The more preparation you can do before you travel the better. Putting the hard work in during the build up to your adventure will yield the rewards on summit day.
There are 4 key areas to focus on in your preparation:
- Ascent / Descent training
- Cardiovascular training
- Strength training
- Stretching and flexibility
So what do they mean?
Ascent and Descent training
Aim to get some mileage in your legs by doing ascents and descents in the outdoors. If you can’t get outdoors, in your home or office building is fine too (a little more mundane but stair laps do work!). If you can get outdoors, aim for long walks in the countryside and try to get as much elevation gain as you can each time. If you can get to 1000m +/- per hike you’re well on your way. One walk like this per week / every two weeks will help build up the stamina needed for the big summit days. It’s worth bringing a fairly heavy backpack with you, to simulate what you would be carrying on your trip with us. Aim for around 10-15 kg but be weary of wearing your backpack correctly so as not to cause any damage to your back over time.
Benchmarking for a trip like Mont Blanc: Can you climb 5000m in 5 days? Can you climb 3000m in 2 days? Can ascend and descend 1500m in 5hrs up and 3hrs down? Can you do all that while wearing a 5-10kg back pack? If you can you’re in a good spot.
This is all about increasing your lung capacity and strengthening your overall shape and heart condition. Regular 5km and 10km runs are great, aim for 50-60mins for a 10km and 25 – 30mins for a 5km over flat terrain. Regular runs will strengthen your overall cardio which will in turn help massively when you come to pushing yourself on one of our trips.
The key here is to develop your core and lower leg strength to be able to maintain consistent balance and output on a climb, ski or a multi day trek. Squats and lunges are great for lower body strength building and crunches, planks and other balance exercises are great for your core. Upper body strength is less important, but doesn’t have to be ignored. You don’t need to become Superman but a good level of overall strength will definitely help when summit day comes around and you need to push that little bit extra.
Stretching and Flexibility
All of the above is nothing without regular stretching. Stretching every day for 30 mins if you have time, or even 15 mins, helps massively in injury prevention and keep your from getting stiff and achy. Yoga classes are highly recommended if you have the time, otherwise any standard stretch routine at home will also do. Stretch, stretch, stretch!
This is general advice and by no means absolutely perfect, but following the 4 key areas above over a sustained period of time will definitely help with your preparation.
We also recommend visiting The Altitude Centre, especially if you are inexperienced at altitude.
View our Partners Page for more information.