I think it’s going to be important to send out an email to the rest of the group about training. I also need to email our mountain guide about some of the details about water. I have a feeling that people underestimate the value and necessity for really good training. Ahsan and I talked about this yesterday. Maybe they think walking is enough. But it seems to me that you have to train for the conditions that you will be walking through. Not that I can claim familiarity with any inch of Pakistani soil, but here is what I do know: we will be trekking for sustained periods of time in a general upwardly direction over uneven surfaces while carrying packs. Our starting altitude will be high and will only get higher, which means as the days pass we will be experiencing decreases in oxygen levels. So from those “knowns” you can develop a training program that simulates those conditions. That much we can control. We can’t control the weather, which is expected to swing from over 100F to below freezing, nor can we train for it. I think we have to train for all other conditions and be prepared for the weather the best we can. I would think these would be the basics of any training program:

  • You have to be conditioned for long, sustained efforts
  • You have to train for weight bearing movement
  • You have to have the leg strength, stamina and ankle flexibility to deal with uneven surfaces
  • You have to prepare your lungs, but also your muscles, to operate without oxygen

So this means a combination of endurance, weight and agility training with a serious dose of max and threshold work to make sure that your body’s oxygen transport system is fully up and running. It is more than just walking.