Designing a Trek Training Plan
Training for a trek is all about increasing your overall strength, fitness and endurance. The more you train, the more you're going to enjoy your trekking challenge. But what should you really be doing? Read our tips below for designing your own trek training plan and you'll be ready to go in no time.
1. Start early
It's never too soon to start preparing for your challenge! Aim to build your overall strength and fitness gradually so your body has the time to adapt to the physical demand of tough trekking.
2. Include hills
One of the main challenges of mountain trekking is persistent incline walking. It is therefore important that, when training, you opt for tough, hilly routes wherever possible. You can search for walking routes in your local area and filter them by difficulty on the Ramblers Website.
If there aren't any suitable routes near you, why not head to the gym for an incline walk on the treadmill? To increase the intensity, try walking on the treadmill with a backpack on or with weights in your hands.
3. Build your leg strength
Your legs will take on the bulk of the strain during your challenge. Although walking will make up the majority of your training, it is a good idea to incorporate some leg-focussed resistance training too.
If you are hitting the gym, opt for compound movements such as squats and lunges. They will not only increase strength in your glutes, hamstrings and quads, but improve knee stability which is crucial for the downhill portions of your trek. Why not begin with bodyweight exercises and, as your strength increases, add weights in gradually increasing increments.
4. Interval train
Although there is no real way to prepare your body for altitude without actually going to altitude, some trekking experts claim that interval training is the best way to go for those who don't have handy access to several-hundred-metre-high mountains at home. Interval training involves elevating your heart rate significantly before allowing a short period of recovery. This can help to prepare the cardiovascular system for altitude by mimicking the stress of lower oxygen levels on the body at high altitudes.
One of the simplest ways to incorporate interval training into your training plan is running short sprints, walking, and repeating. Add in an interval workout once a week and you'll be surprised how quickly your fitness improves!
5. Go on a practice trek
It may sound obvious, but the best way to prepare for a long trek? Going on a long trek!
Try to book a trip away somewhere which you can dedicate to walking. A weekend in the Lake District, or a few nights in the Highlands, is the best way to practise walking long distances back-to-back over several days. This can also be a perfect opportunity for your team to go away together and bond before the challenge!
6. Don't abandon the sports you love
Your main goal when designing your trek training plan should be to improve your overall fitness and strength. So whether you're a keen runner, cycler, swimmer or football player, don't completely give up the sports you love to make room for trek training. Everything counts!