Training Mindset Change Needed!

Training mindset change needed! Runner to hiker mentality.

Runners mindset.
Last year was spent filling my calendar from early spring to late fall with multiple races and then individualizing training plans to complete my goals. I deliberately in planning ahead for the PCT extended my running season into December completing a marathon in Delaware. I did this knowing I would be outside training in various weather conditions.

Why I run? 
Running became a great enjoyment of mine several years back when I discovered the mental and physical benefits it brought to my life. Running has become my therapy to overcome my depression, and I use it to battle against my autoimmune issues. Several years ago when I was diagnosed with chronic Lyme and Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE) running and yoga became part of my recovery plan. Symptoms include migraines, joint pains (especially hands and feet), as well as fatigue.

The need for a change in training.
I am an outdoors person. The fresh air and solitude bring me comfort. Directly after my marathon last December I went on an extended weekend hiking adventure to Antigua Guatemala to hike Fuego Volcano, AMAZING. When the runner’s high and the whirlwind of an adventure wore off the winter seasonal depression kicked in hard.
Having been mentally occupied for months with racing plans and planning the logistics of my upcoming PCT thru-hike attempt, I found myself at a list unsure of how to train physically. I also needed to get myself moving again for my overall well being. It took my daughter looking at me and verbally stating, “ You are about to conquer the biggest challenge yet. That’s what you’re training for.”
This is the most EPIC journey and challenge of a lifetime so far.  This is an opportunity that calls on different training. Running is more short term where my hike I feel is more long term. Although there are a lot of similarities in training I knew I needed through research to focus more on strength, mobility, coordination, and stability.

My training plan.
Starting December 27 2022 I changed from running a larger amount of runs to include the following;

First- Weekly hikes became mandatory regardless of weather.
Second- Increase my yoga practice to at least five times a week ranging anywhere from thirty to sixty minutes in order to work on flexibility, balance, muscle strength and toning. As well as to reduce inflammation.
Third- Kettlebell training to provide low-impact cardiovascular working on endurance. Kettlebell also provides excellent full body strength training that builds core strength while focusing on coordination. I started this two times a week and have increase to four times.
Fourth-Stairclimber to build lower body strength, engaging the core muscles, overall strength and stamina. Side note this is also where a lot of YouTube is watched for visual motivation.
Fifth- Last but not least my cardio preference is still my joy of running. I have reduced my overall weekly mileage. Still going out often enjoying my “Sunday Runday” long distances regardless of weather.

In conclusion I’m counting down to my start date feeling prepared both mentally and physically. 
It’s been a mental adjustment for sure changing from mostly running to a lot more strength training. I feel focusing more on strength, mobility, coordination, and stability I will be more prepared. Through social media and YouTube, especially on the stairclimber I am consistently reminded of just how epic this journey will be as I embark my next chapter. I need to be both physically and mentally prepared as possible in order to complete this chapter.

Can’t wait to see everyone on the trail!

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Comments 2

  • Eobert T. "Bo" Myers : Jan 30th

    Looking forward to jioining on your adventute. I day, one step at a time will get you to the end of the PCT. You will have gained far more than the objective….a new life and experiences that will never fade. Bo

    • Katie Keilholtz : Jan 30th

      You my friend have been such a great source of inspiration and encouragement much appreciated. So excited to have you along on this journey.


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