To Walk to Hike to Trek

Above Pangboche Everest Base Camp trekClimb Every Mountain

A year ago today we, The Trainer (also my husband and not a personal trainer) and I flew from Melbourne into Kathmandu to trek to Everest Base Camp. We nearly cancelled the trip because of the earthquakes but had trained so much, we agreed to go. Two years earlier we had gone even though I didn’t  really want to go. We trained hard for the trek, we walked, biked, stepped, climbed, stretched and hiked for six months and in fact over trained but we didn’t make it to Base Camp.

In September 2015 we were well and truly prepared to try again.  We had trained for six months  – general fitness then building up to more intense training in the last three months, treadmill, walks, bike rides, stretching, stair training and I guess you could say hiked. I looked up a few definitions of hike.

hike    walk for a long distance, especially across country.
“they hiked across the moors”   synonyms: walk, go on foot, trek, tramp, trudge, traipse, slog, footslog, plod, march

We hiked, I trudged and tramped all over the river area near where we live and all over the hills in our neighbourhood with my trekking gear, boots, packs and trekking poles.

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This was much to the puzzlement of commuters passing by and to the amusement of hospital patients in their beds looking out the window onto one of our practising hills. No sooner did I arrive at the top of the hill than the Trainer pointed back down at the bottom, striding off leaving me resting at the top. I would get to the bottom and he strode back up telling me how many more times he wanted me to go up and down. Each training session he would add a little more water to the bottles in my back pack  slowly increasing its weight. Which brings me to the second definition which resonates with me:

 

hike – to walk or march a great distance, especially through rural  areas, for pleasure, exercise, military training, or the like.
Military training! Yes. And most the time it wasn’t pleasurable. I would come home from work  and have a backpack thrown at me and was told to get changed. Rain or shine, out we went. By the time we left for Kathmandu we were training five days a week including week nights. By the last week I was exhausted and near tears when he suggested a final training session.  That was in 2013. Last year I told him what I thought of his idea.
So Hike I think I know all about it. But have to add that I had never really hiked  or trekked before. So you hike to train for the trek because it is very hard to train for trekking. You experience trekking because trekking supposes some huge challenge and a journey in the big sense of the word, which trekking to Everest Base Camp is. And it is so worth all the training, it is the best thing I have ever done.
EBC Trek Dingboche Ridgetop

At 4200 metres on the Dingboche Ridgetop

I am retracing our steps over the next few weeks, re-blogging posts adding new material and combining some of the 2013 and 2015 trek posts so you can see the difference  a few months can make to the trek in terms of the weather. Adding more basic information too. Why don’t you join us, the Trainer and me?
Louise – and yes I am  over fifty. I have read some horror stories posted by young bloggers trekking to Everest Base Camp . Those treks are usually done too fast ( hence the vomiting and terrible headaches) and I will bet the ones complaining about all the aches and pains have not trained. Perhaps they need  a Trainer?
Above Pangboche Everest Base Camp trek

Above Pangboche

Other posts you may like to read.
An example of our last months training 2015
This post fitted perfectly with the Daily Post word prompt HIKE

Training for Everest Base Camp Trek

2015-05-11 10.59.01Incline Training For Everest Base Camp

I was pleased with my thirty minutes walking and twenty minutes jogging, both on an incline of two followed by fifteen minutes of walking on an incline of six on the treadmill tonight. Hopefully it will appease my personal trainer, disappointed because I had failed to complete two fitness sessions over the three-day break. The 14-kilometre ride on my bike wasn’t enough.

Seven months out from the trek we both agreed my training should be a mid week session and two sessions over my three-day weekend. I am pretty happy that I managed the slow jog on an incline. Jogging was part of my training preparation for the 2013 Everest Base Camp trek. I built up to participating in three  Sri Chinmoy five kilometres runs; not bad for never have jogged in my life before. Strangely I am missing the jogging component so I have started tacking on few short runs to my treadmill walks.

I usually listen to my MP3 player while I am on the treadmill or jogging. Tonight rather than distract myself with music I used the time to draft this blog in my head. Straight after my stretches I scribbled down my ideas.

Tip 1: I record my training on a calendar to track my progress. There have been times over the last two years since trying to get and stay fit, where there have been gaps due illness or injury. It is good tool to use as a reminder that it is possible to pick it up again.

Tip 2: Build the walking and incline training up very slowly. We live in a hilly area and have slowly been building more hills into our walks over the summer holidays. In a few months, we will get much more serious about the hill training.

 

Choir Practice

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A great way to start the week, singing with a choir, in this case a very big choir. Our version of The Prayer is taking time to perfect but starting to sound good. The interesting thing about singing with a choir is, my training seems to help my singing and my singing helps training because it helps my breathing. Mutually beneficial.

I love my choir… Open Door Community Singers

Soul Food While You Train

A beautiful weekend spent at the beach with my book club friends. The walk over the cliff tops and along the beach was a beautiful training opportunity.

Looking back towards Cape Patterson

A change of pace and place for Everest Base Camp Trek training for me over the weekend. I was the photographer this time.

Training for EBC in July and August

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Photo above was of our secret stair training locations. Eight flights of stairs ten minutes from home. great for winter training because it was totally covered.

July

Week 1…Stairs 45 min;  Treadmill walk run. on 1 step incline, 35 minutes; I stopped counting the steps and we started recording time.

Week 2…Stairs 50 min; Treadmill 45 min, 43.5 km, step incline 1, vft 143, 10 min run; Hill walk Viewbank, 1 hour 5 min; Treadmill 36 min, 4 km, vft 131.

Week 3…Stairs 1 hour, 4000 steps; Treadmill 3.65 km, 1270 vft; Treadmill 3km, 33min, 100 vft;

Week 4… Stairs 4,368 steps; Treadmill 4.256 km, 1559 vft. weight in pack 2.3k, 15 step incline; treadmill 3.038 km, 1120 vft., 2.4 kg weight.

Week 5… Treadmill 4.010 km,1580 vft, 56 min, 2.4 kg weight in pack; Walk on track 9 km, 2 hours 10 minutes: treadmill 3.117 km., 1506 vft in 51 min. on 15 step incline

August

Week 1…Treadmill 3.8 km, 1721 vft.,1 hour; Stairs 3,800 stairs 1 hour; Treadmill 3.825 km., 1500 vft.: Walk 9 km, 2.5 – 3 hours with trekking poles.

Week 2… Stairs 70min: Walk to Rosanna 8km: treadmill 3.92 km., 1502 vft., 1 hour; Treadmill 3.825 km., 1609 vft.: Walk hill and track training 8.3 km, 2 hours 40 min.

Week 3…Bike to Petty’s Orchard, fell off bike: Stairs; Treadmill 4.144 km., 1787 vft.; Treadmill 4.810 km, 2000 vft.; Walk 6 km. at Cape Patterson.

Week 4… Walk at beach, Cape Patterson; Walk hills, 9 km., small pack; Treadmill 4.113 km., 1767 vft., 1 hour and feeling very tired; Stairs 60 min; Walk 11.5 km.

What we were training for – The 2015 Trek

A glimpse of the trail

But if you want you can jump to Day One of the 2015 Trek Lukla to Phakding or get a taste of an Acclimatisation Day at Dingboche or you want to skip straight to one the best bits feeling on top the world at Kala Pattar.

If you are not convinced the incline training for EBC is worth the effort read 25 Reasons to Trek to Everest Base Camp.  

 

Counting Down to Our EBC Trek

Today is our second last Monday out with the ‘roos at the back of Templestowe doing hill training. Seeing large mobs of kangaroos moving between the paddocks, orchard and scrub areas around the mountain bike trails and the rough tracks of the Main Yarra River Trail is always special. They are amazingly powerful animals, quite curious and we have had a few close encounters with the bigger ones as they are so well camouflaged.

Appropriately we were rained upon today as chances are we will get wet this time around on our trek as it is the end of the monsoon season. I was also practising with my new camera. Looking at the results I need a lot more practice!

The last two weeks will be packing, some training, preparing for a three week break at work and adding more posts on the 2015 Trek  section. So watch that space.

Training for EBC in May and June

TIPS

  • Keep a training calendar.

  • Enter details straight after training or you will forget, then get into a hot bath.

  • Undercover stairs are a great option during the winter months.

May – training three days a week, starting incline training on the treadmill.

Week 1…Walk 1.5 hours, Hills @ Templestowe; Treadmill 30 min 1 km run, vertical feet (vft) 500, 2.706 km Week 2…Treadmill 3 km, 25 min, no incline, 65 steps on new stepper; Walk 65 min fast walk to Rosanna, 5.5 km; Hill climbing (?) Week 3…Bike, Bridge at Templestowe to Petty’s Orchard; Hills (?); Treadmill 4km, incline 800 vft, 46 minutes; Treadmill 4km run,1 km walk cool down. in 46.5 minutes on 1 step  incline. Week 4…Treadmill incline training,1 hour, 4.73 km 5 and 7 step inclines, 1052 vft.; Treadmill 30 min, 2.6 km, 1 incline 53 vft.; Walk Plenty River Trail, Viewbank, 1 hr 45 min, off trail hills.

Perfect for Everest Base Camp Hill training

This is one of our favourite training hills because it is steep! That’s Sam half way down the hill and my daughter is the speck at the top.

June – training three days a week, 1 slow week, started step training

Week 1… Treadmill 4km total – 3 km run on 0.5 incline in 27 min, 1 km on 10 step inlcine, 40 min, 346 vft. No other training this week. Week 2… Run at Rosanna Park; Weekend away, Heathcote 7 km walk. Week 3… Walk, Plenty River Trail Viewbank off trail hills; Run 4km at Rosanna Park; Treadmill incline training, 10.5 step incline,  30 min,1.997 km; Stairs at La Trobe 2,304 steps Week 4…Walk at Rosanna Park 5 km ; Walk, Plenty River Trail Viewbank, 6 km “6 laps”; Stairs at La Trobe 2,000 steps; Walk, Plenty River Trail Viewbank,”8 laps”, 1 hour 10 min. Week 5… Stairs at La Trobe, 2,250 steps, 40 minutes.

* Stairs have been a good option during the Winter months.

Training for EBC February March and April

February Training

Week 1…Walk to park 5km; Treadmill 5.8km no incline; Treadmill incline 5, 2.44 km, 5 min bike, stretches; stretches Week 2…Trail walk & treadmill 6.5 km 400 vft.; Walk to Rosanna park one lap. Week 3…Treadmill 5.1km, 1hour, 900vft.; Treadmill 15 mins, 1.2 km, 74vft ; Walk to park, half a lap Week4…Treadmill 3 km, 33.5 mins, 415 vft; walk to park 1 hour 20 mins; Bike ride 11km Heidelberg to East Ivanhoe.

March Training

Week 1…Treadmill 5.423km, 1 hour 20 mins, walk/ run 413 vft ; Treadmill 7 incline, 626 vft, 2.578 km, 30 mins; Bike 12 km Templestowe to Petty’s Orchard Week 2…Treadmill 30 min walk on 2 incline, 20 min run on 2 incline, 20 min on 6 incline; Walk /run at Rosanna Park 1 hour 20 mins Week 3…Bike at river Mountain Trail Bike path Week 4…Run 4 kids, incidental walking as support team; Treadmill incline 30 mins, 2.512km,8 incline 510vft; 1 hour 20 min hill walks and “off piste” terrain Week 5…Bike Odyssey House to Petty’s Orchard (Pedal for Parkinson’s); Treadmill 10 minutes; Bike to Fairfield boathouse, 1 hour 15 min12 – 13 k, Treadmill 10 min 7 incline 11min 1 km…April… Treadmill 4 km, 47 min,15 min on 7.5 incline; Fast walk to Fairfield Boat House along Main Yarra Trail to Studley Park boathouse and back; Walk 9 – 10 km, Fairfield to Gipps Street bridge / Yarra Bend.

April Training

Week 2…Walk to Rosanna; Walk back of Templestowe (Boot Camp 6); Walk to Rosanna park and some jogging 59 mins: Walk Week 3…Bike Ride 13km, Heidelberg to Odyssey House and the alpaca; Templestowe hill trail with trekking poles, 7 km, 2 hours; Treadmill 4 km run and 1 km on incline Week 4…Treadmill 2km, 7 incline, 27:25 min, 462 vft; Walk 7 km, 2 hours Plenty River Trail, Treadmill 3km, 27 min, 1.5 incline; Treadmill 1 hour, 4.808 km, 6 step incline, 927 vft; Treadmill 5km, 2km on 8 step incline, 3km on 1 step incline, 599 vft. Week 5…Walk Plenty River Trail, 1 hour, 4km; treadmill run, 1.5 incline, 200 vft. 4km in 31min; Treadmill 30 min ”Central Park” 28 mins, 20 min walking on 6 incline, two lots on incline training.  

POSTSCRIPT –

Is all the training and the tedious list necessary? I trekked to all the way to Gorak Shep without a blister and with very little in the way of aches and pains thanks to the training. Put “Trek to Everest Base Camp” as your Fitness Challenge or on your bucket list. You won’t regret it and it maybe the one the best things you do. Chances are you will do it again. Trekking in Nepal is addictive.

Where on earth is Gorak Shep? Read this…

 

Training for the EBC Trek in January

January 2015 – school holidays and a cool January

Sunday 4 – Saturday 10
4… Walk Waterfall Gully to My Lofty (Adelaide)
5… Walk along Henley Beach
6… Stretches
7… Stretches
8… Stretches

Sunday 11 – Saturday 17
11…Stretches, Walk / Run 55 minutes
12… Stretches, Walk to Hazelwood Park
13… Fly to Melbourne
14…Hill Trail walk Templestowe 1.5 hour
15… Stretches, 5 minute spin bike, 40-minute treadmill
16… Walk Canoe launch, around off main trail tracks to Petty Orchard return
17… Stretches

Sunday 18 – Saturday 24
18… Walk / Run 2 laps at Rosanna Park
19… Stretches, Bike ride to East Ivanhoe. First time on Mountain Bike Trail
20… Sore after MBT ride
21… Rosanna Park Walk 8 kilometres
23… Plenty Hill Trail with Bike. 5 kilometres, 1 hour.

Sunday 25 – Saturday 31
25… Walk at Rosanna Park, some jogging, 1.5 hours
26… Walk Heidelberg to Rosanna, 6 kilometres
27 … Stretches
30 … Bike Viewbank to the Orchard, 18.5 kilometres
31… Treadmill 38 mins, 10 min walk @ 5.5 Km, 10- 12 min run @ 6.5 km, 10 mins 1 incline 5 / 5 km, 229 Vertical Feet (VFT)

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Bonus on my run meeting twelve week old Junior the Boston Terrier

Four More Long Walks

Everest Base Camp Countdown

I wanted a calendar to countdown to our flight on 20 September but I couldn’t get the widget working.  So here is the count down – about four and a half weeks to go. Forget counting the sleeps. According to the Trainer only four more long walks left.

One Bike Trail Too Many

Yesterday the Trainer and I had one hill too many and couldn’t bear the idea of our usual Sunday stair training for Everest Base Camp on such a beautiful sunny winter day. Cross training on the bike and the destination of Petty’s Orchard including apple pie sounded a better option.

We started out from the cable suspension bridge at Templestowe. As we rode through Westerfolds Park I thought about why I loved cycling so much. You can meander on a bike, glide, speed, race and coast on bikes. You can sing, chat, explore and be adventurous on tracks off the main trail. The Trainer had said he wanted to do one steep hill off the main track and then rejoin the trail to the orchard.

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He also wanted to “forage around ” his words, a MTB (Mountain Trail Bike) trail we had tackled on one other occasion but found it too challenging. This time we tried in reverse, going down hill. The Trainer reasoned this would be easier for us.

Cursing under my breath, concentrating on staying on the 30 centimetre wide windy track, avoiding ruts, roots, trees and saplings growing right alongside the track while trying to maintain to the right speed between stationary and slow while going down hill was beyond my skills. I started going off the trail, put the brakes on, apparently I must have used the front brakes because I flew off the bike, over the handlebars. Hands came out to break the fall, the visor broke off my helmet, saving my nose and my lips kissed the ground.

The Trainer rushed back and picked me up, dusted me off, cleaned my face, checked my injuries, fixed my helmet and twisted handle bars and then suggested we continue back on the same track! Barely able to hold one of the handlebars we rejoined the main trail ,rode slowly to the orchard and returned slowly back to the car.

I love my bike but some MTB trails will be strictly off limits from now on. Danger man can go it alone.

Bicycle Love

Getting Serious with the Training

Everest Base Camp Incline Training

I just finished 1721 vertical feet a distance of 3.8 kilometres in an hour on the treadmill. I was meant to get to 2000 vertical feet. After the classic comment from the personal trainer…

Did you enjoy it?

His typical comment. Truth is I didn’t enjoy it. It was great to finish but I feel great now.

(The photo does not correspond to the text).

Going For 1500 Vertical Feet

Sustained Incline Training for EBC Trek

TIP    Hill and treadmill incline training is important preparation for the EBC trek.

Having a personal trainer helps even if you live with them! ‘Smile!’ he said. I flung the towel at him. He laughed, ‘Straighten up. Strengthen those back muscles. Do 1500.’

Correcting my slight stoop with a hand either side of my lower back. Easy for him to say he wasn’t the one on the level 15 step incline, the highest on the treadmill. ‘Do you want the ipod? Turn on the air conditioner.’ No all I want is peace. Go away and let me mull on my blog posts that I need to write and publish. I finished the 1500 vertical feet in 51 minutes.

Now hopefully he will be happy given I missed my mid week training session. I look at the 555 calories burnt and  am reminded of the two pieces of homemade banana cake I ate for breakfast.

1500 vertical feet

Incline training today

Training for EBC update

We have been planning a return trip to Nepal for a second attempt at trekking to Everest Base Camp since mid 2014. We paid for our flight to Kathmandu one week before Nepal’s first earthquake three months ago. Since then and the second quake we have followed the news of Nepal. With Plan B up our sleeve we have continued to plan and train.

Pre training started in mid January and included hill training, jogging and cycling. In June the personal trainer cranked it up and we started intensive hill and stair climbing and recently incline training with backpacks.

Yesterday we climbed over 4,000 steps. After 35 minutes we had a five minute break walking to the water fountain. I was reminded of how exhilarating it feels to feel really fit, something I felt for the first time in my life on our 2013 trek towards Everest Base Camp.

Everest Base Camp Trek

Almost there! The infamous climb to Namche Bazaar almost finished.

Horse Whispering on the Track

Tried out my horse whispering skills while training today. A rendition of Shosholoza complete with some mouth percussion and clapping did the trick and attracted three horses over.

training and soul food

Horse whispering while training today. Sometimes the magic finds you and sometimes you just have to make it happen.

training and fitness

He seemed to like my rendition of my favourite choir song. The mouth percussion helped.

Registering for a 5k Sri Chinmoy

Aside

Registering for a 5k Sri Chinmoy

Just realised that I am missing my short term goals like my Sri Chinmoy 5k organised runs. I actually am starting to miss running. Go figure. Who would have ever thought…

Too Many Hot Cross Buns

Ok, I confess. For breakfast this morning I ate my sixth or was it my seventh, hot cross bun since Thursday night? Trouble is that will be nothing compared to what I will eat at Nonna’s for tea tonight.But it’s Boot Camp day nine and my personal trainer has been in my ear. So I jumped on the treadmill.

TODAY    Treadmill – varied routine

\ 10 minutes on 7 step incline with 1 kg hand weights

\ 12 minutes on 7 step incline walking

\ 10 minutes on 2.5 step incline walking and slow jogging at 5.5 km/hour

\ 20 minutes on 2.5 step incline at 5.5 km/hour

\ I finished off with a little burst at 7. 5 km/hour to get the total to 5 kilometres.

Boot Camp Day 9 Treadmill - To run off the hot cross buns.

Boot Camp Day 9 Treadmill – To run off the hot cross buns.

Beautiful River Walks

Boot Camp Days Seven and Eight

Two beautiful morning walks in the superb autumn weather. Exploring new bits of the Main Yarra Trail.

Day 7  Yesterday we walked from the Fairfield Boat House along the Main Yarra Trail and then into the Yarra Bend Park and back. A fast walk 10 km 1 hour 45 minutes walk.

Day 8  Fairfield Boat House to the Collingwood Children’s Farm and then over the Gipps Street bridge to the Yarra Bend Park and back to Fairfield, a 9 – 10 km walk I hour 45 minutes.

Boot Camp Out with the Kangaroos

TODAY – First day of limited use of trekking poles since the 2013 trek. Hill training. I forgot to write down how long the walk was on my training calendar.

hill training

Base Camp Six – out with the roos