When it comes to conquering the Presidential Traverse, a legendary and demanding hiking challenge in the heart of New Hampshire’s White Mountains, preparation is key. Whether you’re a seasoned hiker seeking to test your limits or a passionate trail runner looking to embrace the beauty of the Northeast, embarking on this rugged journey requires more than just enthusiasm. It demands a well-structured and comprehensive training program for the Presidential Traverse, tailored to equip you with the physical and mental fortitude needed to navigate the daunting 23-mile trek.
In this blog post, we’ll explore the intricacies of training for this iconic traverse. With a specialized training program that can be used by both hikers and trail runners alike. So get ready to embark on an unforgettable alpine adventure that will push your limits and reward you with breathtaking vistas along the way.
12 Week Training Program for the Presidential Traverse
With the Presidential Traverse’s notoriously technical terrain, even most trail runners will find themselves hiking a good part of the trail. That said this plan can be used by almost anyone. Just follow the mileage by either running or hiking, complete the lunge sessions, and incline blocks and you will be ready! So let’s get to the fun part, the training! Below I’ll break down the movements and paces you will find in the program below.
Feel Runs / Hikes: Tailor your runs to how you’re feeling in the moment. If you’re brimming with energy and determination, go ahead and push yourself to the limit. But on those days when rest is calling your name, opt for a gentle recovery-paced hike or run. Don’t forget to add some variety with fartleks and speed work to keep things exciting.
Walking Lunges: Walking lunges are a fantastic way to bolster your leg strength, both for conquering uphill and downhill challenges. Remember, we’re talking about walking lunges here, not stationary reverse lunges, as they engage different muscle groups altogether.
Incline Training: Incline training involves tackling steep hills with an ascent of at least one mile. You can do this on a treadmill set to a 10% incline or greater, or try out the stair mill. Feel free to mix and match these methods to hit your time goals.
Pace Hikes or Runs: When we mention pace workouts, we’re talking about hiking or running at the target pace you’ve set as your goal. Or even a bit slower if that’s what feels right for the day.
Recovery Pace: This will typically be your goal pace plus 1-3 minutes per mile slower.
Recovery Weeks: The training plan also includes recovery weeks every 4 weeks built in with decreased volume. This will allow your body to recover and get stronger as the miles progress
The Presidential Traverse Training Plan
|Week #1||Rest Day||3 Miles Feel||50 Walking Lunges||20 Minutes Incline Training||Rest Day (or Cross Training)||3 Miles Half Pace +||10 Miles Full+ Pace|
|Week #2||Rest Day||4 Miles|
|100 Walking Lunges||25 Minutes Incline Training||Rest Day (or Cross Training)||4 Miles Half Pace +||11 Miles |
|Week #3||Rest Day||5 Miles|
|150 Walking Lunges||30 Minutes Incline Training||Rest Day (or Cross Training)||5 Miles Half Pace +||13 Miles |
|Week #4||Rest Day||3 Miles|
|50 Walking Lunges||20 Minutes Incline Training||Rest Day (or Cross Training)||3 Miles Half Pace +||8 Miles|
|Week #5||Rest Day||5 Miles|
|150 Walking Lunges||30 Minutes Incline Training||Rest Day (or Cross Training)||5 Miles Half Pace +||13 Miles|
|Week #6||Rest Day||6 Miles|
|200 Walking Lunges||35 Minutes Incline Training||Rest Day (or Cross Training)||6 Miles Half Pace +||14 Miles|
|Week #7||Rest Day||7 Miles|
|250 Walking Lunges||40 Minutes Incline Training||Rest Day (or Cross Training)||7 Miles Half Pace +||15 Miles|
|Week #8||Rest Day||5 Miles|
|150 Walking Lunges||25 Minutes Incline Training||Rest Day (or Cross Training)||5 Miles Half Pace +||10 Miles|
|Week #9||Rest Day||8 Miles|
|300 Walking Lunges||45 Minutes Incline Training||Rest Day (or Cross Training)||8 Miles Half Pace +||15 Miles|
|Week #10||Rest Day||9 Miles|
|350 Walking Lunges||50 Minutes Incline Training||Rest Day||6 Miles|
|Week #11||Rest Day||4 Miles|
|Rest Day||20 Minutes Incline Training||Rest Day (or Cross Training)||4 Miles Recovery Pace||6 Miles Recover Pace|
|Week #12||Rest Day||Rest Day||Rest Day||2 Miles||Rest Day||2 -3 Miles Recovery Pace||The Presidential Traverse|
Video of Us Completing the Presidential Traverse
Embarking on the Presidential Traverse is a remarkable adventure that calls for not just determination and enthusiasm but also meticulous preparation. This 12-week training program we’ve outlined is your roadmap to success, designed to equip you with the physical and mental strength necessary to tackle this iconic challenge in New Hampshire’s White Mountains.
Throughout this program, we’ve emphasized the importance of adapting your training to your current energy levels and varying your workouts to keep things engaging. Whether you’re conquering steep inclines, pacing yourself for the long journey ahead, or taking well-deserved recovery days, every step of this training program contributes to your readiness for the Presidential Traverse.
Remember, the Presidential Traverse is more than just a hike; it’s an opportunity to connect with nature, test your limits, and witness breathtaking vistas. Your journey will not only be a physical test but also a mental one, as you navigate the rugged terrain and unpredictable weather of the White Mountains.
As you progress through these 12 weeks, stay committed to your training, stay safe, and listen to your body. Your dedication will pay off as you stand atop those peaks, taking in the awe-inspiring views that await you. We hope this training program helps you on your path to conquering the Presidential Traverse and that you cherish the memories and experiences this adventure will provide.
So, lace up your hiking boots, keep that determination burning bright, and get ready for an unforgettable alpine adventure that will push your limits and reward you with memories to last a lifetime. And don’t forget to check out the video of us completing the Presidential Traverse for some inspiration and a glimpse of what awaits you on this incredible journey. Happy hiking!