Hey everyone, it’s a short and sweet post this week, as I’ve been busy preparing for my trip to London and India! Follow along on Instagram to see where I go long before I post my travels on the blog. I’ll finally be instagramming more than just cute pictures of my golden retriever, Lily.
Although, she is pretty cute, isn’t she? No worries, Lily pics will resume on Instagram when I get back.
So you want to hike the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu?
Great! You’ve made an excellent decision. Now it’s time to train for it so you don’t pass out while climbing a vertical mile of steps at 14,000 feet above sea level. The lack of oxygen at Inca Trail altitudes means your heart has to work much harder to supply enough oxygen to your cells. Read my post on the Inca Trail Day 2 here to see what it’s like on the toughest day of the Inca Trail.
The best way to train for the Inca Trail is to get into a routine of both cardio and strength exercises at least 2 months before you go.
How Garren and I Trained for the Inca Trail:
- Spin class (60 min, once a week). This was a fantastic way to train because it worked our hearts and our leg muscles – the most important muscles for the Inca Trail!
- Cardio Strength Intervals (60 min, once a week). By rapidly alternating between cardio and strength building exercises, we burned a ton of calories, got a great workout, and sore butts.
- Jog (30 min, only if we missed one of the above classes). Ugh. My least favorite activity. But you already knew that if you ready my Inca Trail posts.
- Yoga (60 min, twice a week, just me, not Garren). I got into Yoga six months before our trip just for fun, and I grew to love it! Yoga probably didn’t pay a huge role in my training for the Inca Trail, but it helped with my flexibility, balance, strength, and just overall feeling good.
- Stair Training (Every day). I work on the top floor of a fairly tall building, and the parking garage is below ground. I took the stairs up almost every day, which ended up being about 15 flights of stairs. It sucked at first, but after a month it was no big deal.
I’d also recommended:
- Try a long walk. If you haven’t walked or hiked long distances, try a 10 mile walk some day just to make sure you can handle it under the best of circumstances. It will only be harder when you are at 14,000 feet climbing stairs.
- Try hiking with your pack. If you live near hiking trails, go for a day hike carrying your pack with your stuff in it. You may decide to leave some things behind after trying that out.
- Practice squats. Not for the core workout, but to practice for the squat toilets on the Inca Trail. The last thing you want is to lose your balance and fall in the hole!
Ultimately, you want to train with a regimen you can stick to and enjoy. If jogging is your game – do that. If you’re a kick-ass kickboxer, do that. The key is to get your heart pumping on a regular basis and to mix in some strength training for those legs as well. With that, you should be just fine!
And if you’re someone who prefers their workouts to be a little less… existent… take it from me, a fellow cardio-hater – it is all worth it!
Got a fun way to train for a trek like this one? Post it in the comments!