I am working hard to get back into the kind of shape I was in before my double hernia surgery six weeks ago, and I've been increasing the weight in my pack and the angle of inclination of the treadmill. (I'm up to 25 pounds in the pack, an inclination of 14°, a speed of 3 mi/hr, for durations of one to two hours and I'm feeling great!)
I certainly feel conspicuous walking into the posh gym lugging a big ole pack on my back. I don't get too many awkward stares, though, because I arrive at the gym when it opens at 5 (as usual) and then sneak into upper balcony through the empty spin room to do the workout. I leave the pack up there while I'm showering and grab it just before I leave.
I've done a lot of hiking and I think this method is great for folks training for the AT on a strict time budget.
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