Ireland Hiking – Quarter Four

I honestly cannot believe that in in a month and a half I will be in Ireland. Every time I go somewhere new it feels so surreal that in no time I will be standing in a new place, looking at a part of the world that I have never seen before.  All the planning and research culminating in standing in the place I had been dreaming of.

But this time will be different, this time I will be standing in the place I have been training very hard for entire year. Without further adieu, the last of my Ireland training plan!

The weather turned again, but instead of turning my exercises from outdoors to indoors I just doubled down. I have been steadily walking my dog at least 6 miles a day since last summer. And on top of it I added an indoor exercise routine that you can do anywhere as long as you have the internet.

I decided to do a three month high intensity workout plan focusing on cardio and strength which will be ending here in a couple weeks. Then to get me through the last month and a half before the trip I am switching things up again to focus more on balance and flexibility.

All exercises are done once a week for a month, prepare to be very very sore.

Month 1:

  1. This Hit and Abs workout is only 15 min, but I was doing it twice through.
  2. Jessica Smith has some killer workouts, for a low impact leg workout I chose this workout which I did three times through each week.
  3. Then to loosen things up a bit I did a dance heavy workout also from Jessica Smith.
  4. I followed that up with a pilates workout focusing on hip strength and joint rotation.
  5. Then did a killer leg day, again with Jessica Smith…I clearly really like her workouts.
  6. After that leg day another dance heavy cardio was needed to stretch out the muscles.
  7. Day 7 was stretching, relaxing and resting.

Month 2:

  1. Low impact leg strength.
  2. A full body cardio weights routine with PopSugar.
  3. Abs with Fitness Blender again.
  4. I kept the leg day workout from last month, it is a killer but so good.
  5. Pilates for strength and flexibility.
  6. Switching traditional cardio up for a good old fashioned core power yoga.
  7. Day 7 stretch, relax and rest.

Month 3:

  1. For AAA (*ss, Abs, Arms) I picked a PopSugar workout.
  2. For Cardio Flow day I am keeping the trend of Core Power Yoga, so I chose this 45 minute Power Yoga.
  3. LEG DAY! I got a little tired of the one I had been doing for two months so switch it up with a Fitness Blender lower body workout.
  4. A new core workout for the month, once again with Fitness Blender.
  5. Pilates for cardio core day!
  6. And for booty day I am adding another Pilates routine but with workout bands.
  7. Day 7 stretch, relax and rest.


Last few weeks leading up to the actual trip I am cutting back on traditional workouts and went strictly with Pilates and Yoga. So while I am getting a great workout, I am also trying to focus on flexibility and stability. All without risking knee injury which would put a bit of a damper on a hiking trip. So below is the series of workouts I plan to employ up until the day I leave!




Ireland Hiking – Quarter Three

Wow, how is this already the third quarter of my Ireland hiking training!? In a year the trip will be over, how sad.

In other news we are officially booked with a tour group. We chose to go through a group so that we could save ourselves on transportation, hotel booking and from having to cart our gear around with us. I am the laziest hiker in the world, don’t judge, at least I am hiking. Next step we have to start figuring out flights, which turns out is not that easy going from a small town in Oregon to a small town in Ireland. Once we get more details settled and planned I will start sharing some tips on how to plan a similar trip.

As far as training is concerned it has been a slow summer, outdoor speaking.  I had high hopes of being able to get out over the summer, which I mentioned in my prior training post. But as summer came to a close the wildfires in the area got too bad to really spend a lot of time outside. I am hoping for everyone’s sake that the fires get under control soon and Oregon can go back to being the outdoor wonderland it normally is.

Most of my exercise has been working out via YouTube video instruction. Between Jessica Smith’s barre, and weight training workouts and Adriene’s yoga videos I have managed to really focus on strengthening those knee, ankle and stability muscles as well as getting more strength and flexibility in my arms and shoulders.

I have also managed to find a couple decent routes to walk the dog, which puts us up to about 6-10miles a day (depending on weather). And I have bought my hiking boots and have started to wear them on dog walks now and again to start breaking them in.

(Quarter 3) – September through November:

  • Continue daily strength and stretch exercises at home (15-45min daily).
  • Weekly hikes getting longer and adding the daypack with realistic weight.
    • Hopefully once the fires are squelched and the weather cools a bit we can get back to the woods.
  • Daily walks outside with dog for 6-10 miles.

Quarter 2 – Hiking Ireland

In my last training post I mentioned that back in April I was hoping to get outside more as spring progressed. Right on schedule (or incredibly delayed from normal years) spring decided to make an appearance at the end of May. And by spring I mean summer. We didn’t get any of our 65 and sunny weather this year. We went straight from torrential rain to 80s.

I did try to get out in the hills once in mid May, but I hadn’t yet gotten my boots so I was hiking in mud in my walking shoes (not waterproof). It also seemed to be the peak blooming season for poison oak so the pup and I spent most of the time in a cartoon like schlep up the hill ankle deep in mud trying to not slide into the giant patches of itchy oak. But of course because she is 6 months old, and a dog, there was no trying avoid it only trying to dive right into to. It was an adventure to say the least. Since then we have taken to walking around town while the mountains dry out a bit. I’ll try again soon, once my boots are a little more worn in.


Gym Days: I am temporarily on a gym hiatus and out enjoying the sun as much as possible. To see what I was doing while the weather was crummy check out last quarters workout.

Non Gym Days: 5-6 Days a week

  • Walk Dog: 4-8 miles a day
  • Mountain Climbers: 10 L/R (20 total) X 3
  • Crunches: 50 reps X 3
  • Left/Right Crunches: 10 (20 total) X 3
  • Standing Side Leg Lifts: 20 (40 total) X 3
  • Plié Squats (heels together and wide): 10 (20 total) X 3
  • Front and Side Bicep Curls: 10 (20 total) X 3
  • Shoulder Press: 10 reps X 3
  • Tricep Kickbacks: 12 reps X 3
  • Push ups: 10 reps X 5
  • V ups: 10 reps X 3
  • Left/Right Squats: 10 reps (20 total) X 3
  • Plank: 1 min or 2min alternating days.
  • 30 min Yoga routine concentrating on stretching and balance.

I have been separating out legs and arm days recently. Mostly just due to time. Life gets in the way and it is easier to do a little less. Rather than feel overwhelmed and skip the whole thing.

I have no major training hikes planned yet, still trying to get the dog used to walking long periods of time. But stay tuned on Instagram (@wheresashawent) for any spontaneous outings.

Training for Ireland – Quarter 1

As I have mentioned in the summer of 2018 I will be hiking the Dingle Way in Ireland. A looped trail through towns scattered along the Dingle Peninsula on the south western end of Ireland. The hike will be fairly low in elevation, it will be more of a endurance hike than a haul up a mountain. It could be wet, it could be cold, it could be hot, I could be walking on roads or scrambling up a mossy hill.  I have to be ready for it all.

For the first quarter of my training I am keeping things mostly indoors and starting slow. Our weather has been so bad this winter the last thing that resembled a hike was hauling up a hill in Lisbon, where in a normal year I would be in the woods almost weekly.

I will be focusing on 6 key areas that I will then change up and build on as the next year and a half proceeds.

  1. Stair Work: Walking up stairs is a basic movement common in all hikes at some point or another. I want to get my muscles used to the motion and build the strength to pull up with proper posture.
  2. Walking: Walking on flat ground or slight incline  will be the majority of my hike. I walk a lot and tend to be fairly lazy about my posture, failing into my lower back which causes soreness. My training will focus on proper posture and distance as time goes on.
  3. Leg Strength: I have fairly strong legs but it is mostly quad strength, I need to start working on a more well rounded strength routine to help avoid injury.
  4. Balance work: I fall a lot. I don’t tend to hurt myself but I do take a decent amount of tumbles. The best way to avoid injury overall is to make sure balance is top notch so I will doing a good amount of balance work through yoga to ensure I don’t fall and break something while hiking.
  5. Core Strength: As mentioned I tend to have a pretty lazy posture, core strength will help me from falling into my low back when walking and thus remove risk of back issues while walking all day.
  6. Shoulder Strength: Arm and shoulders aren’t the most important thing for a hiker. But it is important to have a sturdy foundation for your pack straps. So I will focus most of my upper body workout around shoulder work so that I can avoid as much soreness as possible.


Gym Days: 3-4 Days a week

  • Stairmaster: 20 min 2-3 days a week
  • Hanging leg lifts: 10 reps X 3
  • Shoulder Press: 12 reps X 3
  • Lateral Pull Down: 12 reps X 3
  • Chest Press: 12 reps X 3
  • Treadmill: 40 min 1-2 days a week
  • Leg Extensions: 12 reps X 3
  • Leg Press: 12 reps X 3
  • Hamstring Curl: 12 reps X 3
  • Seated Hip Abductor: 12 reps X 3

On days that I do the Stairmaster my strength training is concentrated on abs and arms and days that I do the treadmill I do heavy leg strength conditioning. And I always end a gym day with 10 min in the sauna and a good deep stretch routine.

Non Gym Days: 3-4 Days a week

  • Walk Dog: 1- 3 miles a day
  • Mountain Climbers: 10 L/R (20 total) X 3
  • Crunches: 50 reps X 3
  • Left/Right Crunches: 10 (20 total) X 3
  • Standing Side Leg Lifts: 20 (40 total) X 3
  • Plié Squats (heels together and wide): 10 (20 total) X 3
  • Front and Side Bicep Curls: 10 (20 total) X 3
  • Shoulder Press: 10 reps X 3
  • Tricep Kickbacks: 12 reps X 3
  • Push ups: 10 reps X 5
  • V ups: 10 reps X 3
  • Left/Right Squats: 10 reps (20 total) X 3
  • Left/Right Fire Hydrant: 10 reps (20 total) X 3
  • 30 min Yoga routine concentrating on stretching and balance.

I technically walk my dog everyday but if it is not a gym day I make sure we go a bit further. Right now I do try to switch up my days between gym and non gym so that long dog walks occur on days where the weather is a bit nicer. This will become easier as spring progresses over the next two months. I also do not do all of these things everyday or all at once. I work from home so I take breaks to do a set of a couple exercises, do some at lunch and also in the evening during tv breaks.



Training – Hiking in Ireland

I have mentioned a couple times I am planning a hiking trip in Ireland during the summer of 2018. I thought it might be helpful to post my training schedule leading up to the trip in case anyone else out there is planning a hiking trip in the near future. As I was putting together my plan I realized it is going to be a fairly extensive plan.  I am a “safety first” type of gal so build up is slow and steady over the course of the next year and a half. As such the posts will reflect that progress, so if you are interested in going faster or want some tips for a hiking trip that is prior to mine please feel free to reach out to me.

I should first say that I am not a licensed personal trainer and I hike fairly regularly already. So everything I discuss is to fit my own needs to get to where I need to be in order to safely participate in the hike I am planning. Your current physical state is likely different than my own, and your future hike is likely different than my own, so please proceed with that in mind.

As I mentioned, the general approach I am taking for this training is slow and steady. I hike fairly regularly but if you have been paying attention to the PNW this year you will know our regular “year round hiking weather” has been interrupted by frequent ice storms, snow and record breaking rain.  Needless to stay the last thing that resembled a hike for me what walking around the hills in Lisbon in December, where in normal years I would have been out in the woods almost once a week.

As such, I have started my first month of training in the gym and if the weather continues with the current trend, I will probably be in the gym for another month two before I can start safely hiking in the mountains again. So without further ado here is my year and a half training schedule outline, which I will go into more detail as the year progresses.

(Quarter 1) – March through May:

  • A mixture of light cardio and strength training in the gym.
  • Balance and strength focused exercises at home (I like to do quick 5 min exercise breaks while watching tv).
  • Yoga focusing on balance and stretching.


(Quarter 2) – June through August:

  • Quarter 1 exercises
  • As weather improves, adding a weekly hike of various lengths and terrains.


(Quarter 3) – September through November:

  • Quarter 1 and Quarter 2 exercises but with lengthened intervals and more reps.
  • Weekly hikes getting longer and adding the daypack with realistic weight.
  • Daily walks outside with dog for 1-2 miles.


(Quarter 4) – December through February:

  • Continue previous quarter workouts with added reps and duration.
  • Moving cardio indoors when weather deems it necessary.
  • Hiking outdoors with boots and rain gear during lighter inclement weather to get used to gear and conditions
    •  It is possible that it will rain during my hike. Once I have built up my balance, durance and strength over the prior months I can start getting used to my inclement weather gear in more realistic hiking conditions.


(Quarter 5) – March through May:

  • Continue prior quarter movement but try to take it outside where possible.
  • Continuing to lengthen duration and difficulty when possible.


That’s all for now! Check back once a month for more detailed workout information. I plan to include more detailed weekly plans, specific strength training, balancing and yoga moves as my training progresses.