If you are preparing to embark on a high altitude adventure, as well a strong mental disposition, you will also need to be physically prepared. It can be tough going and you need to be in peak condition as lets face it, once you get to high altitude, there isn’t an easy way out. To ensure you are ready for the demands high altitude will throw at you, you will need to put a significant amount of time and energy into a training regime. The last thing you want is your body not being up to the challenge when you are facing extreme conditions. In order to prepare as well as possible, there are four key areas you need to focus on.
As well as the necessary fitness training (which we will come to), to properly prepare yourself for high altitude, you need to acclimatise to high altitude. This may sound like common sense but is vital. For those lucky enough to have access to hypoxic tents, altitude training is made a lot easier. For most people though, it involves heading to the hills for short duration climbs which will allow your body to increase your efficiency at dealing with altitude.
Hauling your body up around with a heavy backpack of supplies obviously requires a degree of physical strength. Make sure you hit the gym and focus on squats, pullups, pushups, lunges and dips as well as some free weight training. It may sound daft but once you get to a comfortable point in your training, try training with your backback on too to mimic real-world conditions.
It is safe to say, you won’t be up and down a peak such as Everest in a matter of hours so you need to ensure you have the right levels of stamina. You need to have a right mixture of aerobic and anaerobic training so you can deal with high intensity and continuous movement.
You should ensure you training includes cycling, running, swimming and gym classes for the aerobic as well as interval training or Fartlek training to help improve your endurance.
It seems like common sense but getting as much actually climbing experience in before your big test is essential. As well as your endurance training, getting as much ‘boot on rock’ experience in will pay dividends when you come to your summit day.
If you keep on track with these four areas, you should be as prepared as possible for your big day. The only thing to remember then is to try and enjoy what will be a truly memorable experience.
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