Start with a training plan: Before you hit the trail, it’s important to prepare your body for the rigors of hiking. Begin with a training plan that includes regular exercise and gradually increases in intensity and duration over time. You may want to incorporate activities like hiking, walking, running, or cycling into your routine to build endurance and strength.
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Practice hiking with a loaded backpack: One of the challenges of long-distance hiking is carrying all of your gear and supplies on your back. Get used to the weight by practicing with a loaded backpack before your trip. Start with a lighter load and gradually increase the weight until you’re carrying everything you’ll need for your hike.
Focus on your nutrition: Eating well is essential for physical and mental performance on the trail. Make sure you’re getting plenty of protein, healthy fats, and complex carbohydrates in your diet (unless you are on a keto or LCHF diet or otherwise restricted diet). You should also consider taking with you some supplements you find to support your immune system and overall health.
If you are not careful with your diet, you may run the risk of not always getting the best diet once on the trail if you – especially if sugary chocolates and the like seem to be the only snacks available.
Get plenty of rest: Adequate rest is essential for recovery and maintaining physical and mental health on the trail. Make sure you’re getting enough sleep each night and take rest days as needed.
Once on the trail, you may need to use a sleep mask if hiking early in the season when the night may be very short. As late as July 15, the sun rise just before 3 a.m. and sets around 11.30 p.m. Don’t forget to encorporate rest days into your schedule. There’s plenty to do off the trail that doesn’t demand any strenuous activity.
Mental preparation: In addition to physical training, it’s important to prepare mentally for a long-distance hike. This may include setting goals, visualizing success, and practicing mindfulness or meditation techniques to help manage stress and anxiety.
By following these tips, you’ll be well on your way to preparing yourself physically and mentally for a long-distance hike like S:t Olavsleden. Remember to take your time, listen to your body, and enjoy your slow travel journey!