My PCT Thru-Hike Training Plan

Main Goal: Don’t Destroy My Body

Has anyone else noticed how a lot of folks are completely destroyed after completing their thru-hike? I don’t want to get messed up at the beginning or end of my thru-hike. Here is the thru-hike training plan to help me thru-hike like a champ. 

Strength Training

I’m a cardio junkie and have a hard time working on my muscles. But when I was doing a training hike with a 20 lb pack, my legs were shaking on the hills. I don’t want this happening on the PCT.


Goal: BodyPump Class 2x/Week, Core 2x/Week

Get Used to Carrying a Pack

This is probably what I’m worried about the most. My body is not used to carrying stuff around on my back. I want to feel like my pack is a natural extension of my body :).


Goal: 3-4 training hikes per week with pack including 1 long hike 

Stay Limber

To help prevent injury and stay flexible, I want to include yoga in my training plan. Some other folks say this really helps their thru-hike. Plus it feels great afterward! 


Goal: Yoga 2x/week

How I will Track Progress Toward My Goals

For my section hike of the AZ trail, I got a real GPS watch. It doesn’t need a cell phone or service to track my location. This watch changed my life! It tells me everything I need to know about my fitness, how to recover, how much sleep I need, when to exercise, and everything else. 

Thru-Hiking the PCT 2023 Best Watch Ever

PCT Thru-Hike Calendar

A key trick to make sure you actually do something is to put it on your calendar. Here are my thru-hike training goals laid out on a calendar. This makes it easy to schedule around. 

2023-02-07 PCT Thru-hike Training Plan Calendar


This schedule should help me meet my goals of building up strength, getting used to carrying weight, and maintaining flexibility. Shout out to Lee from Trailside Fitness for encouraging me to include core training. It feels good and I already feel better with my pack on. I’m in the second week of my thru-hike training plan. So far it has felt great being out on the trail. Stay tuned for updates!

Are you in the train before your thru-hike school of thought? If yes, what does your training plan look like? 

PCT Training Plan Results

WEEK Of Feb 5-11,2023

STRENGTH: 3 Sessions (BodyPump 1x, Core 2x)

YOGA: 2 Sessions

RUNS: 19.6 miles (4 runs)

HIKES: 6.7 miles (2 hikes)

NOTES: Kicked off training plan!

WEEK Of Feb 12-18,2023

STRENGTH: 2 Sessions (BodyPump 1x, Core 1x)

YOGA: 2 Sessions

RUNS: 7.2 miles (2 runs)

HIKES: 9 miles (2 hikes)

NOTES: Def thought I hiked more than this

WEEK Of Feb 19-25, 2023

1STRENGTH: 2 Sessions (BodyPump 1x, Core 1x)

YOGA: 1 Sessions

RUNS: 8.4 miles (3 runs)

HIKES: 23 miles (4 hikes)

NOTES: Did a one nighter in the Superstition Mountains

WEEK Of Feb 26- Mar 4, 2023

STRENGTH: 3 Sessions (BodyPump 1x, Core 2x)

YOGA: 1 Sessions

RUNS: 7.4 miles (2 runs)

HIKES: 25.3 miles (5 hikes)

NOTES: Counted walks with in-laws as hikes

WEEK Of Mar 5-11, 2023

STRENGTH: 1 Sessions (Core 1x)

YOGA: 2 Sessions

RUNS: 16.2 miles (3 runs)

HIKES: 10.3 miles (2 hikes)

NOTES: It seems like I either run or hike. Not both :). 

WEEK Of Mar 12 – 18, 2023

STRENGTH: 2 Sessions (BodyPump 1x, Core 1x)

YOGA: 0 Sessions

RUNS: 2.9 miles (1 run)

HIKES: 26.9 miles (4 hikes)

NOTES: Includes 2 nighter in the Superstition Mountains