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Training | Don't underestimate the difficulty of the world's top route, the Tour du Mont Blanc (Scientific Training)

As one of the world's top 10 hiking challenges, pre-trip preparation for the TMB Tour du Mont Blanc trek is essential. Especially the full distance of more than 160 kilometers means long walks of 6 to 8 hours a day for more than a week continuously. Therefore, physical fitness preparation is very important to stay in good physical and mental shape to complete this challenge.


Physical training prior to a multi-day trek is vital, as these activities require more or less physical commitment depending on the difficulty of the trek you choose.


Tour du Mont Blanc Guide: Science of Training

环勃朗峰徒步指南:科学训练篇


If you do endurance sports (e.g., swimming, running, biking, muscle building, etc.) several times a week and hike regularly, especially before setting out on a hike, you may be ready for a week-long hike that is appropriate for your level.


However, if you lead a sedentary office life, you'll need to prepare and plan your training weeks or even months in advance, or you may break down physically and mentally and give up halfway through the hike.




Physical Training

科学的体能训练


Two months before your departure, you can start your physical training according to the pyramid principle: start with short walks, gradually increase the time and then reduce the walking speed again in the last week. The goal is to acclimatize your muscles to this repetitive load while also making you aware of the effort required. Always carry a backpack and trekking poles that normally weigh the same as you are used to hiking.


For the first week, start with a 3-hour hike, choosing hilly or mountainous terrain and at least 1 hour of endurance training (e.g., swimming, running, biking). Over the next few weeks, gradually extend the hiking time to quickly reach 5-6 hours of walking (adjusting the time according to your route) and climb mountains with a similar elevation change as when you came to the Tour du Mont Blanc.



Maintain this hiking intensity once or twice a week for the next 6 weeks. Also, add a run, bike ride or swim of about 1 hour and 30 minutes once a week. The week before you leave, reduce the intensity of your training by taking a short 2-hour hike or active walk.



During preparation, stretch regularly, especially to increase flexibility, keep joints mobile and avoid muscle soreness. When pain is felt, make sure you don't overexert yourself and don't stretch in a rushed manner to avoid causing bodily harm.



Altitude's Tip:

Always make sure you are in good physical condition before you leave so you can avoid or mitigate the risk of injury while better enjoying your outdoor trip.



Scientific Diet Plan

科学的饮食计划


Any good athlete knows that a varied and well-balanced diet helps to better improve your athletic performance, while increasing endurance and reducing the chances of injury. So managing your energy intake is also key to fitness results!



Carbohydrates provide energy to cells. When ingested, they are converted to glucose and stored in our liver and muscles in the form of glycogen. It is very abundant in the liver and very little in the muscles. As a result, muscle tissue is quickly depleted, which is why it's important to make sure you have enough glycogen reserves in your muscles before hiking and to fuel your muscles as the effort progresses, otherwise you'll feel extremely fatigued and "cotton-legged". So be careful with your carbohydrates !



We often talk about the energy supply of slow and fast sugars. But the most important thing to consider is the glycemic index: the amount of sugar in the blood. If the blood sugar level is too high, the blood sugar level rises, and the blood sugar level rises. The body then produces large amounts of insulin to bring it down quickly. But this rapid increase and then rapid decrease in blood sugar levels can lead to feelings of extreme fatigue.



Before the TMB Mont Blanc trek:

It is important to consume low or moderate glycemic index foods in the first few days of the trek to build up sufficient glycogen reserves in your muscles: unrefined grains, foods rich in fats (chickpeas, lentils, red beans), nuts, almonds, whole-grain rice, whole-wheat bread, tomato paste, bleu cheese, oatmeal, dark chocolate, apples, oranges, bananas, kiwi, and so on. But as mentioned earlier, a varied diet is the foundation of good physical fitness. In addition to low-glycemic-index foods, you should add high-glycemic-index vegetables and foods (e.g., pasta, potatoes, white bread, raisins ......) to improve digestion and provide you with essential nutrients and vitamins.



During the TMB Mont Blanc trek:

During the trek you will need to find a balance between foods with a low and high glycemic index that are easy to eat and carry in your backpack: nuts (almonds, walnuts, hazelnuts, etc.), dried fruits, dark chocolate, wholemeal bread, fresh fruits, hard-boiled eggs, mashed jams. Our company altitude trekker will prepare all this for you with care.

Regular breaks for regular refueling: if you are setting off with our team, don't worry, the entourage will provide you with tasty snacks and a picnic lunch prepared by the guides, specially designed to manage your physical fitness.



During the TMB Mont Blanc trek:

During the trek you will need to find a balance between foods with a low and high glycemic index that are easy to eat and carry in your backpack: nuts (almonds, walnuts, hazelnuts, etc.), dried fruits, dark chocolate, wholemeal bread, fresh fruits, hard-boiled eggs, mashed jams. Our company altitude trekker will prepare all this for you with care.

Regular breaks for regular refueling: if you are setting off with our team, don't worry, the entourage will provide you with tasty snacks and a picnic lunch prepared by the guides, specially designed to manage your physical fitness.



Scientific Hydration

科学的补充水分


Our bodies are made up of an average of 70% water, which is vital and essential for life! Thus, water is present everywhere in the body: about 75% in the body fluids, brain, kidneys, lungs and muscle tissue. The body of a 70 kg person contains about 49 kg of water!



But what role does water have in the body? All cells are made up of water. It ensures the mobility of the blood, transports various substances to the inside and outside of each cell, removes waste products from the body, eliminates waste products from the body through urine and regulates the body temperature through sweating (which should be maintained at 37°), which expels excess heat generated as a result of exercise. Water loss due to sweating is approximately 1 liter per hour, but this amount can increase rapidly depending on the external temperature, air quality and intensity of exercise.



In the absence of any exercise, the minimum water requirement of the body is 1.5 liters/day, but the body cannot store water. Therefore, you need to drink water regularly and in small amounts. This is because if you drink a lot of water at once, your body's water circulatory system will be disturbed. Sodium in the water will enter your body too quickly, causing an imbalance and disrupting the kidneys, which don't have enough time to get rid of the excess sodium. Too much water can also quickly dilute the sodium level in your blood, which can lead to discomfort.



It is important to know that a 1% loss of body water decreases your body's capacity by 10%. Dehydration may lead to: increased heart rate, decreased blood volume and blood pressure, headaches, decreased concentration, muscle fatigue, cramps and muscle tension, increased risk of injury, and decreased recovery.



As you can understand, staying hydrated is vital whether the weather is cold or hot. When it's cold, we may not feel thirsty, but we still sweat when we exercise and therefore lose water. This is the time to remember to drink tea, beverages or soup! When it's hot, we almost have to force ourselves to drink water to make up for the large amount of water we lose. Regardless of whether you are thirsty or not, you should regularly follow these principles:

Before the event (the night before and in the morning before you leave) to ensure you stay hydrated before the event starts

During the event to make up for any dehydration caused by sweating.

After the event, when you return to your accommodation, make sure you re-hydrate and re-mineralize.



Altitude's Tip:

Prioritize foods with a low or medium glycemic index before your hike

If it's cold, bring a hot water bottle and have a little hot soup or tea for lunch

Chew slowly and drink small amounts of water during breaks.



If you like tranquility

如果你喜欢宁静


Entering early October also means that the Tour du Mont Blanc trekking season is drawing to a close. At this time of year, crowds are sparse, offering a unique experience for trekkers who love peace and quiet. At this time of year, trekking the Tour du Mont Blanc is more likely to result in wildlife encounters and allows you to feel the vibrancy of nature. As fall progresses, temperatures gradually drop and the first snowfalls occur at higher altitudes, making Mont Blanc in the distance look especially spectacular against the fresh snow. If you seek a hiking experience unlike any other and appreciate the beauty and serenity of solitude, the Tour du Mont Blanc in October awaits your exploration.



How to Choose Your Best TMB Time

环勃朗峰徒步时间选择



There is no such thing as the "perfect" month to do the Tour du Mont Blanc! The best time to do it depends on your personal expectations, preferences and schedule, and often compromises may need to be made for various reasons. For example, you may want to avoid the crowds, but want to hike in warm weather. In this case, you need to decide which factor is more important. If you are unable to choose a month, you do not need to get too hung up on it, as each month has its own unique scenery.



For those who want to sign up for our Tour du Mont Blanc trek, don't worry if you can't choose the best month to trek, our team of professional and enthusiastic guides will help and advise you accordingly. Whether it's snowshoeing or heat and fitness issues, our guides will be by your side to ensure that your trekking experience is both safe and enjoyable. If necessary, we can even help you shorten your journey by using public transportation. Of course, basic fitness is still a must. If you are feeling challenged, training in advance will be helpful. If you have any other questions about how to prepare for the Tour du Mont Blanc trek, please feel free to leave a comment on our public website or contact our customer service directly for advice!




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