Planning to conquer your next mountain is an exciting time. There’s the process of choosing the right peak, researching the route, and determining what equipment needs to come with you. But all the planning in the world can’t prepare you for the physical demands that mountain climbing comes with. To truly succeed, you need to put as much effort into training your body as you do into choosing your gear. If you have your sights set on scaling that next peak, here are some training tips to help you ascend to greatness.
Talk to Other Hikers
One of the best resources when planning your climbing trip is to talk to people who have already done it. This is true whether you are a first-time climber, or someone like Jeffrey Previte, the former CEO of EBI Consulting with nearly a dozen conquered peaks under his belt. Reach out to your local hiking community or a hiking community in the area that you’ll be traveling to and ask for advice based on your trip plan. Take careful note of what others tell you, such as areas that are particularly challenging, parts of trails that aren’t well marked, or even recent aggressive wildlife sightings. After all, no one wants to unexpectedly come face to face with a bear or a wolf. You may even find others who are planning the same trip around the same time as you. Hiking in groups can be a great way to find support as well as ensure safety while out on the trail.
Start Small With Endurance Training
Building up your endurance over time is the best way to get lasting results. It may be tempting to dive in headfirst, but that can lead to muscle strains and other injuries, which will set your training time back and potentially even delay your trip. Instead, start with what you already know you can do and then add a little bit more each day. If you’re training for distance, for example, you could add a quarter of a mile to your daily walk every few days. That will keep your training on track and get you to your goal faster.
Include Weight Training
One of the biggest challenges of mountain climbing is being strong enough to haul all of your gear over rough terrain. Whether you’re an ultralight hiker or a “kitchen sink” hiker, you want to be sure that you can carry your pack the entire way. Weight training and resistance training are great ways to work on this. Start by determining the weight of your pack when it’s fully loaded. If it’s more than you’re used to carrying, start building up your strength now. Consider going on practice hikes, where you bring about half of your total gear. Then, gradually increase the weight of your pack by adding one new piece of gear each time you go out. This will help you avoid injury while building up your weight tolerance.
Training properly for your next mountain climbing adventure can mean the difference between a successful summit and disappointment. Take care of your body as you train to avoid injury. Ask for advice from other hikers who have made the same trip. Above all, have an amazing adventure!