There are several strategies that combine synergistically to increase your average speed and endurance:
- Developing your steady sustainable pace that you can maintain for multiple days.
- Training that increases your fat burning percentage and increases your aerobic threshold.
- Lowering your backpack weight.
- Staying hydrated, including adequate electrolytes.
- Staying cool and not overheating.
- Using hiking poles.
- Opting for light weight shoes – Heavy shoes are the equivalent of putting a lead weight on each foot and lifting them up and down 20,000 times in a day.
- Optimizing your nutrition for multi-day long distance backpacking.
Using these strategies we signed up for Medicare having passed the 65 year milepost and hiked continuously from March 23 to April 16, 2015 from the Mexico Border to Kennedy Meadows. Our total mileage was 608 miles (we had already hiked the San Jacinto Mountain section); and 89,000 feet of vertical gain. Our longest day was 34.2 miles. We had two short days of under 10 miles for resupply and our final morning into Kennedy Meadows. We had incredible wild flower blooms, flotillas of amazing butterflies and discovered the hawk moth.