Hi, I am posting this in the mountaineering section although the topic is not strictly speaking about mountaineering but hiking, but the limits between the two are sometimes blurred in my part of the world, at the foot of the French Alps.
I am about to finish reading “Training for the New Alpinism” and has found it very helpful and inspiring.
My ultimate goal this year is to pass the entry exam to become Hiking Guide here in France (Accompagnateur en Moyenne Montagne). The exam has three parts, I will only speak about the technical part here rather than the theory and interview. If I can, I have a secondary goal of running my first trail race: 22km and 1700 height gain in August.
This entry exam consists of a hike of about 18-23 kms, with a height gain between 1400 and 1700 meters if I remember well. Part of it is out of tracks. there are numerous countrol points to find, using only the map provided and a compass, no GPS allowed. The Challenge is to stay concentrated for 6-8 hours, in order to find all those control points within the time limit, and with a backpack weighing a minimum of 10kgs.
One of the prior requirements is to provide a list of 40 hikes, many of these with a height gain of over 1000m, and over 5 hours walk. 10 of those must be done in winter. I have already done 13-14 of these hikes.
I am new to formal training, although I am used to walk 6-8 hours with a backpack and significant height gain of over 1000m. I need to improve my endurance, gain strength and speed.
I started running three/four times a week over the last month 1/2 since I didn’t have time to go in the mountains snowshoeing (and there is no snow at teh time of writing). I am planning to introduce some core strength exercises in the coming weeks and will go out for some hiking/snowshoeing/skiing as soon as it starts snowing on the French Alps. Spring and summer will see me do more hiking as I prepare the list required. I need to be in top form for the exam in the middle of September.
Is there anything specific I must be aware off as I start planning my training and go from the transition period to the base period and the specific training period later on?