Good walking rhythm
An average day of hiking will consist of periods of hiking and periods of rest. The combination of good hiking rhythm, good Walking Speed and fixed Rest Intervals are things that separate Hiking Beginners from good Hikers. In our enthusiasm we often tend to start of too fast, get tired quickly, take an early rest and start off too fast again. In Hiking there is one concept that will improve you overall hiking performance, endurance and pleasure: Hiking Rhythm
In this section we will look into why Hiking Rhythm is so important and how you can learn and maintain a good Hiking Rhythm:
Benefits of a Good Hiking Rhythm
Enable you to stick to a fixed schedule of breaks instead of having to break every time you run out of breath and start panting.
Help you plan your hikes.
Lessen the strain you put on your feet, legs, lungs and overall body.
Changing gears the whole time is much more tiring then staying at a constant intensity level.
Having a steady Hiking Rhythm will leave you less fatigued at the end of the day compared to if you vary your walking intensity.
Having a steady Hiking Rhythm is generally more enjoyable as you never over exert yourself and generally keep the physical strain at enjoyable levels.
Developing your own Hiking Rhythm
Your perfect Hiking Rhythm is something very personal and something you will have to develop over the course of many, many hikes. Here are some guidelines:
Try a Hiking Rhythm by trying a certain stride rhythm and speed and keeping to it. A good hiking rhythm is one that allows you to hike in the same intensity level for at least one hour without having to take a break.
Adjust your ed rhythm to the terrain and weather conditions and the weight you are carrying.
Make your Hiking Rhythm a full body affair where your breathing and the swing of your arms are all happen in harmony with the same rhythm.
Count along or even use a Hiking Mantra to stick to your rhythm.
Make sure not to interrupt your rhythm unless it is absolutely necessary. Minor obstacles do not have to be a reason to change your rhythm by stopping or slowing down.
Uneven surfaces like uphill and downhill slopes of varying incline can make it difficult to maintain your rhythm. You could attempt to keep the same rhythm and adjust your stride. Often this will prove very difficult and you will have to change the tempo of your rhythm. This is not bad as long as you are able to keep at the new rhythm and adapt to it quickly while remaining at the same physical intensity level.