The Slower I Go, The Better I Get

Clingmans Dome 200 miles
Clingmans Dome 200 miles of the AT completed

The Slower I Go, The Better I Get

Hello fellow trekkers. Sending this from Hot Springs, NC.

Yes Courtney, Braydon and Jeff, you have heard me say this many times. But on the trail, this is very true.  When I first started out, I attacked the trail with excitement and vigor. However, I soon found out that the trail won all of the time with that attitude. Going up the inclines at a fast pace only proved to slow me down. I had to stop frequently to catch my breath and rest my legs. Thus it took me longer to get to the top. By slowing down to a pace where I could breathe comfortably and continue to walk (sometimes my step was only 6 inches) allowed me to climb the mountains without stopping. In the long run, I was able to gain more ground in less time and with less energy expenditure.


Everyone on the trail gets overwhelmed at one point. For me it was Blood Mountain. The night before the climb, I looked at AWOL’s book and saw that it was a 4 mile hike up the mountain. All night I worried about the climb. The next day, I climbed the mountain only to realize that it wasn’t as bad as I had worried about and lost sleep over. From that point on, I forgot about the elevation and what the trail would bring. Tree roots, rocks, downed trees and many other obstacles will be there just like the incline’s and decline’s. So just accept it and move forward in a slow steady pace. In the long run, you’ll reach your goal ( which for me has been a certain distance each day).

Zero, Nero, Zero, Zero

For those who may not know what this means, a Zero is a complete day of no hiking. A Nero is a day with minimal hiking and resting the rest of the day.

For me, I took a Nero and several Zero days early in my hike. Since I wasn’t use to the hiking in the mountains or the altitude, this allowed my body to adapt and gain strength plus avoiding injuries. I also started with only hiking about 8 miles per day for the first week. As my body adapted, I increased to 10 miles per day. Now after 4 weeks on the trail, I’m at 15 to 18 miles per day at a slow steady pace.

Trail Name

Yes, I got my trail name. Lambeau Turtle (LT). For those of you who may not be familiar with Wiscconsin, the Green Bay Packers play at Lambeau field. Plus as I mentioned I hike very slow and deliberate, therefore, the turtle.

Until next time, keep your eye on the goal, forget about the road ahead, meet and deal with the obstacles as they come, go at a steady pace and in the end you’ll reach your destination.

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Comments 2

  • Kelli : Apr 29th

    Sounds like you are hiking your own hike.
    Maybe it will give you time to smell the roses:)
    The Cherokee roses have just started blooming in North GA where we live.
    Take your time.
    Enjoy the journey.

  • Table saw : May 9th

    LT, if you continue to listen to your body and take lots of zeros, you will avoid those overuse injuries. I like your plan of not worrying about what’s ahead. Just keep heading north.


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