Foot Prints

Getting Fit for the Inca Trail

In planning for my trip to Peru in May, 2012 and trek on the Inca Trail, being fit is essential. It’s difficult to know where to start when trying to establish a training program. Sure, I could always hire a personal trainer to guide me, but that gets expensive quickly. So it’s time to get creative.

I came across these two resources while browsing trying to determine my exercise program. Between the book “The Outdoor Athlete” and the DVD “Train to Climb Mt. Rainier” by produced by Body Results, I should be well on the way to determine my training program for the next four months.

My Training Plan

In the spirit of “Seven Habits for Highly Effective People”, planning my mode of attack for my training program is fully in effect this week. After all, January 1st, and the New Year is just around the corner. To do this, I am going to establish my goals using the SMART system for goal setting. Also highlighted in “The Outdoor Athlete”, SMART Goal setting helps you to really set the benchmark for success. Goal setting should be:

  • Specific – specifically identify what the goal is, determine who will participate in achieving the goal, set how the goal will be achieved, and when the goal is to be achieved.
  • Measurable – establish the final goal, and create milestones along the way to assess if the path towards the goal is being followed.
  • Achievable – make sure it’s a goal that is reachable.
  • Relevant – ensure the goal is appropriate for what you want to achieve, for both the short term and the long term.
  • Timely – create an effective timeline to accomplish the goal that has been set.

So here goes my attempt in establishing my training goal for the Inca Trail.

SPECIFIC – To be able to hike the Inca Trail in three and 1/2 days. Total distance of 26 miles, 7000 + feet of altitude gain throughout the trek, and to traverse up and down over 3,000 Inca steps. My friends and I will be doing this on May 12, 2012 and the ultimate destination is Machu Picchu. We will be able to do this trek with the assistance of SAS Travel, and their porters who will carry 6 – 9 kilos of our personal belongings. We will still need to carry daypacks with water, snacks, jackets and other essentials. 

MEASURABLE – In order to achieve this, a fitness program will be developed over the time period of January through the end of April, 2012. Progressive milestones include:

  • January
    • Have complete physical check up with primary doctor, pulmonary specialist and possible cardiovascular specialist.
    • Hike at least four times with distances at least 9 miles each.
    • Continue stretching program of yoga twice weekly (began in December).
    • Build up stair climbing to 100 steps per session (in house, 26 steps going in one direction = 4 times up and down) once daily 3x weekly.
    • Begin exercise program twice a week.
  • February
    • Hike weekly, adding double header weekend on Feb 4 & 5.
    • Decrease stretching program of yoga to once weekly.
    • Increase exercise program to 3x weekly.
    • Do stair climbing of 100 steps per session twice daily 3x weekly.
  • March
    • Hike weekly, including double header weekend.
    • Continue stretching program of yoga 1x weekly.
    • Continue exercise program 3x weekly.
    • Increase Stair climbing to 200 steps per session (8 times up and down) once daily 3x weekly.
  • April
    • Hike weekly. Add triple header session with altitude.
    • Increase stretching program of yoga to 2x weekly.
    • Decrease exercise program to 2x weekly.
    • Increase stair climbing of 200 steps per session twice daily 3x weekly.
    • Contact Passport health for inoculations for trip.
  • MAY ! 
    • Depart on May 5 – rest prior to trip.

ACHIEVABLE? – Need to create effective calendar to keep on training schedule. Save Sundays for rest days. I see my plan as totally doable.

TIMELY? – four months of training and planning for the Inca Trail is plenty of time. This will allow me to gradually build strength and stamina. Clearly successfully completing the Inca Trail healthy, safe and sound will be the ultimate achievement.

Wish me luck !!

5 replies »

  1. Could you share how this plan worked out for you? I am actually going to be hiking the trail this May and am looking for a good training plan. Any guidance/advice would be much appreciated!

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