As a coach and licensed massage therapist, I love being able to work with all kinds of athletes. From amateurs to pros. Also, non athletes, that just want to get out there and do something. But, they are just not sure where to start their incredible new journey.
One such person, is my client, Candie. One day she decided she wanted to climb a mountain. Mt. Machu Picchu, in Peru. So, she came to me for help in getting herself ready.
Candie is a typical middle aged woman. Not a regular gym rat. So, I asked her what she had been doing to try and get herself ready. Her answer, "A few min on the treadmill or row machine." That's it?!
First thing I had her do was get a backpack, fill it, and get on the stepmill. I told her, “You don't have to go fast, but you want a steady pace so you don't lag behind.” She'll be with a group. “You want to be able to do it for at least an hour or more by the time your ready to go.” Each time she gets on, she has to push herself a little longer, till her endurance gets better. It was pretty rough for her at the start, but now she is up to 25 min.
The longest leg of her trip was be a 2 hour hike, straight up steep steps. For training we work on her legs mostly, with occasional back and arms for strength to help pull herself up. She was not be repelling or scaling this mountain. It's mainly stairs, preceded by hiking long treks for a few days to get there.
Here is a picture of her doing a practice run on a 7 mile hike to help break in her new equipment. She has several hikes like this lined up to help her prepare for the big one.
The only thing that would be hard to replicate would be the altitude. A lot of people get altitude sickness and can't complete the trip. One of my first clients had that unfortunate thing happen to him the day before he was supposed to reach the summit. He ended up having to slowly climb his way back down, while the rest kept going. He is about 30 yrs old and works out regularly. So, it can get to anyone, no matter what shape your in.
After our training together, Candie was able to complete the hike and keep up with her group with no problem.