Monday, August 9, 2010

Col de La Chal

Sunday 8th August 2010

Change in training today - went for a hike with 900m climbing - in the valley of Peisey Nancroix, up towards Les Arcs - Col De La Chal. Was pleasantly surprised at feeling fit and strong, both climbing and descending on some quite steep trails. Walking downhill uses different muscles from cycling - especially with the quads and the calves involved in eccentric contractions - that is the muscles are forced to contract while extending! The result is that I was more tired that expected at the end (Next day it hurt!)

Used nasal breathing the whole way and felt very comfortable with it. Christiane, who is not very fit just now, struggled to breath through the nose and had a bit of a nose bleed at one point.

Used Nordic Walking poles as can be seen in the photo below.

Those poles are attached to the hand though a glove which can be quickly and easily detached from the pole. They have sharp tungsten spikes (or rubber covers for tarmac) for grip. When climbing or walking you keep the poles behind for propulsion -just like in cross country skiing. This really helps with steep climbing - especially when running.

When descending you keep the poles in front and usually place both point in the ground to use the poles to lower yourself. This takes a great deal of stress off the knees.

The poles are extremely lightweight carbon and a real pleasure to walk, hike or run with. This also gives the upper body a good level of workout, particularly the shoulders, arms and upper back.

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