 100K hikes, we recommend trying to complete at least one training hike per week, using the four-month Training Hike Schedule as a guide.
These group hikes, which gradually increase in distance, are designed to help you get your body and mind ready to do the 100K or 50K. If you can't participate in the planned hikes in the Washington area, use the schedule to devise your own.
The majority of your training hikes should be on level, packed-dirt surfaces similar to that of the C&O Canal towpath. One Day Hike veterans stress that regular long walks are the best way to train. They also know that it’s essential to put lots of training-hike miles on their feet to help guard against blisters on hike day.
Start your training regimen by doing a comfortable distance and then increase it each week. Also aim at increasing your pace and being able to sustain a good pace for a long time. If you plan to do the 100K, try to do a 35-mile hike at least once. If you plan to do the 50K, try to do a 25-mile hike at least once.
Doing these longer distances will help you identify and resolve problems (blisters, etc.) before hike day. Many veterans help condition themselves by also engaging in other forms of exercise between training hikes. Options include running, gym workouts, biking, rowing, and organized sports. We recommend that you avoid strenuous hiking on consecutive days.
2013 TRAINING HIKE SCHEDULE
Saturday, March 23
Rated E or H
Alexandria-Arlington Slow Marathon (ODH Series)
Circuit hike of 27 paved miles on the Mount Vernon Trail and other Alexandria and Arlington trails, with a few minor undulations. Shorter, Metro-assisted version also available for those training for the ODH 50K (don't forget your Metro card if you choose to bail out on Metro). Meet at 8AM sharp at north parking lot at Belle Haven, on George Washington Pkwy south of Alexandria.
Saturday, March 30
Rated E or H
Upper Mt. Vernon Trail (ODH Series)
This 18 or 30 mile out-and-back hike along the Potomac features views of the river as well as of monuments in Washington. Meet 8AM at the north end of Gravelly Point parking lot on the George Washington Parkway, just north of National Airport. Driving directions can be obtained from http://tinyurl.com/bhs9uhb.
Saturday, April 6
W&OD Trail, Loudoun County, VA (ODH Series)
We’ll do an out-and-back hike on the western potion of the 45-mile W&OD Trail, which was once the Washington & Old Dominion Railroad that ran from Alexandria to Bluemont at the foot of the Blue Ridge Mountains. The baseline short hike is 19 miles with a turnaround point just west of Leesburg, but anything up to that distance is fine.
The baseline long hike is 34 miles with a turnaround point in Purcellville, but anything up to that is fine. You may walk on the paved trail or the adjacent, unpaved bridle path. Meet at 8AM in the W&OD parking lot adjacent to Carolina Brothers Pit Barbeque, 20702 Ashburn Road, Ashburn, VA. Bring food and drink; you may also buy food on the way. You’ll proceed at your own pace and you may stop (or not) anytime to eat. This hike occurs rain or shine, cold or warm, so dress appropriately.
Saturday, April 13
C&O Canal between Point of Rocks or Brunswick and Harpers Ferry
Long hikers will start at Point of Rocks and hike to Harpers Ferry and back (28 miles), with the option of going up to 4 miles past the start before returning (for up to 36 miles total). Short hikers will start at Brunswick and hike to Harpers Ferry and back (14 miles), with the option of going to Point of Rocks (21 miles total).
The hike will afford you many beautiful views of the Potomac River, let you observe wildlife and wildflowers, and let you explore (a little bit) historic Harpers Ferry. To carpool, meet at the Grosvenor-Strathmore Metro Station's Kiss & Ride Lot (http://tinyurl.com/bdnkqax).
Long hikers meet at the Metro station at 7AM or in the parking lot along the towpath at Point of Rocks by 8:15AM (http://tinyurl.com/b6sqgqm); short hikers meet at the Metro station at 8:45AM or in the parking lot near the towpath under the MD 17 bridge in Brunswick by 10AM (http://tinyurl.com/aqa6yvj). Bring food and drink; you may also buy food in Harpers Ferry. You’ll proceed at your own pace and you may stop (or not) anytime to eat. This hike occurs rain or shine, cold or warm, so dress appropriately.
Saturday, April 20
Rated C or G
C&O Canal Towpath north of Whites Ferry (ODH Series)
Out-and-back trek of about 25 miles (or 13-mi. option) is a final “tune-up” for the 100K or 50K versions of the April 27 One Day Hike event and will familiarize those planning to do the 50K version with their starting point. Meet at 8AM at Whites Ferry parking lot (MD side).