Here is our training advice for trekking to Everest Base Camp. If you signed up to one of our Everest Base Camp treks or sleeping at Everest Base Camp treks you can schedule a call with Ian and get access to the best training advice for your Everest trek.
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I have climbed Mount Everest to the top and led 40+ treks to Everest Base Camp, and always happy to offer advice.
Step by Step Advice
There is never one size fits all when it comes to training so following an online plan would be a mistake. Here is our step by step approach to building the correct training plan for an Everest Base Camp Trek.
Step 1: Get a Fitness Test
It is important to do a fitness test to understand your starting point and establish your specific heart rates training zones. The bulk of your training should be in zone 2 slow moving toward zone 3 training over time The focus should be on strength and endurance not speed ascents. Read more.
Step 2: Understand Heart Rate Training
It is important to build a very strong endurance base to have the correct physical condition for the specific trip you are doing. Read more.
Step 3: Understand the Specific Terrain
Every trip is different. Some trips are mostly all stairs, like our Annapurna Base Camp Trek. Other treks are more trail with different angled terrain. The Everest trail has a lot of stairs and steps up and down and a lot of downhill trekking. Understanding this terrain along with the daily elevations gains helps map out what you need to be doing in your training.
Step 4: Understand Elevation Gains & hours
Distances are not important as the elevation gains you will be doing on the trail. What is important to understand is the elevation gains along with the amount of hours you will be exercising on a daily basis. Everything is judged in hours. Each day has approximately 500m/ 1,640 feet of elevation gain, so you need to be comfortable doing these types of elevation gains on a daily basis in your training with a weighted backpack. Read more.
Step 5: Hill Training
Walking up and down hills of similar elevation gain and steepness on your chosen trip with weight in your backpack is a critical part of the training. If you do not access to hills you need to make sure one of our weekly sessions is longer to try and compensate for no mountains or hills to walk up and down.
Step 6: Gym Training
It is important to supplement longer hikes with daily gym training sessions, building the correct strength and endurance. Read more.
Step 7: Train for the Downhill
Most people are not doing enough downhill training and building the correct stability, core and leg strength for moving down steep trail and down steep stairs. Read more.
Additional Training Advice for Your Everest Base Camp Trek
The Everest Base Camp trail starts at 9,350 feet walking up to Everest Base Camp at 17,200 feet and Kala Patthar at 18,520 feet spread over 9/10 days to reach these heights.
We then turn around and walk all the way back to Lukla in 3 days. The distances can be up to 21km (13 miles) a day. Most days are less than this. It is really important that you are used to walking these kinds of distances on a regular basis with added weight in your back pack to give better conditioning to your legs at sea level or at home.
By adding extra weight in your back pack at home this will push your body harder and give you better conditioning for when you start Trekking above 10,000 feet.
If you are out walking up and down hill once a week for 3 – 6 hours with 8kg+ in your backpack it is proven to give you the overall body conditioning needed for trekking trips to altitude. You can also add in a range of other training to aid your success.
1). Physical Conditioning for the Everest Trek
Despite being a trek which is accessible to most people and not just experienced mountaineers, the trek to Everest Base Camp should not be underestimated. Trekking in the Himalayas is a serious challenge which requires significant preparation.
With forward planning and the right attitude to training, you stand the best possible chance of successfully and safely reaching Everest Base Camp and getting back down safely. If you train correctly you will enjoy, not endure one of the most rewarding and spectacular trekking experiences in the world.
2). Training and Fitness
3). Get Specific in your Everest Training
4). Map out Heart rate Training Zones
5). Formulate a Training Plan
We are happy to offer advice on the trail, terrain, elevation gains and hours hiked per day. This information will help you map out the proper Everest training plan. A training plan needs to be personalized for you not some training program you find on the internet.
If in doubt, please ask. We have lot of experience preparing for this trek.
Hill Work for the Everest Trek
Firstly, you need to understand that you will be trekking back to back days sometimes 8 hours back to back. Taking regular and increasingly long walks will help develop the muscles which will be needed when you arrive in the Himalayas.
Try to find some local hills to walk up and down if possible. Gradually increasing the duration of your walks will help to develop your stamina and also assist in preparing you for being on your feet over long distances.
When out on training walks, ensure that you always wear the boots you intend to take to the Himalayas. Getting used to your footwear will help make you as comfortable as possible when it comes to your trek.
Secondly, you need to understand how steep the terrain is, so you can train appropriately. Walking around your neighborhood with a weighted backpack on the flat is absolutely no use. Therefore aim to make walking up and down steep hills with weight the main part of your training. Building up to hours at a time.
Thirdly, You need specific leg strength for steep stair, steps up and down. Read more about training for the downhill which is just as important as the uphill, maybe even more important.
Being Mentally Prepared
Finally, Train with the gear you will be using on the trail. It is also a good idea to wear the same back pack you will be taking with you on the climb so you feel at ease with it and gradually add weight to the bag to build strength over time.
Being mentally prepared will also be crucial to your chance of a successful trek. Progressively pushing the limits of your physical training will help develop your capacity to endure the strain.
A positive attitude is also crucial. It is helpful to remind yourself when training and during the trek that thousands of people have achieved this feat before you and that you can do it too.
However, you do need to be prepared for setbacks and particularly difficult stages during the trek. And remember that your guide will be there to encourage and inspire you!
6). Three Points for Everest Success
1). Acclimatization is Everything. Give yourself enough time to prepare and pick the right acclimatization schedule. We have 3 nights acclimatization in Namche Bazaar. In terms of training, it is no good trying to cram everything in a few weeks before you depart.
Put training plan together and build on your fitness over a longer period of time, this will also help you avoid injury. Check out our TOP 50 TIPS for a safe and successful trek to Everest Base Camp.
2). Don’t Ignore Nutrition. You need a well-balanced diet to maintain a good level of health. You do not want to be carrying excess weight on your body going to high altitude. It is important to be light, lean and strong for this trek. As your routine picks up and you train harder, more strain will be placed on your carbohydrate stores. Before, during and after exercise you will need to supply your body with the fuel it needs!
3). Taper off training the week before the trip. Reduce your training before you depart on your trek. You should have been training 8 – 12 hours per week. Get some well-earned rest and start your trip feeling fresh. Going on a trip knowing that you are fit and ready gives you one less thing to worry about, it boosts your confidence allowing you to get the most out of the experience.
7). Do Not Underestimate the Everest Base Camp Trek
8). Pacing is Critical to Success
We cover the daily distances as slowly as possible, there is no rush to get to the tea house each day. We don’t want to over exert the body, a relaxed, slow walk will aid your bodies adjustment to the lack of oxygen and keep your body and muscles from fatigue.
This is so important on this multi-day trek to Everest Base Camp. Keeping well hydrated by drinking 4 to 5 liters of water each day is also critical to success. Read more.
Are you Ready for the Everest Trek?
If you walk in the hills and avid hill walker/hiker on a weekly basis, you should have the conditioning needed for the Trek. It is vital to be out walking in the hills in your trekking boots 3 – 6 months in advance on a weekly basis.
You also need to add in some gym work if you do not have access to hills and mountains. We have training schedules for this and can talk you through this and make sure you are taking the right steps to succeeding at your chosen adventure. We recommend training 4 to 5 days per week.
Training is Needed for Safety
Training for your Everest Base Camp trek is very important. There is not a one size fits all program to training. Everyone starts from a different fitness base and building this type of conditioning will be different for different people.
So CONTACT US and we can get you started and we will point you in the right direction. Just e-mail Ian Taylor email@example.com and find out more about starting your adventure to Everest Base Camp.
Some Questions and Answers
Do most people make it to Base Camp? We have 95% success to date on our treks. About 60% of people make it, so come fully trained and prepared so you can enjoy the journey to Everest.
We hope you found this training advice for your Everest Base Camp Trek useful. It is always easier to talk with us and we can help you fully prepare for your adventure.
For more information about altitude, training, Everest BC Trek CALL US.