Salkantay Treks Preparations: For Salkantay Treks to Machu Picchu you do not need to be a super athlete nor a mountaineer but a few weeks of training, prior to arriving in Cusco, will enhance your experience. It will not be more enjoyable spending the trip of a lifetime struggling to walk the trails every day when a little sensible preparation before you arrive would make the trails so much more rewarding.
One of the most frequent questions I am asked by people who are planning to trek in Peru is how to prepare for Salkantay Treks to Machu Picchu.
Assuming that you have the basic physical conditioning equal to the trek that you have chosen to do, preparing for the trek is fairly straightforward. There are three basic components of Salkantay Treks Preparations – aerobic, strength, and mental. Aerobic conditioning is important primarily because you will trekking in thin air, up to 40% less than at sea level.
With good aerobic conditioning you will be able to better metabolize whatever oxygen is available to you, not only bringing energy to your leg muscles, but minimizing the potential effects of Altitude Mountain Sickness (AMS). You should plan on doing at least one hour of aerobic conditioning at least 4 times per week for 2 months or more before your arrival in Cusco. This can be running, cycling (outdoor or stationary), Nordic track, hill climbing, or any exercise that gets your heart rate into the aerobic range (70% of your maximum heart rate) for sustained periods of time.
Even if you are in good overall physical condition you may not have the right muscles well-conditioned for the kind of trekking terrain you will experience in Salkantay Trek to Machu Picchu. Building good leg muscle strength in the gym is helpful but it is also very important that you exercise the exact muscles that you will depend on when you trek. Hiking in hilly areas for at least two hours per day with some weight on your back is the best way to do this. Not only will it make your climbs up steep mountain trails easier and more enjoyable, but even more importantly it will help with the long descents down steep trails.
You might think that the biggest challenge of High Mountain trekking is going up but actually it is descending that creates the most problems for trekkers. In the gym be sure to focus on building strength in your quadriceps, the muscles that take on the entire burden going downhill. If you have weak quads you will be likely to step down heavily, possibly leading to ankle, knee and other problems during the trek. Tai Chi is also an excellent exercise for trekkers as it focuses not only on strengthening these muscles but also on technique for stepping lightly and safely. The Tai Chi technique of well-balanced “weightless stepping” is ideal for navigating steep, uneven trail surfaces for many hours per day.
We highly recommended you arrive to Cuzco two days before you start the Salkantay Trek to Machu Picchu for your successful acclimatization; Meanwhile you can take our day tours like city Tour half day, Sacred Valley of the Incas or mountain bike.
The Salkantay Treks Preparations
- The Salkantay Trek to Machu Picchu is considered a challenging trek; the highest pass is located at 4600m so, It is highly recommended you train hard prior to hike Salkantay Trek to Machu Picchu to make the experience more pleasant.
- So it is important to be in good physical condition before you start the trek and the best way is to do a lot of walking.
- Try to spend an hour a day on the road. Walk upstairs rather than take a lift, if possible, walk or cycle when you would normally drive or ride a bus, take the dog for a walk. Jogging and aerobics will also hand.
- Run a few miles most days is probably the best single physical activity, which will hand. It does not have to be too complicated. While you are training you can also be breaking in those new trekking boats that may otherwise give you blisters on the first day out on the trail. Those who are planning to climb one of the trekking peaks need to be physically very fit. Please also be mentally prepared for Salkantay Trek to Machu Picchu.