Training for a Thru-Hike of the Pacific Crest Trail: Week One

Many people rely on the first few hundred miles of a thru-hike to get in shape for their journey, but I want to make sure I’m ready for the trail on day one. I live a very active lifestyle in my everyday life—running or biking whenever I have free time—so I’m not worried about my current physical ability to complete a thru-hike. However, I’m a strong believer in the five p’s (preparation prevents piss poor performance), so I want to prepare my body to meet the specific physical demands of the trail (i.e., lower body muscular endurance, core strength, and back/shoulder strength). After all, injury is the most common reason people don’t complete their thru-hike and knee pain is one of the most prevalent injuries, which is commonly due to poor leg strength.

I have 17 weeks to get ready for my hike and I’ll post some of my weekly training schedules on here. Below is my workout schedule for my first week of training. This will be my first time training for something other than running, so it will definitely be a learning experience for me. If you have any suggestions drop them in the comments below!

Thru-Hiking Exercises


  • Rest day




  • Run four miles (easy pace)
  • Stretch



  • Run five miles (moderate pace)


  • Run two miles (fast pace)
  • Walk three miles (moderate pace)
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