If you're a beginner hiker planning to tackle the Tour du Mont Blanc, it's important to prepare yourself physically, mentally, and in terms of gear for the challenges of the trail. Here are some tips on how to train for the Tour du Mont Blanc as a beginner hiker:
Start small: When preparing for a hike such as Tour du Mont Blanc initially start with shorter hikes! To build your endurance and strength gradually increase your hike in distance and elevation gain.
Practice hiking with a backpack: The Tour du Mont Blanc requires carrying a backpack with your gear, food, and water. Get used to carrying a backpack by gradually increasing the weight you carry on your hikes. Luckily, the operator can transfer your luggage from accommodation to accommodation, so expect to carry about 10 kg in your backpack.
Strength training: Focus on strengthening your core, legs, and arms which will help you tackle the steep and rocky sections of the trail. Exercises such as lunges, squats, and planks can help improve your strength and stability.
Include cardio workouts: We know that many people don’t like cardio, however in this case, it’s important to increase your cardiovascular fitness because the Tour du Mont Blanc involves long days of hiking at high elevations. So build it up by running, cycling or even swimming.
Practice good nutrition and hydration: Great nutrition and hydration are key to maintaining energy and stamina whilst hiking. Get used to keeping a balanced diet, with snacks that are great for energy, and drinking plenty of water! Some great snack ideas are your classic trail mix which is a great source of protein, healthy fats, and carbohydrates. Make your own mix with nuts, seeds, dried fruit, and chocolate chips for a tasty and filling snack. Also, protein bars, nut butter packets, and cheese!
Prepare mentally: It’s not an easy hike! And training for it can be a challenge too! Keeping your motivation up and sticking to a training plan are hurdles we all face. Try techniques such as meditation, and affirmations. Set yourself realistic goals so you don’t get overwhelmed, and listen to your body sometimes the best thing you can do is take a break. Finally, celebrate your achievements! These techniques will also help you during the hike itself.
Train for endurance. The full Tour du Mont Blanc hike is 10 days and around 5-7 hours per day. However, remember there is also the option to do a shorter version of 5 and 7 days if you think it will be too long for your level.
Remember, this is not an exhaustive list but by following it you’ll be well on your way to preparing yourself for the challenges of Tour du Mont Blanc as a beginner hiker! Hopefully, this also shows that a hike such as TMB is doable even as a beginner! Take it slow and steady, and enjoy the journey as much as the destination.
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