Image of the September 2017 Wilderness Magazine Cover Read more from the
September 2017 Issue
Home / Articles / Fitness

Recovering from Tararua Thighs

Do your leg exercises before the tramp to avoid a painful post-tramp recovery. Photo: Tony Gazley
The pain in your legs after a big hill day can be easily avoided

If you do the Mt Holdsworth Jumbo Circuit when you haven’t trained properly, you’ll know all about Tararua Thighs. The next day, you’ll be moving sideways down stairs because your thighs are on fire.

The best medicine is prevention. Your thighs get especially sore from long and steep downhill travel. Build strength in your legs and feet and you’ll suffer less. Try these three exercises:

  1. Walk down a gentle slope doing lunges. To work harder, carry a pack loaded with gear for extra weight.
  2. Stand on a step with the other leg dangling. Do a one leg squat moving as slowly as possible. Count to 10 while you dip down. Do this 10 times each side, and repeat until you’ve had enough.
  3. Walk downstairs at the slowest pace possible to make the muscles around your knee, ankle and foot work harder.

Tip: Look after your knees. When you do these exercises, make sure your knees track straight ahead in the same direction as your toes.