Couch to Peak™ Training Program Launch

Summer is just around the corner which means the days are longer and the sun is out more. Most of us have spent the winter hibernating inside or only getting outside to move our body once every few weeks. Now is the perfect time of year to start a new exercise routine or just simply vow to get out more with your dog.

Walking is the simplest form of exercise and often the one that you are more likely to stick with. However, for significant health gains you need to get your blood pumping. Hiking not much harder than walking but helps you get fitter.

Hiking is so great because it gets you out in nature, away from the normal day-to-day stressors. I won’t lie, it is not always easy (I end up sweating every time) but the rewards at the top are worth it.

In the northwest, hiking trails almost always lead to a great destination like a high mountain top where you can see for miles, to an amazing waterfall, secluded lake or colorful wildflower meadow. Wherever you are in the country, there will always be a pot of gold at the end of your hike.

I have hiked thousands of miles over the years and regularly hike with Chester and Gretel. I am not a personal trainer but I do know about getting in shape for hiking so I put together a little series for beginners called Couch to Peak, designed to take you from your couch, through increasingly more difficult hikes, to a 4-6 mile hiking “summit”.

This training plan includes walking regularly during the week and introduces progressively harder weekend hikes. I have a general outline for the progression of the hikes but I will make them harder or easier than planned based on the needs of the group.

For each training hike I will give the information for length, elevation and perceived effort level of the trail so if someone can’t come with us they can find something similar on their own. That way they can still keep up with the group.

I am scheduling one group walk during the week and one weekend hike for the 7-week program though the Adventureweiner Club of Seattle™ to keep people accountable and have some fun with other weiner dog owners. Come join in the fun at and get in shape for the summer. Our first group walk is tomorrow.

About the Author

Hi, I’m Jessica. I’ve been studying the Dachshund breed since 2007, owned 3 of my own, and shared in the lives of thousands of others through their owner’s stories. When I’m not sharing what I know on this blog, you can find me hiking, camping, and traveling with my adventurous wiener dogs.


  1. I’d hike all day if I could end up at a spot that is as beautiful as your picture! Have a good time on your group walk. I bet it will be a lot of fun!

    1. If you need suggestions from a local’s perspective let us know. I am sure you aready know but just in case….dogs are not allowed in National Parks, including Rainier. You should leave the dogs at doggie daycare or something and still go though. There are a few hikes near there but not inside the National Park where dogs ARE allowed though.

      1. PS – at some National Parks, you can bring dogs to specific areas . . . and it can actually be surprisingly fun. I planned an elaborate dog friendly road trip through the Sierras, where we stopped in Yosemite for some puppy time. (I posted pics and our itinerary on my other blog, This doesn’t address Rainier of course, but it’s worth doing some research on the particular National Park you’re interested in.
        : )

  2. Your hiking plans sound amazing – the scenery in this picture (and pictures from previous posts) is gorgeous. I wish we had that kind of mountainous terrain for my hiking plans, but Southern Ontario just isn’t mountainous.

  3. Pretty country you have to hike in. I obviously agree with the hiking comments. Since we hike all the time too. Even today while we are near Bryce canyon and it’s cold, we hiked this morning. We love it.

  4. I look forward to seeing how your Couch to Peak program progresses! It might be cool to have a separate page on your blog with a listing of mileage and a summary of your activities as you go through the program. Not to make you do more work, or anything . . . : )

    As always, thanks for sharing your beautiful outdoor pics.

    1. Funny you mention that. I WAS planning on tracking our mileage and elevation gain this summer. I was going to do it in blog posts but I think a page is a way better idea! I think it will just be general tracking of Chester and Gretel though, instead of specific to the Couch to Peak. I will post updates on the progress of the group.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.