How should you be training for your Inca Trail Trek to Machu Picchu adventure ? The first thing to remember is that most of the trekking in done on the 2nd and 3rd day. You will be up early at 5am and you may not arrive into camp until 4pm that afternoon.
The total distance of the trail is 26 miles with some steep ascent and descent. You will cover 2,065m/ 6,774 feet of ascent and you will descend 2,265m/ 7,431 feet. Most of this is done over two long days. The descent can be more challenging than the up hill so you really need to come physically prepared.
1. What does the trip entail
Thousands and thousand of steep challenging steps. The most challenging will be on the way down. From the third pass at 3,670m/ 12,041 feet down to the final camp site at Winay Wayna at 2,700m/ 8,858 feet so you will be dropping down 3,183 feet on a steep descent. On the second day you will be walking up 1,115m/ to high altitude at 4,215m/ 13,828 feet and dropping down 715m/ 2,346 feet in one day. This is tough on the knees, Calves, quads and you will be carrying a back pack with a minimum of 5kg/ 11lbs.
2. Some additional information
The second day on the trail is more difficult, as you have to climb to 4,215m/ 13,776ft at the pass of Wanusca (Dead Woman’s pass). It is really important to take it slow and steady before the pass. Trekking at altitude needs to be managed correctly. Speak to us about how to train and prepare. This 1,115m/ 3,658ft jump in altitude is challenging. Prior training is needed. Once over the pass we will move into another amazing valley and drop 700m/ 2,296ft to our camping site at Pacaymayu 3,500m/ 11,480ft. The third day is the longest, but also the most interesting as we will visit impressive ruins like Runkurakay and Sayacmarca. Tonight we will camp at Winaywayna 2,700m/ 8,829ft. The Total ascent on the trail is 2,065m/ 6,774 feet and total descent is 2,265m/ 7,431 feet. Make sure you have trained specifically for this challenge.
3. How should you be training
You should be aiming to train 4/5 times a week in preparation for your Inca Trail Trek to Machu Picchu. A training program will depend on a wide range of factors. You would get a fitness test so you know you max heart rate and training zones. Most of your training should be done at lower levels of heart rate. You should also start will less time and less weight in your back pack. Your goal should be to build, endurance, leg strength, overall body strength and balance and lung capacity. The most important thing will be leg strength for the down hill steps. Lunges and squats should be key element of your training. You also need to build endurance and strength so you need to be walking up and down hills with weighted back pack building from 5kg to 10kg so you can stress your legs and build strength prior to your trek. You also need to use a stair master building up to 1 hour 30 minutes per day with a back pack on so you will have the specific leg strength to get the hills. Contact us for further information.
4. Where should you start
Contact our team of professionals. Ian has trekked the famous Inca Trail to Machu Picchu 8 times and will help you get the information needed to make a safe and enjoyable journey through the Inca trail. Read our Top 10 Tips and sign up to one of our many treks to Machu Picchu.