Annapurna Base Camp trek (ABC) is one of the popular trekking destinations in Nepal. The trek up to the base camp of Mt. Annapurna is like once in a lifetime trip. But to achieve this once in a lifetime trip you need to follow some training before the actual Annapurna Base Camp Trek.
The offers amazing views of the snow-covered peaks with the surrounding landscapes and the long hike takes you to different interesting landscapes.
The Annapurna Base Camp trek begins near the town of Pokhara and passes via rhododendron forests, alpine, and glacial terrain.
The popular Annapurna Base Camp trek is a moderate level 9 days trek. On this trek, you reach the maximum height of 4,110 m above sea level. So, you may find breathing more difficult and more physically demanding as you ascend higher.
For such a long trip ascending to high altitudes, you surely need to know how fit you need to be to hike Annapurna Base Camp trek. And, you must be prepared for the activity that you’re undertaking.
Trekking up a mountain or just hiking across in the countryside is a wonderful activity that everyone should indulge in.
Believe me! It can be a rewarding experience even life-changing. At the same time, it can be also painful, hard, and exhausting. It all depends on your mindset and your fitness.
Also, you don’t want to be the one who slowed down your group member on the trail.
So, training is a matter of pride and preparedness.
With proper training programs for Annapurna Base Camp trek, you’ll reduce the probability of injury and soreness on the trail.
So here, I have some Annapurna Base Camp trek training tips for you!
Table of Contents
Aerobic Training (Cardiovascular)
With the increase in altitude, the oxygen level in the atmosphere gradually starts decreasing. And, when you are trekking in such a thin air your heart is pumping hard to release oxygen and blood to the whole body. Your heart needs to work double to make your body function properly.
So, before heading on the trail, aerobic exercises is number one thing you need to pay attention. If you’re a beginner, then you need to start preparing 6 months prior to the trip.
Whether you intend to do short day hikes or multi-day hiking, you must require a good cardiovascular endurance.
Aerobic means requiring free oxygen. It refers to use of oxygen to adequately meet energy demands during exercise via aerobic metabolism.
Aerobic exercise mostly involves light to moderately intensive activities such as cycling, swimming, running, or any other activity that gets your heart and lungs pumping.
Basically, aerobic exercise will help to adopt the maximum volume of oxygen that your body can use. This is very important for the trek. As you gain altitude there will be less oxygen in the air for you to consume and each breath counts.
Alternatively, it’s also good to include hill training in your cardio training.
If you’re one of those people who go to the gym regularly, you can keep going at your own pace. Even though you can extend the workout time a month or so before as to improve your endurance level.
Thus, aerobic training will be a key factor of a comfortable Annapurna Base Camp trek experience in Nepal.
No matter how fit you are, your body needs time to adjust to the altitude. So, never rush up during your trekking period. Try to ascend at your own pace.
During hiking, your body lies in many other muscles not just ones in your legs. To improve your hiking endurance, focus on training for full-body strength.
Strength training includes training with free weights, bands, body weight exercises or gym machines. All these will help you to build powerful strength both in the upper part of your body and legs.
During the trek, you’ve to walk on varied terrain with your backpack on your back. So, it’s equally important to develop strength in your upper back and shoulders. This training will help you to carry your backpack effectively.
Trekking means walking on varied terrain, ascending and descending hills. While descending and ascending hills, calves, hamstrings, quads, and hips are all involved. Thus, it is vital to building strength and endurance in all these areas of the hips and legs.
If you don’t have access to hike on the hills or mountains, you can train yourself on wherever possible. You just have to go on practice walks before the actual trek.
Also, you can use gym-machine including incline treadmills or elliptical cross trainers.
All in all, if you’ve stronger muscles, it means you can more easily climb over rough terrain and stay safe while doing it. This ultimately means exploring more of what nature has to offer.
Also, keep in mind that during strength training it’s crucial to maintain a proper format all time to prevent injury and strain.
Besides building strength, you also need to focus on flexibility training too. Flexibility means an ability of muscles and tendons to relax and stretch easily.
You need to regularly stretch your hip flexors, hamstrings, quadriceps, and low back muscles. While doing so it promotes relaxation in the tissues and ultimately reduce strain on your back.
If you’re planning Annapurna Base Camp Trek then you also need to consider the risk of acute mountain sickness (AMS). As you’ll not be only trekking on a flat terrain but on the hills and rough terrain too.
So, it’s equally important to indulge altitude training with aerobic and strength training in your routine of preparation.
It is impossible to train yourself for the real altitude but you can do mimic training. You can just climb the stairs as hard and long as you can and then go back down at a steady pace.
If you want to create a more realistic scenario of trekking then make sure to carry a backpack while doing this.
Despite being physically fit, you can even get affected by altitude sickness. So, it’s all about how your body will cope with the oxygen deficiency.
Thus, you can follow one golden rule i.e. to never continue to ascend if you’ve any symptoms of AMS. If the symptoms get worst, then you must descend. And, most importantly, keep yourself hydrated.
Trekking is a fun, a recreational activity. But at the same point, it can be exhausting!
As you might encounter with cold weather, surprising downpours, broken gear, and blisters. These are some challenges you can face on the trail.
This is the time where you have to find something within yourself to keep going.
Giving up in the worst situation seems simply easy but it’s all about your mind playing a game telling to give up. Most of the time during trekking your body might be fine because you’ve done a lot of preparation, but your mind wants to play games.
Pushing yourself in such a situation is the most rewarding thing and at the end of the day, you’ll realize your achievement!
So it’s good to prepare yourself mentally for what is about to come across your trekking route.
However, you don’t need to take any tension that would only create a worse scenario.
You should be aware of what is possible. Learn about the trails, know what can happen, and how you can deal with it. For this, you can read trekking blogs, book, and talk with other experienced trekkers.
Thus, it’s really important to prepare yourself both physically and mentally. The rough terrain is a test for your both physical fitness and mindset.
So, prepare yourself with positive mindset along with good physical condition. This will actually ensure you are ready to experience all the wonders of Annapurna region.
Extra Tips for Annapurna Base Camp Trek Training
- Take your own time. It’s essential to ascend gradually, especially when you’re facing a high altitude challenge. If you’re going for multi-day hiking, it’s good to hike higher areas during the day and then sleep lower at night.
- Drink plenty of water. Water is a key to reduce the altitude sickness symptoms. It’s necessary to keep yourself hydrated throughout the trail.
- Avoid drinking alcohol and caffeine. Drinking alcohol and caffeine will dehydrate you.
- Usually, the higher you hike it gets cold and this drop in temperature will affect your physical conditions. Weather can change rapidly in the Himalayas so always bring warm clothes. Also, while dressing, layering is highly recommended.
Benefits of Annapurna Base Camp Trek Training
- You’ll have more fun during your trek when you’re in a shape. You’ll feel strong which allows you to enjoy the beautiful sights rather than suffering during your trek. Just enjoy! You’ll surely have an amazing experience !!!
- When your muscles are strong enough, they’ll be ready to respond even if you slip on the varied terrain of the trail.
Annapurna Base Camp trek can be an incredible experience with an appropriate Annapurna Base Camp trek training plan.
Once you’re physically fit then all you need is a positive attitude and willingness to push yourself.
Besides all this, another main important thing is to allow your body to acclimatize to the altitude. More often, trekkers are not able to reach their final destination all because of altitude sickness.
As you might be walking through varied terrain, it is important to be fit. The fitter and stronger you are, the more you’ll enjoy your Annapurna Base Camp trek experience.
Challenge yourself, overcome your fears, and come and walk the famous Annapurna Base Camp trail!
If you have any questions about the Annapurna Base Camp trek training then feel free to contact us. We’ll respond to you as soon as possible.