Trekking isn't a walk in the park. It is a challenge worth taking seriously! And you need to ensure you are doing the right things in your preparation to get yourself ready!
Below, is a quick list of 10 things EVERY trekker needs in their preparation. So you can be sure you are ticking off all the boxes, and you are giving yourself the best chance of a safe, enjoyable and successful adventure!
#1: Strength Training
Strength training is the single most underutilized training method in the trekking world.
But, if done right, it is incredibly effective at:
And contrary to popular belief, this doesn't have to be throwing around heavy weights in the gym (although it can!)
There are so many different ways of including strength training in your preparation...
It can be as simple as doing step downs and glute bridges in your living room, to bringing some dumbbells down to your local park, to working with a trainer in a gym. As long as it is structured, challenging and follows the principle of progression, you are winning!
Click here to read more about strength training for trekkers.
#2: Trek Training
Nothing can replicate the uneven, undulating and unpredictable nature of hiking, aside from hiking itself!
Even if you prefer to do 90% of your training in the gym, you NEED to ensure you are doing some type of training on the trail too.
This is also the only chance you will get to practice the specific challenges of your upcoming trek (such as rock scrambling, traverses , river crossings etc)
Get out your calendar, check out your diary and book some dates in you will be hitting the trail!
Want to learn how to plan trek training? Check out this article!
#3: Interval Training
Interval sessions are a great way to work at a slightly higher intensity then your usual training, add some extra stimulus to your body and fit in a good workout, in a short amount of time.
But no, this doesn't mean jumping into some generic HIIT class or doing some sprints on the bike... these things have little relevance to trekkers!
Instead, trekkers should focus on doing trekking specific interval sessions.
Great examples here include:
#4: Gear Testing
Anything you are planning on using on your trek, you NEED to test it out in your training!
Wearing a new set of boots? Wear them in your training? Planning on using trekking poles? Practice them in your training! Thinking about bringing an electrolyte supplement or sports bar? Practice eating them in your training! Got a fancy new blister prevention kit? Try it out on your training hikes!
By the time you hit your trek, you should know EXACTLY how each piece of your gear works, feels and acts while you are on the trail.
#5: Mobility Work
Unless you have a history of hyper mobility, mobility work is a MUST in your preparation. This is essential to allow natural and pain free movement through your joints.
Great time to include this are:
For a few great mobility exercises for trekkers, check out this article
#6: Goal Setting
The beauty of trek preparation is that most people already have a definite goal in mind (i.e your trek!) But this can only get you so far... Trek preparation takes quite a while and sometimes it can be tough to maintain motivation for months on end...
But setting some smaller goals along the way can be very effective at helping here!
Not sure how to go about goal setting? Check out this video tutorial!
#7: Recovery Sessions
When you are training hard, you need to recover just as hard! This is because your body does adapt from your training sessions... it adapts when you recover from your training sessions. And all too often in the trekking world, recovery is completely forgotten!
Trekkers should dedicate at least one session a week to 'recovery' practices.
Great examples for this include
#8: A Sleep Ritual
Sleep is important for so many reasons...
And when you are training, it is doubly as important! A sleep ritual is a simple routine you do before bed, which helps you get the deep and restorative sleep you need.
A few examples of things to put in a sleep routine:
Practicing this is not only incredibly beneficial during your training, but will do wonders for your sleep and recovery on your trek!
For a few more great ideas on creating a sleep ritual, check out this article.
#9: An Immune Support Plan
One thing that is often overlooked in traditional trek preparation is the common cold.
Getting sick during your preparation can be a real spanner in the works. It can make you feel rubbish. It can seriously disrupt your training. And if it happens in the final weeks before you go, it can significantly affect your trek!
To combat this, all trekkers should consider an immune support plan. This involves coming up with a few simple nutrition and lifestyle habits which will help bolster your immune system, protect you from illness and keep you training!
Some easy examples here include things like:
For a great list of actions you can do to prevent illness (and speed up recover if you do get sick) check out this article.
#10: A Trip To The Travel Doctor
Anyone planning on an international trek should always go and see a Travel Doctor.
While your GP is good, a travel doctor is great! They are the specialists when it comes to these adventures. They will be able to tell you EXACTLY what medication, vaccinations and considerations you need.
Make sure you are doing these ten things in your Trek Preparation and you will be well on your way to a safe, enjoyable and successful trek!
Rowan is a personal trainer who specialises in training for hiking, trekkers and mountaineers for their bucket list adventures.
Summit Strength is a personal training for hiking service created specifically to help hikers have the best chance of a safe, enjoyable and successful adventure.