Training Advice for Your Annapurna Base Camp Trek

We have been leading treks in the Annapurna region of Nepal now for ten years. Developing unique itineraries for the best experience is what we do. We have developed an award winning team and service in Nepal.  Here is some training advice you need to consider before trekking to Annapurna base camp.

No matter where your training begins. There are are some keys processes you need to go through. If you are signed up to an Ian Taylor Trekking trip we can help you get the best information possible. We have our own office in Kathmandu with full time staff on the ground.  Read some REVIEWS from our trips and check out our upcoming trips.

Machapuchare mountain from Annapurna Base Camp

Picking the Right Itinerary for you

The Annapurna Base Camp trek is very different to the Annapurna Circuit trek. The Annapurna base camp trek encompasses 10+ days of continuous hiking predominantly on stairs or steps and lots of them. We trek up Poon Hill first as part of our acclimatization and world class mountain viewing. You will have to hike up and down lots and lots of stairs. Training on the stair master and stair training will be the most important part of your training.

What Does This Trek Involve

On this trek you will be carrying a backpack with 5+kg/ 12+lbs for hours up and down hills. You will be hiking for 4+ hours each day. Our Annapurna trek covers over 4,000m/ 13,123 feet of ascent and descent during the journey to Annapurna Base Camp and back.  On the way down you will be hiking 10+km/ 6.2 miles on uneven terrain up and down hills.  All of this will be done in at high altitude between 2,000m/ 6,561 feet and 4,130m/ 13,550 feet.  There will be 20% to 35% less oxygen getting to your muscles to help you move.

Annapurna south from Chhromrung

What Sort of Distances Will you Trek

Distance: The daily distances on the Annapurna base camp trek will range from 6 to 15km per day. You need to be able to walk 15km a day in your training on a multi day basis as you built up to the trek. On the trail you will need to have a proper back pack with waist strap and you will carry 5kg+/ 11lbs+.  With a lack of oxygen in your body you need to building up to training over time. You should be walking similar distances in your training as you prepare for the trek.

Fishtail Mountain in Nepal

How do you Start Preparing for This Trek

You start hiking up above 2,500m/ 8,200 feet. This elevation is high altitude with 30% less oxygen than sea level running through your blood stream and muscles. On our itinerary you have to walk for 7 days before reaching Annapurna base camp at 4,130m/ 13,550 feet.  After an amazing experience you have to walk all the way back.

Return hikes back to Jhinu Hot Springs are going to be longer distances. You have to walk 60km+ return trip from Pokhara to Annapurna base camp and back. If you want your muscles and body to cover this distance in this environment, you need to train and condition your muscles prior to arriving in the Himalaya’s. You need to be getting this muscle conditioning or muscle memory in your body. This training needs to be done prior to the trek.

Use the Stair Master

I like to head out once a week walking 3 – 5 hours up and down hills. The key is building the weight in my back pack from 5kg to 10kg (11lbs to 22lbs) over a period of time. This should usually be 3 to 5 months before the trek.  I also add in 3 to 4 other training sessions per week depending on time available. These will range from 6k to 10k jogs, weight training, walking up hill with weight on a stair master.  Bike sessions all using a weighted back pack.

The key is getting active and trying to get as much hill work in as possible. I hike at a slow and steady pace. I try and stick to my optimal heart rate.  Trying to drink a liter of water for each hour of exercise. Let us help you prepare as we know most of you are coming from sea level with limited or no access to hills to training on. I hope this training advice for your Annapurna Base Camp Trek makes a difference. If you need specific advice for your circumstances do let us know.

Hiking to Annapurna Base Camp

Going to Altitude

Picking the right itinerary is critical. We have added extra days on our Annapurna base camp treks for your safety.  Giving your body time to acclimatize to the low levels of oxygen is critical for your success. These extra days help you adapt to the low levels of oxygen. Training on similar terrain to the Annapurna region is helpful. I can tell you there are a lot of stairs.

Making your body work harder at sea level is important in your training. If you are working harder on the trek you will not enjoy it.  Conditioning your muscles for a harder work load when we have a lack of oxygen in the body at high altitude. I hope this makes sense. If not pick up the phone a call us. We can take you through this key training advice for our Annapurna base camp treks.  This specific training will help lesson the muscle fatigue at altitude. It will help your recovery time at altitude so you can get back out on the trail fit and ready for the next day, and day after that.

Waterfall on route to Annapurna Base Camp

You Should be Doing Multi Day Training

Training advice for your Annapurna base camp trek requires multi-day training or hiking prior to your Annapurna base camp trek. It is really important the closer you get to your trek. You will be walking for many hours at a time with 3 liter of water. You will also carry a down jacket or fleece depending on the day. Every day you will have rain gear, snacks, camera, medical kit, valuables and sun cream.  All this should add up to 6kg+/ 13+lbs.  If you haven’t been training with this weight, plus additional weight you are going to feel it.  You will have sore legs, back, shoulders and generally feel like crap.

You need to consider getting out training on a multi-day basis at least 12 to 16 weeks prior to you trek. These back to back hikes and training sessions will help your fitness a lot.  This specific physical conditioning is needed to make a safe and enjoyable journey to base camp. You have invested the money to do the trek. Bought all the gear.  You should take our training advice seriously so you can enjoy your Annapurna base camp trek.

The valley that leads to Annapurna Base Camp

Make Sure you Come Prepared

You need to consider the group you are trekking with and don’t show up unprepared. We don’t want to have to turn you around,  because you couldn’t find the time to train. Remember is a potentially life changing journey. You need to respect the mountains, the team you are going with and our team on the ground. So come prepared and make sure you find the time to train and make sure it is the right training. As I always say, we are happy to talk you through a specific training advice for Annapurna Base Camp Treks. You need to have a training plan that will work with your time and the facilities you have available.

Training advice for your Annapurna Base Camp Trek

Personal Training Program

Training advice for your Annapurna Base Camp Trek. There is no one size fits all training plan. So I don’t delay. We need to talk to you individually about the best way you can prepare for your trek. You might be living in New York city, Melbourne, Hong Kong or Dublin. Where you live and what facilities you have available to you will determine the best training advice for the Annapurna base camp treks. By starting with easier treks like the Inca Trail, or climbing Mt. Toubkal in Morocco you will build your experience for longer treks to higher altitude.

If Annapurna base camp is for you then you need to come prepared. Please don’t show up on one of our treks without having done this prior training. This training advice for our Annapurna base camp treks is tried and tested over the last decade. I have trained numerous people for this trek, climbing Everest and other major peaks. You need to come prepared. Call us, set up a skype call. We want to help you prepare fully for your Annapurna base camp experience. We have the experience so why not sign up to one of our trips and we can help you.

Training advice for your Annapurna Base Camp Trek. In the final two months of training before your trip you can add interval training to your weekly training schedule. This can be done once or twice a week.

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