Training for the south pole trekking can be a daunting task. On top of all the coordination with different companies, you have to be extremely fit to even consider attempting this. If you look at the baseline fitness training schedule from Adventure Network International, you will see that you have to show up in Antarctica already fit and running at maximum ability.
You won’t be able to hit the ice and work yourself up to being fit enough to make it. It just won’t happen. One of the most interesting comparisons is how much energy it takes to cross country ski uphill compared to the equivalent output running. XC Skiing uphill burns 1,170 calories per hour (YES!) for a 157 pound male (me). That calorie rate is equivalent to running a 6 minute mile.
Granted, I won’t be skiing directly uphill like that except for getting from the Hercules Inlet to the Antarctic plateau. But, dragging 300+ pounds of gear will make it feel like that.
How do you train for towing 300 pounds of equipment and supplies when you live in Carlsbad, California? You take one of your old truck tires, place a chain around it and start dragging it around the neighborhood. It’s best to start doing this in the dark because you’ll be winded and you don’t want to look like a complete sack when someone asks what you are doing.
I wasn’t completely winded after dragging my 165 70R16 Goodyear Wrangler tire around my block at 9pm but it was a decent effort after running up hills for 6 miles. My previous tire was a shredded one found on the side of the freeway while commuting up to Temecula last year. The nice part of the shredded tire is that the tire wiggled around
and was generally annoying to drag because the sidewall had been shredded off. One important thing to note about dragging tires, sleds and anything else like that – it’s not a perfectly comfortable experience and things aren’t smooth.
That said, I now appreciate my used tires. And they’re getting much better use for me than just going to a recycling plant to end up as a road bed or whatever Discount Tire ends up using these for.
When dragging around a tire in a sleepy neighborhood, you will get some strange looks. I’ve seen others in the fields at Liberty Station in Point Loma dragging tires and other weights. They won’t get as many strange looks and there’s no risk of getting hit by a car while dragging along the side of the road. The advantage of dragging around a neighborhood is you’re forced to pay attention to your surroundings rather than just concentrating on pulling. This circumstance is much more realistic. You have to watch for crevasses, sastrugi and 10 feet deep holes across the ice. Things aren’t always smooth sailing down south. That’s why you drag tires to learn how to deal with crazy circumstances.