#JMT2013: Prep, Training Pays Off on John Muir Trail

Days one, two and three were hard, Andy Hawbaker told me on day 13 of their 200-mile trek along the John Muir Trail. How do he and trekking partner Chris Martin feel now? Did their training for the John Muir Trail pay off?

"Good!" Hawbaker said with enthusiasm. "Three or four days ago we started feeling the pain. Aches. Blisters. Foot pain. So there's been a bit of struggle."

Hawbaker is Sierra Trading Post's blogger. Martin is our videotographer. They teamed up with outdoorsy blogger Paul Osborn for this adventure months ago. Their trek began on July 13, which also happened to be the first time they'd ever met in person.

Admittedly, the first few days found them struggling with the weight of their packs. Now, they don't feel them at all, Andy said. They refueled at the John Muir Ranch over the weekend, and even then they didn't find the packs to be as burdensome as they were the first few days.

"So, yea, we're definitely in better shape," Andy explained.

Their feet are sore at the end of the day, but their legs could go forever now, even as the aches catch up with them in other parts of their bodies.

Is there anything they would have done differently in terms of training?

"You know, more training with a loaded pack would have helped," Andy said. "But, I feel really good about the training I did. You can always do more. But there's nothing big that I'd do differently."

Maybe he'd bring more Advil next time, he said, but for now, he's getting help on that from his partners in trekking.

Have you thought about your own adventure? Learn more about how the guys worked training for the John Muir Trail into their daily lives. Looking for some tips on what and how to pack for two weeks on the trail? Learn how the guys decided what kind of gear to use on this adventure. You're just hungry for trail food? Good eats are being had (we hope!) on this trail. Get some camp recipe ideas from the guys and see how they planned what they'd bring for food stores.
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Juliette Rule
Juliette Rule is a former social media and public relations manager for Sierra Trading Post. She loves riding her mountain bike or road bike - in every Colorado season. Juliette lives in Fort Collins, Colo., with her rescued Australian cattle dog, Maszlo.
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