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How do I train to hike a 14,000-foot mountain with no previous experience?

When I registered for a charity climb to the top of Mount Rainier in Washington, the glaciated peak of the lower 48, I had never been a mountaineer before. I had hardly wandered . I grew up with a mother holding a pitched tent in the backyard for the height of the adventure. So the wilderness retreats were so far from the radar that they were more like big stories from picture books with huge peaches and fire-breathing dragons. I had taken some leisurely walks in the forest, but a 14,411 foot high mountain was a completely different story.

I did not have an ice ax or crampons (the spikes you attach to your boots for better traction). But I had the determination ̵

1; what I learned later was a key part of my success. There was blood, sweat and tears along the way (plus blisters, numb toes and long workouts), but I finally stood above the clouds – and with the right plan, you can do that too.

If I could do it again, I'd train more to prepare for my journey. I spent a lot of time walking hills, stairs and paths with my pack, which was very helpful, but I could have done more relevant strength exercises (more on the below). I now have a good foundation for strength training and I know that if I attacked a 14 today, I would have much more power.

Here mountaineers recommend to prepare adequately for an epic hike without having relevant experience. [19659005] Depending on your fitness level, you may need to start preparing for one year to three months in advance.

Before signing up for the ascent, I took aerobics classes and jogging. It was a decent start, but I only had three and a half months to prepare. Looking back would have been more. "If you've been training [haven’t] for years, start one year in advance," says Ambrose Bittner a mountaineer who organized the charity climb in which I participated. "If you exercise sporadically, they are usually fit, maybe six months, if you exercise regularly, such as intensive fitness and strength classes, cycling or running three times a week and other weekend activities, then three or four months should be specific Training to be used. "

Whatever you do point to, you want to make sure that you develop your overall fitness base, including strength and aerobic capacity." You will be traveling for several hours or more consecutive days, so you want to Focus your training on endurance, "says Angela Bargen, Certified Personal Trainer at Mountain Fitness Training which offers tailor-made training plans for mountaineering adventures.

Be careful that you do not make the mistake of starting too fast and Injury injuries: Start slowly and gradually work your way through u longer sweat sessions and heavier weights. For example, if you are not already exercising regularly, you can start 30 minutes of cardio sessions and one to two days of strength training in just three days. As you develop cardiovascular, you can extend your sessions and add more days. As your muscles get stronger, you can start slowly to increase the weight you lift . If you are not sure how often you need to exercise or what is the most secure progression for you, contact a personal trainer or another fitness professional for personal advice on the lower body and core.

There is no substitute for a long trek with significant elevation changes – I did this every weekend, even when I was traveling – but if you do not live at the foot of a mountain, that's probably not realistic every day. Fortunately, there are some exercises that you can do in the gym and in the city to prepare yourself. Bargen recommends including these steps in your exercise routine:

  • Step-ups
  • Step-Downs
  • Lunges
  • Squats
  • Curtsy Lunges
  • Planks
  • Undercarriage
  • 19659019] This Exercises help to strengthen your lower body and your core. Do not overlook the latter – your core will play an important role in keeping you stable while traversing rough terrain with a weighted backpack. (Looking for workouts to start?) Try the following: 5-minute planking This Lower Body and Nuclear Power Training and this 20-Minute No-Equipment. Body Workout with some of these movements and more.)

    If you're talking about this weighted backpack, you should wear it whenever possible. Put it on and then look for an outdoor staircase or a large hill for climbing. If this is not possible in your area, use the stairs of an apartment or office building. In the gym you can step on a stepper or adjust the treadmill to its steepest incline. You may even want to exchange dumbbells or dumbbells for the backpack when doing exercises such as squats and lunges to further customize your workout. Just make sure you've found the right shape first – exercises with a weight on your back will feel a little different than the same movements with weights in your hands. Therefore, it is important to be familiar with them before switching them up.

    Once you have become familiar with the above exercises, consider using a little balance or one-legged motions to increase stability. "Hiking on a dirt road, a rocky path or snow challenges the stability muscles," emphasizes Bargen. It can be difficult to replicate completely in a gym, which is another reason why walking outdoors is as important as possible.

    And do not forget that what goes up must fall. The descent is rarely the fun part as all anticipation of mountaineering is over and you have tired limbs that you still need to push forward. "On the descent, more injuries will happen because people are really tired," says Bargen. "They do everything they can to get to the top, but they still need energy to get down the hill." This is where your training comes into play. If you've spent time doing these lunges and downs, you will

    Courtesy of the author

    No matter how physically you are prepared, there is another element that can not be ignored: mental strength.

    Getting Fit Will Make the hike much more enjoyable, but you'll also need the right attitude for the conditions you can try. "Mountaineers develop the ability to endure suffering – sore feet; tired, achy and cramping muscles; clogged sinuses; intense heat and cold – all hours end in sometimes miserable weather conditions, "says Bittner

    The lack of sleep came to me personally – it's almost impossible to catch zzz's when in In the meantime, sitting in a tiny tent with two strangers on a broken sleeping bag that forms the thinnest layer between you and the hard, snow-covered ground, the tiredness combined with dehydration and the exhaustion of sheer exertion led me to do tricks on me (When I started to think that someone had formed animal figures and smiling faces in the snow, I knew I was losing it.)

    The best way to prepare for this is to challenge yourself in your training for you Navigate this uncomfortable place and make sure you have long endurance sessions so you know how it feels, both physically and physically also mentally, just keep going. Find ways to keep your brain moving – there are mental games you can play, like counting your steps. Bargen likes to set mini targets. "If I look up, maybe I'll take 100 steps and then stop for three breaths," she says. "Dividing it into smaller goals makes you feel a little victorious." This sense of achievement can make a big difference if you're motivated to put one foot in front of the other.

    After the first trip I promise you all the hard work will definitely be worth it.

    You may need all the small gains you can make on the summit day, which can go along with its many challenges. Fortunately, the memories are worth it all around you: the sunrise on the horizon, a difficult section that has been navigated successfully, a gummy bear that hits the spot, the quick friendships you make when you join your rope team Entrusting Your Life

    Of all the goals I set for myself, climbing Mount Rainier, surrounded by the deep beauty and power of Mother Nature, is a performance that feels different from the others.

    "Mountaineering is a way for me to test both physically and mentally," says Bittner. "It helps me to understand what my body and mind are capable of when focused on a purpose that can be much more intense than the everyday struggles of life. It helps to put these struggles in the right perspective. "

    On clear days, I can see Mount Rainier outside my back door. I still look at it awesomely. When I look at the snow-capped peak, I feel like I can do it everywhere, if I can do it. No previous knowledge is necessary.

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