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Train Smart, Climb High: Steer Clear of These 5 Common Mountaineering Training Mistakes

Training is a crucial and fundamental part of preparing for a high altitude trek/expedition. There is no getting around it - if you want to climb a mountain or complete a long trek then you are absolutely going to have to train hard and work for it.


That’s why today, I’m going to dive into the five training mistakes that I see time and time again. The goal with today’s Dispatch is to share these mistakes in a educational and helpful way so that you can avoid them and move from your start to your summit in a efficient and successful way.

With that in mind, let’s dive in!

Mountaineering Training; The Jubiläumsgrat

Mistake 1: Inconsistent Training

Hands up if you’ve been guilty of sporadic training sessions that lack consistency?

If you mentally said yes, know that you’re not alone and that this is THE NUMBER ONE mistake I see when it comes to training for a high altitude adventure.


Consistency is the absolute bedrock of effective training - Put it this way, even if you did 50% of your training consistently, you’d still see a greater improvement compared to someone who does 100% sporadically and inconsistently.


I have an 80% rule with my clients - as long as they are completing 80% of their weekly training volume then I’m happy. Anytime that percentage slips below 80 then they often get a *loving* kick up the arse message and a reminder of what a summit/trek attempt will look like if their inconsistency becomes consistent.

Consistency is key. If you get this one thing right then you’re half way there.


Mistake 2: Poor Training Progression

Training progression is a delicate balance - Overexertion or rapid advancement can lead to injury or burnout but on the same note, under exertion will leave your fitness and strength stagnant and with zero progression. By gradually increasing the stimulus during each training session, you allow your body to adapt, get stronger and fitter but also reduce the time you need to recover.


Tip: You can increase the training stimulus by increasing the duration, increasing your overall weekly training volume, increasing weight, reps and sets and by reducing your rest periods.


Mistake 3: Nutrition

Nutrition plays a vital role in optimising your training performance and the physiological adaptations that come with it. The goal with your nutrition, is to fuel your training so that you’re able to give 100% in each session and reap the full physiological benefits of that effort. Eating the right amount with the best macronutrient split is what will allow you to give 100% and gradually, without knowing it, get down to your ideal mountaineering & trekking weight.

Mistake 4: Lack of Mountain Specific Exercises

Training for mountaineering and trekking requires a specific focus on building strength, endurance, and balance that aligns with the demands of mountaineering and trekking. Incorporating exercises that simulate the challenges you’ll likely face, such as doing lunges onto an uneven surface, varying the height of your step ups or practicing side steps up for the Piolet Ramasse (a technique used for ascending steep slopes), will all enhance your preparedness for the journey ahead.


Mistake 5: Forgetting the Tapering Phase

Maybe you’ve seen me talking about “Tapering” on Instagram and already know how important it is but if you haven’t yet then you’re in for a treat that will revolutionise your mountain & trekking preparation.


Tapering involves reducing training volume and intensity in the days leading up to your high altitude trip. This intentional rest period allows your body to recover, ensuring that you start your adventure feeling refreshed and ready to conquer the mountains. Do yourself a favour, and avoid the common mistake of training intensely right up to your departure date, as this will only leave you exhausted and fatigued and compromise your performance and energy levels.


If you felt yourself nodding in agreement to any of these mistakes because you’ve made them or are still making them and you’re not sure how you should (or shouldn’t) be training for your upcoming high altitude adventure, then let’s talk.


I offer a free Planning & Strategy Call with no obligations. It is simply a conversation focused on you, your biggest concerns and obstacles and how we can make your training even more effective so that you hit your best physical condition for the peak you’ve got planned. Go ahead, click here and let’s book a time to get to know each other and make a plan for you!

Remember, you don’t have to do this alone and you definitely don’t have to struggle your way through it. I’m absolutely here for you, with a definitive roadmap that will move you from your start to your summit, without any of those common mistakes or set backs.


I see you on the top. But do you see yourself?


Kate x

P.S. This Planning & Strategy Call is complimentary and there really are no strings attached. I want to give you value (and a real plan) up front, to show you what’s possible and what your high altitude adventure could really look like. Click here and know that I can’t wait to talk to you!

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