15. Trail Descriptions & Training Schedule
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Get Ready To Hike One Of Portugal's Most Famous Trails - Serra de Sintra (Sintra Mountains)!
Plan to be on the trail for 7 - 9 Hours on Hike Day!
Our goal is to prepare you to meet the rigors that come with hiking the special nuances that not only make hiking Sintra Mountains challenge, but to overcome some of the mental and physical challenges that are typically a part of all iConquer series hikes with Team Diabetes.
Get Ready To Hike One Of The Most Fun and Diverse Hiking Trails Ever Done By Team Diabetes!
This is an ALL DAY ADVENTURE, regardless of which trail you choose to hike!
All of our hikes are about 1 hour drive depending upon traffic. We have planned for 2 hikes that offer varied challenges. For those who have trained properly, are physically prepared and seek the most aggressive and challenging experience, the entire loop trail is perfect for you. For those seeking a less physically challenging adventure, there is a shorter out and back distance that is both guided and hikes at a slower pace. FINAL trail descriptions will be included with the Know Before You Go.
Sierra de Sintra in the Sintra Caiscais Nature Reserve though only 45 minutes outside of Lisbon "feels like you are hundreds of miles away." This is a favorite trail with the Portuguese because of the diverse beauty. Even Lonely Planet says "that it is so magical that you will feel like you are in the middle of a page torn right out of a fairy tale. "
Basic Trail Facts
Distance - Team members will have a choice of two distances of approximately 10 K or 15.6 K
Elevation and altitude gain/loss - Elevation gain and loss: 592 m, Altitude: 156 m - 505 m
Pace - Your hike will be paced according to your ability. You will be with a small group with your own private guide. EXPERIENCED TO FIRST TIME HIKERS ARE WELCOME.
Time - Up to approximately 6 hours depending on pace and weather conditions
Terrain - Varied, some areas are uneven and rocky, others are well worn paths.
Loop Trail - start and finish at same location
Gear - we recommend ankle supportive boots, day pack, layers, light rain jacket as a just in case. Hiking poles are an option. You will carry your own water and lunches that are provided.
We will hike in Parque Natural de Sintra Cascais. Beautiful dense forests, magnificent ocean and coastline views.
When we start our hike we will be right in the interior of the forest, thick with ferns and lichen. And as we move along the environment and scenery will be continuously changing. The diversity of the trail is why this is a favorite hike. From Forest to farmland through traditional villages to ancient ruins.
Participants will hike up to one of the highest points in the area where there is a thousand year old ancient shrine. From here we will have a spectacular 360 degree view including being able to see the ocean before us. Besides the diverse beauty of nature and these ancient ruins, some of the other cultural highlights on our trek are going to be that we will hike right through a traditional Portuguese Village. We'll also move through Farm country including a stunning German horse farm. From here we will hike back through a forest corridor which opens up to Franciscan convent built in 1568 by 12 monks. This convent was in use until the mid 19th century and is now being restored.
Required Gear: Deep Tread Walking/Hiking boots (low cut ok) Minimum of 2 litres of water, food.
Recommended Gear: Heat and sun resistant clothing, extra socks.
Like all Team Diabetes adventures, safety is our highest priority. So NO one EVER hikes alone. Danger can play a significant role in nearly every aspect of this hike. While we cannot foresee any circumstance where we will not be able to do this hike, please be aware that conditions of the day will determine exactly what our adventure together will be. First, this is Italy - so it should be very sunny and very hot. Fog, heat and humidity are also significant factors so prepare for all conditions.
Recipe For Success
2 - 3 Liters of Water
Trail Snacks and Lunch
Deep Tread Hiking Boots
Getting Ready To Train - Run/Walk/Aerobics
We know that some of you are longtime runners, some of you prefer to walk for your daily fitness regime and still others prefer a combination of aerobic workouts and weight training in the gym. In training for our hike, all are great ways to prepare yourself so long as you actually get up, out and do them everyday. Consistency is the key.
Through our experience and in research over the last few years, we have learned that the single biggest challenge that most of our hike participants face is not just what to do, but rather to find the time, motivation and drive to stay active and train on a regular basis. If you follow the recommended schedule, Hike Day will be Day 56 of your consecutive days of walk training. So not only will you have Conquered The Coast, but you will have started a daily fitness regime that can help you live healthier for the rest of your life.
Even if you are unable to take the time to fully follow the scheduled times/distances, make sure you walk at least 30 minutes everyday to keep the consistency part going. Once you reach 20 or 30 days in a row, you will be more highly motivated to keep it going, if for no other reason than to just avoid the dreaded "Day One" all over again.
Use these definitions in conjunction with the training schedule
With that in mind, we have "uncomplicated" our training recommendations so that it easier to follow and stick with for the next few months. Below are a few definitions that will help as you read the schedule and get started on it.
1. Run/Power Walk/Gym - This means exercising with a purpose for the time allotted. This is an aerobic exercise so if you are running or walking make sure you are building and maintaining a pace that gets your heart rate and respiration elevated. Keep it going during your entire workout.
2. Incline Walk - Walk uphill! It is as simple as that. 50% of your hike and 75% of your energy will be spent walking uphill. Much of it is very steep. For this exercise, stair climbers in the gym or stairs in a local building, staduim work really well.
3. Get your mind right! If you are not use to hiking DOWN hill first, then back up, try it. It has a different feel than loops or out and back activities. Have someone drop you off 3 or 4 kilometers downhill from your house with only your regular gear, water, a snack and your phone. Now walk home. Build this up until you are doing several a week until you can comfortably do 12 to 14k.
4. Hike (Sundays and Midweek) - Get out in nature and hike. The goal is for you to develop the dexterity, balance and stamina for walking on uneven, rocky and inconsistent surfaces and pitches that make up a forest or mountain trail.
5. Hike (Saturdays) - This hike should be something you set up that will challenge your strength, endurance, agility and motivation. It is meant to be a harder hike than the Sundayor midweek hikes and is designed to help you develop your sense of commitment to a longer hike. Remember, hiking down is optional. Hiking back up is mandatory. Approach these training hikes with that mindset.
6. Keep Your Walk Consistent - Walk (Week 8) - Just do a purposeful walk anywhere you can for 30 minutes each day. Home, work, airport - anywhere that is convenient. The key is to keep your consistency streak going!
As a general reminder, while you prepare yourself mentally and physically for the hike, keep in mind that unless you live in an area where the elevation is 2600' and along a seacoast, you can't fully duplicate the environment that you will experience on the Amalfi Coast. As we stated before, while you can never really know how the environment will effect you until you arrive in Amalfi, you can increase your ability to cope with the added physical stress by increasing your endurance and lung capacity as you train.
"When you are moving your feet, look down!
When you are looking up, stand still!"
START WALKING RIGHT NOW!
That's Right. Put down your mouse, plug in your earbuds or grab a friend and go for a WALK!