The Eastern Trail Challenge is more than your average trail walk — it is 33km+ challenge from Box Hill Institute’s Elgar campus to our Lilydale Lakeside campus. The final phase of the course through the hills around the Lilydale area is challenging and adequate training and preparation are necessary to protect your health and safety and that of your fellow participants.

Taylor Stone, from Stone Active, has provided a suggested Training Guide for participants. This guide is a suggested plan only and participants should consult their physicians for specific advice.

Taylor Stone

Taylor Stone is a former Box Hill Institute student who has a passion for health, fitness and everything sports-related.

In 2015, Taylor studied a Diploma of Sport Development and a Certificate III in Fitness aiming to further pursue his studies at university and create a name for himself in the health and fitness industry.

While studying at Box Hill Institute, Taylor was awarded the School of Business and Creative Industries “Outstanding Achievement and Excellence Award”. He won the award for a marketing concept he developed; an innovative coaching practice for teenagers that can be held in schools around the country.

Taylor was also a top three finalist in the 2016 Vocational Student of the Year awards for his achievements at Box Hill Institute. He has since completed a Certificate IV in Fitness and his first year of university, studying a Bachelor of Exercise and Sport Science at Deakin University.

For the past two years, Taylor has worked closely with health and fitness icon Sam Wood, becoming a head coach of a kid’s fitness and sport development program called Gecko Sports.

Taylor has developed his own personal training brand called Stone Active and is looking to take on new clients so he can share his love and passion for health and fitness with the wider community, and hopefully one day, the world. He aspires to be working in elite sport in the next 10 years where he can really refine his craft. Hard work and dedication is something that he lives by; if it doesn’t challenge you, it doesn’t change you.

Download our Training and Preparation Guide

Remember: It is important to include hill training!

Hello to everyone training for the ETC.

Hopefully you are starting to accumulate kilometres now and feeling a lot more confident about the task ahead.  The human body will make wonderful adaptations if you are consistent with your training. It will only make adjustments to its fitness level if there is a constant stress being placed upon it. Training only once a week or infrequent sessions does not allow the body to adapt to any new fitness level. Why would it bother if the training stress is so spasmodic!

Taylor Stone has designed a training program to prepare all participants to comfortably complete the walk. It should be emphasized to stick to the program and consistently make an effort to train. All that hard work could quite easily come undone within a few weeks of ceasing a program. The human body, for some reason, is quick to lose any improvements within a few weeks of having a break from the program.

One of the adaptations the body makes to a training program is to increase the size and number of sites in a muscle where energy is made.  If extra energy is not required, due to a break in training, then the body can close down such sites, making occasional training sessions difficult. Tolerance to chemical changes in the blood is another wonderful adaptation that occurs with consistent training.  This tolerance allows exercise to seem more comfortable and encourages the body to go further. Unfortunately such ability can decrease very quickly.

The body may also increase the number of red blood cells with consistent training and this will allow the transportation and utilization of more oxygen as a source of fuel.  This is a really big plus when completing a long trek such as this one. If training is dropped for a few weeks then the number of these cells can go down. New blood vessels can also open up in response to consistent training delivering more of the good stuff to make energy. Again this ability is lost rapidly.

The human body is constantly adapting to its environment and will remodel itself only if there is good reason.  Stress, through training, must be constant for improvements to occur.  Christmas holidays are classic for the body to take a “well earned “break. However, do not allow those hard fought adaptations to disappear in a puff of smoke. Enjoy the break, but try to keep some of the sessions going so that your body will think that it is still in remodelling mode.

Remember too, that exercise can only play a small role in controlling weight. Proper nutrition is the real key and when combined with exercise then it can be very effective in reducing body fat.

Make training fun and challenging and try to be consistent and the rewards will come.

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

Brod Taylor