Training Newsletter - Get Started!
Welcome To One Of The Most Iconic Footpaths On Earth, The Inca Trail!
This newsletter is your pre-training program to get you started on not only thinking about your endeavor, but to help motivate you to get up, out and training.
Preparing To Train For Conquer The Trail - Inca Trail To Machu Picchu!
Our goal is to prepare you to meet the rigors that come with hiking the special nuances that not only make hiking the Inca Trail itself a challenge, but to overcome some of the mental and emotional challenges that are typically a part of all “Conquer” series hikes. By example, with Conquer The Canyon, the physical side of hiking Grand Canyon poses a unique situation of descending into the canyon knowing that with each step you take down must be repeated by taking one and a half steps back out. The mental side of it is that you know you are doing the easy part first and hardest part last. The most difficult part of the hike comes at a time when you are most physically and mentally depleted of energy.
Unlike the canyon, the Inca Trail hike goes up first. From the moment you step on the trail
until you reach Inti Punku (Sungate), your hike goes up. And up. And up! That is the physical
side you must prepare for. The mental and emotional sides are quite different than Grand
Canyon too. First, we arrive at the trailhead by train. Once we get off the train, we are
absolutely committed to walk or hike to our ultimate destination for the day, which is our
host hotel in Aguas Caliente. So from the moment you start you'll be facing what we call
the “all in” challenge. If you get off the train, you're walking the rest of the day!
So with that in mind, the best way for us to assure you that you will be safe and successful
in your trail experience is to give you all the tools you will need to prepare and train! So here
are the immediate "marching orders."
1. Start walking, hiking or running now. Wherever you live and play, start NOW!
2. Get your mind right! If you are not use to taking one way walks, runs or hikes, try it. It
has a different feel than loops or out and back activities. Have someone drop you off 3 or 4
kilometers downhill from your house with only your regular gear, water, a snack and your
phone. Now walk home. Build this up until you are doing several a week until you can
comfortably do 12 to 14k.
3. Start walking stairs and/or a stepper at the gym. The pictures you see of Machu Picchu
can be very deceiving. They usually make it all look fairly flat. It is not. It is perched on the side
of a very steep hill and mostly your experience on both the Inca Trail and Machu Picchu will involve lots and lots of stairs. So even if you were just visiting the citadel, most people get caught off guard thinking it is flat and they either can't or are not willing to walk to the top.
4. Respect the geography and elevation! Lima, Peru is our starting point and is a seaport city. The next stop is Cusco, which sits at 11,500 feet of elevation. You will have only a short time here and it is on to Ollyantatambo which is at (2792m) 9160 feet where you will have time to acclimate to the elevation change. From there we head down to the Urubamba Valley which is just over (2100m) 6900 feet above sea level. It is here that we begin our (600+m) 2000+ feet climb up the trail to a high point of nearly (2713m) 8,900 feet and then begin our descent to the Sungate (2500m) 8100 feet and down to Machu Picchu which is at approximately 7800 feet. Our daylong adventure ends at Aguas Caliente which is again at approximately 6500 feet.
Just a word about elevation/altitude illness. Unless you have extensive experience in being at higher elevations, you cannot really prepare for how your body will react to the thinner oxygen levels, especially above the 10,000 feet. If you have never had a negative reaction, or vice-versa, it doesn't mean you won't be affected here one way or another. It varies day-to-day. Though there is no physical training or preparation that will necessarily train your body for the thinner oxygen levels, our experience is that most people who physically train are better able to cope with it than those who don't. We will publish much more information about subject in later newsletters and this training website. In the meantime, we suggest you get up, out and start training NOW!
We will be publishing a more comprehensive training schedule and information shortly, but we are always ready for your questions. Please e-mail us. We appreciate the opportunity to share the exciting and exhillarating adventure with you and MM4MM!
Be sure to check out the photo gallery from some of the past Conquer The Trail adventures! Please click here.
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