I have climbed Mount Everest and personally led over 40 treks to Mount Everest, here is our advice when training for your Everest Base Camp Trek. If you are already a hiker, used to carrying a weighted backpack and exercising 4/5 days a week then you may find the Everest Base Camp Trek manageable. If you are not used to hiking then you will need to work even harder to get prepared for this challenging trek.
Talk to the Experts
We want to make sure that you get the right training and preparation advice for your trek to Mount 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. Our team has the right information on training for your trek to Mount Everest. We want our clients to all come with the correct training and preparation. Check out our Everest Base Camp Trek page for and also come back here and gain access to all our most important pages in one place.
Step by Step
There is never one size fits all when it comes to training so following an online plan would be a mistake.
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. 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 all stairs, others are trail, and the Everest Base Camp Trek has it all, stairs up and down, 30 degree incline and moving across uneven terrain.
Step 4: Understand Elevation Gains & hours
Distances are not important on the Everest trek. What is important to understand is the elevation gains you will doing on a daily basis. Everything is judged in hours. For example the Namche hill, Shangbouche hill, Tengbouche hill are all 1,700 feet to 2,000 feet of elevation gain and take 1 hour 40 minutes to 2 hours to hike up. Read more.
Step 5: Hill Training
Walking up and down hills of similar elevation gain on your chosen trip with weight in your backpack is a critical part of the training. Read more.
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 for moving down steep trail and down steep stairs. Read more.
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 on mixed steep rocky terrain.
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. 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. So it is critical you come in excellent trekking shape.
Top 50 Tips
We have developed a page with our top 50 tips. Check it out here. This page might help offer you some advice, information and help you prepared 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 trekking backpack with a good waist strap, as you will carry 6kg+/ 12lbs+ in that pack. In your training, you will want to be comfortable building up tp carrying double that amount of weight. Building up slowly over months of preparation is the ideal way to prepare. We can help you understand this trip so you can come fully prepared.
Strength and Endurance Training
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 60+ 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 10kg (12lbs to 22lbs) 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 1 hour to1 hour 30 minutes per day. I walk up hill with weight on a stair master, Incline treadmill, biking up-hills for long distances. Weight training is also critical and core stability work is important. Learn more here about training for the downhill. All training sessions will be done with a weighted backpack.
The key is getting active and trying to get as much hill work in as possible. I hike at a slow and steady pace, keeping my heart rate in my endurance zone. For me this is between 140 and 150 heart rate. Learn more. 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 carry weight for the best results.
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, you have nothing. 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. Having these 3 nights in Namche, will help you adapt better 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.
Multi-Day Training with Weight is Critical
On your Everest Base Camp Trek you will be multi-day hiking. So, you 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, please make sure you are training for your Everest Base Camp Trek. You need to consider the rest of the team and staff members you are trekking with, so 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.
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.
Training for your Everest Base Camp Trek
By starting with easier treks at altitude like the Inca Trail, climbing Mount 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 or set up a time to chat. 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.