Training Advice for your Everest Base Camp Trekking Adventure

We want to make sure that you get the right training and preparation for your trek to Everest. No matter where you are starting your training from, there are are some key processes you need to go through. Firstly, you need to TALK TO US. Ian has climbed Everest to the top and led over 35+ treks to Everest Base Camp. Our team has the right information on training for your trek.  We want our clients to all come with the correct training and preparation.  Please do not show up on our trips without putting in the right training and preparation. Visit our Everest base camp page.

Putting a Training Plan in Place

There are a few factors you want to consider when planning your training routine. Firstly, you want to look at the daily distances on the trek.  This will show you how far you will have to walk each day, back to back.  Then, start to look at the elevation gains you will have on each day of the trek.  This is going to show you how much up-hill and down-hill you will have each day.  Once you look at both of these factors, and consider the lack of oxygen at high altitude, and you can start to put a training plan in place. CONTACT US and let us help you figure out the right way to be training to build your strength and endurance. Read some REVIEWS from our trips.

What Does The Everest Trek Involve

1). 12+ days of continuous hiking

2). Carrying a backpack with 6+kg/ 12+lbs for hours up and down hills

3). Hiking for a minimum of 5+ hours each day

4). Covering over 6,000m/ 20,000 feet worth of ascent and descent during the journey to Everest base camp and back.

5). On the way back down you will be hiking 20+km/ 12.4 miles per day on uneven terrain up and down hills.

6). All of this will be done at high altitude (Between 2,500m/ 8,202 feet and 5,500m/ 18,000 feet).  Extreme altitude is above 5,550m/ 18,000 feet. At extreme altitude, people can not live or survive, and will ultimately die if you stay there for an extended period of time. You will be trekking where there is 30% to 50% less oxygen getting to your muscles.  Therefore, your muscles are missing valuable oxygen to help you move, recover and sleep.

Check out our Top 50 Tips for a successful trek to Everest Base Camp.

Train with Weight on your Back

CLICK HERE and read the daily distances on our Everest base camp trek. Essentially, you need to be able to walk 10 miles a day in your training on a multi day basis. Also, your training always needs to be done with a weighted backpack as you built up to the trek. On the trail you will need to have a proper backpack with a good waist strap, and you will carry 6kg+/ 12lbs+ in that pack. In your training, you will want to be comfortable iwth carrying double that amount of weight.  Check out our top 10 tips for Everest base camp treks. I have climbed Everest, Kilimanjaro 35+ times, Island peak 16 times and lead 35+ treks to Everest base camp. We can help you understand this trip so you can come fully prepared.

Strength and Endurance Training is the Most Important

When you arrive in Lukla Airport, you are already at 2,850m/ 9,383 feet. You are entering the realm of high altitude, with 20% less oxygen than you would have at sea level running through your blood stream and muscles. You have to walk for 9/10 days to reach Everest base camp at 5,364m/ 17,598 feet and climb Kala Phattar at 5,645m/ 18,520 feet. Once you are at Everest Base Camp, there is 50% less oxygen in the air than you are used to breathing.

Then, you have to return back to Lukla Airport over 3 days and that means you have to cover long distances each day. The entire trip, there and back, covers 75+ miles, all of which you are walking. If you want your muscles and body to cover this distance, at high altitude, then 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, by walking up and down hills, with a weighted pack, prior to your trek.

You Should be Training 5 Days a Week

When I am training for a trek, I will go out once a week, walking 3 – 5 hours up and down hills, with a weighted pack. I will build the weight in my backpack as I go, from 6kg to 12kg (12lbs to 25lbs) over a period of time usually 3 to 5 months before my treks. In addition to that, I add in 4-5 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, biking up-hills for long distances or hiking.  All training sessions will be done with a weighted backpack or else focused on strength/endurance building.

The key is getting active and trying to get as much hill work in as possible. I hike at a slow and steady pace, 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 train on. If you don’t have hills, then you need to use a stair master for the best results.

Looking down at Namche Bazaar on the Everest Trail

Your Everest Trek Needs The Right Itinerary

Make sure you have chosen the right itinerary. It doesn’t matter how fit or strong you are if you do not have enough acclimatization built into your Itinerary. Therefore, picking the right itinerary is critical for your safety and success. We have added an extra day to our Everest base camp treks.  We spend 3 nights at 3,440m/ 11,286 feet at the critical acclimatization point on any altitude journey going above 5,000m/ 16,404 feet.  Giving your body time to acclimatize to the low levels of oxygen is critical.  This extra day helps you adapt to the low levels of oxygen.

Likewise, when you are training for this 13/14 day trek to Everest Base Camp, or any Himalayan trekking adventure, you need to train in similar terrain when possible. By adding more weight in your backpack at sea level, you are making your body work harder and conditioning your muscles for a harder work load when there is a lack of oxygen 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 Everest Base Camp treks.  This specific training will help lesson the muscle fatigue at altitude and help your recovery time at altitude.  Ultimately, this will make sure you are ready each day to get back out on the trail fit and ready.

Heading back towards Dingbouche from Everest Base Camp

Multi-Day Training with Weight is Critical

On your Everest Base Camp Trek you will be multi-day hiking. So, your need to be training on a multi-day basis. You will be walking and on your feet for many hours at a time with 6+kg of weight in your pack.  You will have 2/3 liter of water, spare layer, rain gear, snacks, camera, medical kit, valuables and sun cream in your backpack.  If you haven’t been training with this weight, plus additional weight you are going to get sore legs, back, shoulders and generally not feel good each day. You need to get out training on a multi-day basis at least 6 months prior to your trek. These back to back hikes and training sessions will help your fitness and specific physical conditioning.

You are Traveling as a Team

If you are signing up to a group trek, you need to consider the team and staff members you are trekking with and don’t show up unprepared. We don’t want to have to turn you around and send you home because you couldn’t find the time to train. Taking a journey like this can be a life changing experience.  However, if you do not put in the right training/preparations, you will not enjoy the experience as much as the others. You need to respect the mountains, the team you are going with and our staff 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 the specific training needed to be successful.

Heading from Lobuche to Gorak Shep on the EBC Trek

Do not Under Estimate The Trek to Everest 

Get a training plan that works for you. There is no one size fits all when it comes to training. Getting the correct advice for your Everest Base Camp trekking adventure is very important. 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, London, Melbourne, Colorado, Hong Kong or Dublin. Where you live and therefore what facilities you have available to you, will determine the training program that will work for you.

By starting with easier treks at altitude like the Inca Trail, climbing Mt. Toubkal in Morocco, or the Annapurna Base Camp Trek in Nepal, then you will build your experience for longer treks to higher altitude. If you are ready to take on Everest Base Camp, 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 Everest Base Camp treks is tried and tested over the last fifteen years. We have helped thousands of people prepare for their trek to Everest and other major peaks/treks around the world. You need to come prepared. Call us, set up a skype call. We want to help you achieve your dream of reaching Everest Base Camp and Kala Patthar.

Interested in Sleeping at Everest Base Camp?

You can also add in some interval training in the final two months before your trip. Ask us for more information about how you should be preparing for your Everest Base Camp Trek. Check out our UPCOMING TRIPS. If you want to take on the most unique Everest Base Camp itinerary, then have a look at joining one of our sleeping at Everest Base Camp treks.

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