Here are some thoughts about altitude training mask verses weight in your backpack. If you are signed up to one of our trekking trips or expeditions, the challenge you are undertaking is about endurance and strength. It is not necessarily about lung capacity.
Let’s look at the advantages and disadvantages of training with an altitude mask verses weight in your back pack. Follow us on Instagram.
Training with a Mask
Remember that this information is based on endurance trekking trips and there is value in training with a mask. Your goal is not to be the fastest, your goal is to be the slowest. Training with a mask should be considered as part of a more advanced training plan for big expeditions.
Are their advantages of training with an altitude training mask for trekking or mountaineering. Overall I would have to say YES……. Training with a mask will help give better lung capacity which is great for big mountain climbing. It also improves your respiratory threshold.
The Two Keys to High Altitude Trekking
1). Have an excellent acclimatization schedule. Without acclimatization you have nothing.
2). Come physically prepared with excellent overall body strength and endurance training. We can guide you on the best way to physically prepare for your chosen adventure.
Heart Rate Training
One of the biggest mistakes people are making is training in the correct heart rate zones for building the correct endurance. Read more. It is extremely important to build your endurance through heart rate training zones.
Running or jogging although useful training, this does not translate into multi-day endurance based trekking trips up and down hills, stairs or steep terrain. If you are going to trekking for hours up and down hills or mountains, you need to training in this manner.
You can even read more here about our advice on gym training for trekking adventures.
Strength and Endurance
Strength is gained in the slow movement with additional weight to build the correct Strength and endurance, especially in your lower body is far more valuable than having excellent lung capacity and cardio fitness.
If you are running a marathon you need to run 4/5 times a week and you should follow a strict training regime so you do not get injured as you build the amount of miles you are running on a weekly basis.
Specific Training is Important
The same applies to multi-day hiking, trekking and mountaineering trips. You need to be training 4/6 times a week building weight in your backpack so that you have the endurance and strength.
Also consider distances and especially daily elevations gains of hiking up and down hills so you can add this to your training plan. Hill work is best, but if you do not have access to hills you can use a stair master and other gym equipment.
Remember to consider training for the downhill, which is usually overlooked by a lot of people. Read more.
Not everyone will have access to hills, but this is the best way to train your body and legs for down hill hiking. For example, on our Inca trail treks you will be drop 700m/ 2,296 feet to 1,000m/ 3,280 feet on different days all on steep rocky stairs. On Kilimanjaro you will drop 2,800m/ 9,186 feet in one day on scree and rock and this is very challenging on your legs and joints.
You have just walked for days on end you have reached your goal but not you have to retrace your steps, often in a quicker time frame. Hiking downhill will take its toll on your joints. Fore sure, the downhill hike will take more wear and tear on your joints and muscles than the uphill.
Specific Training Advice
You don’t have access to hills and relaying on the gym or tall buildings. This will make training that little bit harder. Developing a training plan early will be important to maximize your safety. We can help so get signed up with us and are happy to help.
Talk to the Experts
For further information just CALL US or email us. We can help you get accurate information on how best to prepare for your adventure. We are available 5 days a week when we are not on trips and we are based in Eagle-vail, Colorado.