Thursday, March 4, 2010

29 days: The workout routine begins.

Different websites describe the level of physical activity in hang gliding in different ways. My general idea is that hang gliding is much easier when you are in good shape. You must be able to lift a glider, run at a good speed (when foot launching), and move your body by using the armbars to shift your weight while airborne. Endurance, arm strength, and leg strength seem to be essential.

I have always been physically active. I walk a lot, and I have always been capable of moderate to extensive workouts. But this month, I have been stepping it up a notch in preparation for the first week of April.

In the book Hang Gliding Techniques, Dennis Pagen explains that a lot of pilots have to land their gliders after having grown weary from shifting their weight after long flights. I have responded to this by beginning a pull-up routine. On any given day, I can do at least 30-40 pull-ups or chin-ups with without having had a meal or even a good nights sleep. By month's end, I want to raise this number to 60-80 (albeit, I want to avoid loosing sleep and missing meals as much as possible). I love pushups and think that they certainly wouldn't hurt, but I want to focus on pullups, as this exercise involves me pulling my own weight from a bar. as a hang glider pilot would do.

Running is also important. I don't have an airplane so I won't be doing much aerotowing, unless I am at a flight park like Lookout Mountain, Kitty Hawk or Wallaby Ranch, and even truck towing and scooter towing would take a considerable amount of investment that I'm not ready to make yet. So I'll need to be able to foot launch with ease. I can sprint pretty quicky already, and I also have a reasonable amount of endurance. But I'll be seeking to increase my running speed, as well as the ability to run at full speed while carrying the weight of a glider. An instructor at Lookout Mountain Flight Park advised me to practice running down a hill while looking straight ahead at a target, and I will be doing this as well.

I'll also practice jumping exercises that will challenge my foot-eye coordination to prepare for my foot landing skills. Today, I will be purchasing some jump rope and a soccer ball, as well as cheap materials that could be used to put together an obstacle course. I already have exercise cones and they will be put to use.

No comments:

Post a Comment